05 April 2018

Coming Soon: A Documentary on Friendship in the Life and Writings of J.R.R. Tolkien

Reese Parquette is a young filmmaker in Springfield. His documentary, Mercy: Discovering God's Loverecently aired at EWTN.

At Reese's request, I recently sat down with Joseph Pearce, author of - among other titles - Tolkien: Man and Myth (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1998), to talk about friendship in the life and writings of J.R.R. Tolkien.

It was a very enjoyable conversation and those who were present to watch us talk commented on how natural it all seemed. Joseph and I had not met previously, but a devotion to The Professor has a way of establishing a friendship between strangers rather easily. When the final edits are completed, the conversation will become a documentary titled, An Unexpected Friendship.

Though it was not planned so at first, this will actually become the first of a two-part documentary on friendship in the life and writings of Tolkien. The second part will be filmed in a few weeks on location in Oxford.

Reese's plan is to follow me around Oxford as I visit and talk about the sites important in the Professor's life in and around the famous medieval university city, culminating with a pilgrimage to his grave at Wolvercote Cemetery. It is a project about which I am rather excited, and for which Reese and I could use your assistance.

We are currently looking for donors willing to help fund the costs of our travel and of production of the documentary (with a total goal of $3,000). Any help you can provide - however large or small - will be greatly appreciated.

We are still working on the title for part two, though we might borrow a phrase Tolkien used to describe husbands and wives, "companions in shipwreck."

The 405 kindly offered to interview Reese and I concerning this project and has published an article about it titled, "J.R.R. Tolkien & 'something of the truth of human existence' - Meet filmmaker Reese Parquette & Fr. Daren Zehnle of An Unexpected Friendship".

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