First the what, and then the why:
What- I haven't seen any of the Lord of the Rings movies since the last one came out in theaters in December of 2003. On purpose.
Whyyeeeee???- Because I'm a Lord of the Rings obsesscionado and a big movie nerd and I wanted to try an experiment. If the experiment goes well then nothing will be different and nobody's life will be better (this is quite the noble science), BUT I might understand a little bit more about how my brain experiences movies.
I saw the first two movies, The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers, like 10 times in theaters, and by "like" I mean "not like." Actually ten times. For real. And even more times than that when they came out on VHS tape and/or digital video disc. I loved those movies so much, but I found that the more I watched them in that short period of time the less I was able to enjoy them. It got to a point where I knew them too well, where I could say every line in my head before it was said on screen, where I didn't feel scared at the scary parts or triumphant at the triumphy parts or even all that hobbity at the hobbity parts.
So then I asked myself I sez, "Hey Sandra, do you think it will always be like this? Have you permanently ruined your favorite movies for yourself? Or is there a way to undo this?"
I wondered, then, if I took a break from watching the movies, would that reverse the process at all? How long would it take to un-memorize these movies? A couple of years?
How about TEN? And yea, verily, that is what I have done. I walked out of the theater after seeing Return of the King and I closed the book, or rather the DVD case, on all things Lord of the Rings. I haven't watched the movies. I haven't listened to any of the soundtracks. I have photoshopped a coworker's head onto Gollum's body, but that was an emergency. Also I did go see The Hobbit, because for the most part it was all new footage and story but I did close my eyes and plug my ears during that one scene with Elrond, Gandalf, Galadriel, and Saruman hanging out in Rivendell, just to be safe.
So I'm breaking my ten year Lord of the Rings fast tonight. I'm interested to see what it'll be like to come back to it after all this time. It may be a bicycle-riding situation where 30 seconds in I'll be right back where I was ten years ago, or maybe it was enough time to leave and come back with mostly fresh eyes. Stay tuned, and get off the road.