Wednesday, November 28, 2012

scenes from middle earth...

it was an interesting day for the city of wellington, new zealand as it hosted a massive Hollywood, er, Wellywood style world premiere for the upcoming Hobbit film which opens in this country on December 13th.

The Hobbit and all the politics surrounding it has been a source of controversy for a number of months.  These issues were well encapsulated in a recent NY Times article from this past week (see here). The contradictions and feelings evoked for the film, the premiere, the politics and the hoopla (the premiere closed down Wellington's major artery, Courtenay Place, which happens to be just down the street from where I live) were evident in two interactions I had early this morning.

The positive energy was present around the 500 metre red carpet, where fans decked out with elves' ears, hairy feet and long travel to get here for the premiere (I met three sisters who had travelled here from san diego on a tour that brings them around New Zealand to visit many of the film's locations) were everywhere.

On the flipside, the local barista and the customers picking up coffee at a local cafe were mocking the whole affair, joking that they'd grab some water and stand there in the hot sun for the next 5 hours until the stars walked the red carpet.

I disregarded the sarcasm and spent a couple hours getting my vitamin d on, taking some photos, running into random friends and people watching. It was an interesting cultural get together that had tens of thousands of people hanging out, watching big t.v. screens and waiting to glimpse the stars of the film, who coincidentally aren't the biggest of the big "superstars."  It had me think that Hollywood is quite remarkable in the way it self props itself up and creates such spectacle. After all, the red carpet was by them and for them. As a neighbor muttered in the elevator back up to my apartment, "Hmm, makes you wonder why we don't do this kind of stuff for doctors saving lives..." True indeed.

The people tended to love it, me at times too. It was great people watching as I stood in the sun eating a cone of after 8 ice cream (mint chocolate chip) and just watching in awe the hordes of people... A sociologist from the planet Jupiter or the city of Hoboken would've had a field day.

So above are some scenes from this land of mythical fables and film premieres, the middle of middle earth as it is affectionately known as and re-branded for next month or so...

love and health to all...


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