San Francisco State University, Established 1899, 1600 Holloway Ave. SF, CA 94132

SFSU Public Affairs Press Release

Published by the Public Affairs Office at San Francisco State University


Contact: Matt Itelson
phone: (415) 338-1665

SFSU faculty are available to offer commentary
on blockbuster film 'The Lord of the Rings'

San Francisco State University professors are available to provide expert commentary and analysis on the phenomenon of the New Line Cinema blockbuster "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring." The film, an adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's medieval epic about Frodo the hobbit and his quest to purge the evil empire of Sauron, is considered the most ambitious film ever made. Boasting a cast of more than 2000 people and an estimated $270 million budget, the film - the first of a three-part series - will be released Wednesday, Dec. 19.

George W. Tuma, professor of English

Areas of expertise: J.R.R. Tolkien, Chaucer and medieval studies

Office phone: (415) 338-3094; Home phone: (650) 325-2065; e-mail:

Tuma has studied Tolkien's work for 20 years and has been teaching English literature at SFSU for three decades. In addition to teaching classes on Chaucer, he has also developed and taught classes on social commentary of 14th century English society, Arthurian romance and Sherlock Holmes. In fall 2002, he intends to teach a class dedicated to the works of J.R.R Tolkien.

"For Tolkien, good literature, which always involves a good story, is always relevant. And, as is well known, he had serious reservations about the goodness of 'modern' life, with its emphasis upon technology and the possession of things," Tuma said. "As he wrote in his essay on fairy stories, however, he would, I think, hope that 'The Lord of the Rings' would accomplish what a good fairy story should. He refers to this as the 'Consolation of the Happy Ending,' which is found in the 'eucatastophic tale,' 'the true form of fairytale and its highest function.'"

Stephen Ujlaki, professor of cinema

Areas of expertise: cinematic studies, film production and financing

Office phone: (415) 338-7612; Home phone (415) 567-3595; e-mail:

With more than 20 years in the film industry, Ujlaki has produced more than 25 feature films, made-for-cable movies and documentaries. He has worked as vice president of HBO Productions, head of the European Feature and Television division for Stone Group France, and most recently president of Panarea Productions.

"Technology is rapidly changing the movie industry, allowing studios to produce projects that simply were not possible before because of the 'worlds' they featured," Ujlaki said. "So, whether it's sci-fi or fantasy type films like 'The Lord of the Rings,' we are going to see a whole slew of high tech movies with amazing visual graphics, particularly if this film is successful."

- ### -

This press release was written by student writer Fred H. Danfoura.

SFSU Home   Search   Comments and Questions

SFSU, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132
Last modified April 24, 2007, by Office of Public Affairs