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Further to my comments about The Lord of the Rings , I wanted to mention a new documentary about Tolkien’s epic that does it anything but justice. Tolkien described The Lord of the Rings as "a fundamentally religious and Catholic work" and, on another occasion, insisted that the fact that he was "a Christian (which can be deduced from my stories) and in fact a Roman Catholic" was the most significant factor in his writing of the work. One would hardly know this from watching Ringers: Lord of the Fans .

For 98 minutes we are taken on a "trip," from sixties hippies to seventies heavy-metal bands to a new millennium "queering" of the Quest. Anything goes, or so it seems, except a discussion of the C word. There is no mention of Christ or Christianity, or of the "fundamentally religious and Catholic" truths that allegorically define the work at its deepest and most meaningful level. Instead we are given the Gospel of J.R.R. Tolkien according to Wormtongue, the character in LOTR who does the devil’s work with the malicious deceits of his tongue. I’m reminded, in fact, of the words of G.K. Chesterton, who lamented that, however much he made the point of a story stick out like a spike, his critics would always manage to impale themselves on something else.

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