2002 The Fellowship of the Ring
I’m staying with Sam’s family in Bristol for Christmas and I’m shocked to discover how cheap film tickets are (£4!)
“I’ve read all the books” I tell Sam’s brother for the third time as we walk into the cinema.
A quarter of the way through the film Sam looks at me. There are tears in my eyes. On screen the hobbits are walking through the forest.
“A New Zealand moment huh?”
He rubs my hand.
2003 The Two Towers
At the Ritzy in Brixton I watch the second installment with my (then) flatmates - Toby, Andrew and Piers - plus a muddle of other Aussie & Kiwi friends.
We’ve come to the late night viewing. It’s extremely hot and each clash of metal makes me flinch.
I also remember the surprise at recognizing so many kiwi actors and realizing that 1. I’d slept with an elf - and 2. He was looking a little fatter in the face.
2004 The Return of the King
Yesterday Joe and I go to the local cinema in Angel (Will being banned until he’s seen the first two films). There are annoying spotlights on the roof which they don’t turn off.
A couple sits next to us and begins to snuffle down their hotdog/chocolate/popcorn - talking all the time.
“Let’s move,” I whisper to Joe, “before I kill them.”
Later, I get my hand caught in the pot of M & M’s during an intense (and silent) scene much to the consternation of everyone in Cinema Room 9, except for Joe, who chuckles quietly.