OBJECTIVE: Watch The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring once per every week of 2014.

WHEN: November 8, 2014, 12:04am. (Week 45, November 2-8.)

WHERE: In the living room of my apartment in Portland, ME.

FORMAT: DVD through an LG portable Blu-ray multi-drive on a Sony VAIO Flip 15A… upside down.


PHYSICAL AND MENTAL STATE: Really really really really really devoid of ideas.

Remember the good old days, when I used to analyze the plot or characters or cinematography of The Fellowship of the Ring? Those days of the Cinema 52 experiment are gone. After 44 weekly viewings of a film I already can’t stand, I am burnt out. I need something new. This is the point in my marriage to this movie that it’s time to spice things up. So, honey, why don’t we give this a whirl: let’s try it upside down.

Legitimate relationship advice.

While this radical approach to home viewing added little to the practice of film criticism, it did provide some interesting perspective changes and a rather curious side effect. We’ll save the science-y one for last; here are some particularly eye-popping scenes when seen upside-down.

Gandalf! Your magical fireworks have gone cuh-razy!


My mind was particularly blown by this shot of a town reflected in a lake.

Wait a minute, it went normal again…

Ha! Breakdancing Gandalf looks like his beard is caught in a ceiling fan!

The judges will definitely dock him points for that.

When the Uruk-hai is being pulled out of the magic mud upside down, it really looks like he’s being born. From a butt, I should say. It never looked like poop to me before today.

Just a big ol’ turd baby.

Another thing I never noticed were all the falling leaves at Rivendell. Upside down, they look like bubbles in ginger ale, popping up to the top. How many leaf wranglers did they have on set?

“Once more, with foliage!”

The well Pippin knocks shit into now looks like a big vacuum as it sucks things up into the ceiling.


Also, remember when I praised Peter Jackson for respecting screen direction and making sure the Fellowship always travels from left to right?

Seen here.

Well, it’ll confuse the hell out of you when they’re suddenly traveling left the whole time.

Hey! Mordor’s the other way! Guys!

About every 20 minutes, I would discover that my head was cocked to the side; I was usually alerted to this by slight neck pain. Without realizing it, I was continuously trying to flip my own eyes over. I feel like I unintentionally recreated my own version of that scientific study where they showed babies face-like shapes and they gravitated towards the upright ones. Neat.

Also, looking around the room was a bad idea. After a couple of hours, it felt like the movie was correct and the room itself was upside down. Freaky.

My concept of reality has been violently shattered!

Hear me out… a 90° turn??