Ocularcentrism, horror and The Lord of the Rings films

Alison Peirse

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The majority of the analyses of The Lord of the Rings films centre on extratextual dimensions: the political economy of film production, of audiences and fandom, and the impact of technology on envisaging the series. Instead, this article explores the aesthetic qualities of the films, focusing on the visualization of the chapter ‘Lothlórien’ from Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring, and ‘The passage of the marshes’ and ‘Shelob’s lair’ from The Two Towers. In making The Lord of the Rings, Director Peter Jackson engages with the cinematic possibilities of vision and images of the eye; he then borrows spectatorial conceits from the horror film in order to relate the ocularcentric to the vulnerability of the individual body of Frodo Baggins. In visualizing the trilogy, an obsession is born, not only with the image of the eye, but also with the horror of being watched and of watching.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)41-50
    JournalJournal of Adaptation in Film & Performance
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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