Some (non-LotR) favorites... Directors: Ingmar Bergman, Krysztof Keislowski, Wim Wenders, Woody Allen, Coen Bros., Terry Gilliam, P.T. Anderson, Monty Python, Peter Greenaway, Michelangelo Antonioni, Ridley Scott... Movies: Paris, Texas, Blade Runner, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Double Life of Veronique, Alien, Cries and Whispers, The Shining, Wings of Desire, The Conversation, The Piano, Brazil, Blue Velvet... Books: Lonesome Dove, A Room with a View, The Stranger, Ethan Frome, The Little Prince, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, All the President's Men, Slaughter-house 5, True Grit... Television: Lost, Twin Peaks, The Office (UK), Arrested Development, Freaks and Geeks, Homicide, Seinfeld, SCTV, The Sopranos, Battlestar Galactica... Music: Peter Gabriel, Radiohead, Phillip Glass, Leonard Cohen, Talking Heads/David Byrne, Yo La Tengo, Lloyd Cole, Paul Westerberg, REM, The Rolling Stones, U2... Videogames: Half-life/Portal, Resident Evil, Metroid, Dead Space, Mario Kart, Rayman, Turok, Mario/Donkey Kong
First Lord of the Rings reading experience:
8th grade, reading class-- read The Hobbit and liked it, read The Lord of the Rings and *loved* it. I especially loved the maps, and the deep, seemingly never-ending history.
Favorite Tolkien character:
When i first read it, it was Strider, but not Aragorn-- i liked him more as a dark and mysterious Ranger of the North, and i always wished he'd stayed that way. As i grew older, it became Gandalf *the Grey*, so wise, yet down-to-earth, mischevious and funny (this was later solidified by Sir Ian McKellan). Now it's a split between Gandalf and Gollum, but that's mainly due to the films' absolutely brilliant portrayal of him, and the genius of Andy Serkis.