Climatic clash

Climatic clash
Cinema still: The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies starring Orlando Bloom

After 17 years of waging war in Middle Earth, director Peter Jackson's epic journey is almost at an end with the release of The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies and the overriding feeling, he says, is one of relief.

"I don't have the responsibility any more," says Jackson at a press briefing held in London earlier this month. "I can go to the beach."

The 53-year-old New Zealander has enjoyed almost every minute spent crafting the phenomenally successful The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, released between 2001 and 2003, and the three recent films that comprise his rendition of The Hobbit, but now after 17 years of preparation and filming, he can finally relax.

"Some of this movie, The Battle Of The Five Armies, was shot four years ago because we shot all three Hobbit films together, so it is a relief to get it finished and get it out there for people to see," he says.

It opens in Singapore tomorrow.

Every time Jackson makes a film, he notes, he suffers terrible nightmares.

"The first day I start shooting, I have a recurring nightmare every single night," he concedes. "I'm lying in bed and there's a film crew surrounding the bed, waiting for me to tell them what to do.

"And yet I don't quite know what movie I'm actually making; I'm not sure. I don't even think there's a script and they are all there, wanting information from me. I'm tired, I'm exhausted and I can barely think straight.

"This is the truth: That nightmare starts every night, on the first day of shooting, and goes on until the last day of shooting. Then it stops. It's hell, but it does stop."

He is not quite finished with Middle Earth just yet - there is still the extended cut of the most recent movie that he is working on for the DVD release later next year - but the weight of responsibility has been lifted and the nightmares are definitely over.

"Any film has responsibilities because you're spending money that's not yours and so you've got to be responsible for that," he says. "I also feel very responsible for the fact that you're trying to entertain people and, for me, a failure is to make a film that people pay their money to go see and they don't like."

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