Tolkien director Dome Karukoski confirmes his presence at Stockfish


Finnish director Dome Karukoski (Tom of Finland, Lähde Omiesi Matkaan, Napapiirin Sankarit) has confirmed his presence at the Stockfish Film Festival for the screening of Tolkien (2019), which stars Nicholas Hoult (Mad Max: Fury Road, X-Men: Days of Future Past) as the world renowned author.

J.R.R. Tolkien created a whole universe within which he set his classic novels The Hobbit, and the epic The Lord of the Rings, both of which have had praise in cinematic adaptations by Peter Jackson as well as a beautifully drawn animation of The Lord of the Rings by none other than Ralph Bakshi. A tv show is also undergoing production and is set to be distributed by Amazon’s streaming service. Other than that, the universe he created has expanded into various new stories, by means of diverse media.

However, the story of J. R. R. Tolkien’s life itself has not been subject to the same spotlight. In that sense, Karukoski’s movie aims to bring the author’s early life into focus, even going as far as being bold enough not to engage primarily in the origin of Tolkiens epic, but much more on his relationships and experiences during the First World War.

The audience will see Tolkien create his own fellowship as he surrounds himself with fellow students, all of whom share a passion for literature, his budding romance with Edith Mary Bratt and his growing involvement in linguistics, all of which eventually influenced in the creation of the Middle-Earth mythos.

The task behind such endeavour is not an easy one, the literary importance of J.R.R. Tolkien means that many of his fans have read about his life from diverse sources and made their own interpretations on events. This task has fortunately been left to Dome Karukoski, whose film experience  has given him 21 awards and 17 nominations. 

Fully aware of the obstacles of the task at hand, Karukoski has reportedly chosen to pay attention to Tolkien’s early days, since the director himself identifies with some of the obstacles that surrounded Tolkien, namely the lack of a fatherly presence and the feeling of being an outlier. The director didn’t shy away from taking the necessary liberties with the retelling of Tolkien’s life, in order to deliver an engaging cinematic experience, all the while being careful to do justice to the iconic author. The realistic narrative is delivered with its share of fantastical visions that adds an interesting pace to the story, as well as a slice into Tolkien’s imagination prior to the fully built mythos of Lord of the Rings.

Karukoski is a fan of the author and his film shows it by delivering an interpretation of the author’s early life that translates well into the cinematic format. Fans of Karukoski and of Tolkien are invited to a Q&A after the screening of the film in Bíó Paradís on the 13th of March. Get tickets here.