Tuesday, April 19 2011
There is a video going around on Facebook (why I couldn't pull it up on the internet I don't know) of Peter Jackson's first "videoblog" on the making of his new movie The Hobbit. It is a ten minute teaser; taking you around the sets, going into the wardrobe department, watching the actors "blocking" a scene, just a whole introduction or reintroduction to Middle Earth. At one point Jackson says he is used to seeing the set of Rivendell on film and now he is walking into it. Kind of weird he remarks.
Weird? Weird? He is walking into the story...into Rivendell and it is weird? Why I thought it is AMAZING! I want to be there. I want to be part of it. On the video you see all these people coming together and working to create something and they are walking into the story, not seeing it on film, not reading it in a book but living in it...really living in it.Why this had such a powerful effect on my I was ready to drop everything...my family, my life, everything. Just let me fly to New Zealand and say PLEASE can I help? I'll do whatever, just let me walk into the story!
I think the answer to why I responded this way (and I bet you would too) lies in the loss of story. The modern world ( and thus our post modern world) lost the story. There is no story to walk into. Ever since the sacred/secular split of the 17th and 18th centuries we have a bifurcated world. Yes bifurcated, or forked as a serpent's tongue. One compartment or branch is the "real world" where we live out the days of our lives. This is the objective scientific world that came out of the "Enlightenment". No God, no mystery, no magic, no "music of the spheres" just objective scientific facts, thank you very much. The other compartment or branch is reserved for subjective spirituality; whatever version you may prefer. BUT this spirituality that you may practice on Sundays, or Saturdays or whatever day is really about when you die. It is not about life here and now in the "real world". This is the great tragedy of the world in which we live.
J.R.R. Tolkien who wrote the The Hobbit and created Middle Earth lived in the story. He walked into everyday of his life. He saw the earth for the great stage that it is. He knew The Author of the story well enough to imitate His creation with his own "sub-creation" and gave us The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.
Peter Jackson and Company are taking Tolkien's "sub-creation" and sub-creating themselves. They are artists of every kind creating costumes, weapons, music, worlds really. They are living in the story, walking into every day and playing their parts well...really well.
No wonder the "reel" story is so much more appealing than the "real" world of post modernity. We have no "wizard workshop", no Shire, no Rivendell. The bifurcated world is perhaps the serpent's greatest achievement; for it is not only an objective fact in the world it is a subjective experience in our hearts.