On exhausting experiences

This weekend has been dominated by emotionally draining film experiences. First, I saw Lord of the Rings: Return of the King twice, on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon. The first time was with my dearest friends with whom I saw the first two LotR films – we call ourselves “The Fellowship of the Fellowship”. The second time was with my 26 year old daughter and her husband, who really, REALLY wanted to see it with me.
Then this evening we found the time to watch the (taped) second part of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America. We saw the two plays when they first came to Boston over 10 years ago, and thought they were among the best drama of the entire 20th century. The film is even better.
I refuse to try to compare them. Both are epics – three 210 minute films for Lord of the Rings, two 180 minute episodes for Angels in America. Both deal with huge, vital, essential issues of the meaning of life, of good and evil, of life and death, of what it means to be human, of how we relate to one another. And both are, quite simply, wonderful films. If Angels in America had been shown cinematically, the Oscar committee would have had no option but to award joint honours for Best Picture. But we don’t have to deal with that. Phew!