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September 23, 2005 - September 29, 2005

News for Sep. 29, 2005

Fan LOTR CG Project

9/29/05, 6:10 pm EST - Xoanon

Gigi writes: These two guys are planning on creating a CG movie with a LOTR theme. They have been working for about a year on recreating some sites from the movie. The project it's far from done, but they are almoust ready to release a 2 minute trailer. [More]

LOTR Online Update

9/29/05, 6:03 pm EST - Xoanon

Meghan, Online Community Manager for The Lord of the Rings Online writes: This week, World Builder (and Lore Monkey) Chris Pierson gives us a look at building one of the iconic areas in The Lord of the Rings: The Old Forest. Included are a couple of screenshots which should help give a feel for Chris's fantastic work in re-creating the home of Old Man Willow and Tom Bombadil. [More]

Viggo 'Daily Show' Clip Online

9/29/05, 2:01 pm EST - Xoanon

Jennifer writes: A clip of Viggo on The Daily Show is now available on the Comedy Central website. [More]

Tom Wilkinson passed on Tolkien

9/29/05, 1:59 pm EST - Xoanon

Why would a rich, powerful lawyer suffer his wife's infidelities and even cover up a case of vehicular manslaughter for her? For the same reason, perhaps, that Tom Wilkinson turned down The Lord Of The Rings. Wilkinson (The Exorcism Of Emily Rose) plays barrister James Manning in Separate Lies, the taut, acclaimed directorial debut of Gosford Park scripter Julian Fellowes. Manning's life begins to unravel when he discovers not only that his wife (Emily Watson) is having an affair with a cad neighbour (Rupert Everett), but that they were jointly culpable in a vehicle/bicycle accident that killed their housekeeper's husband.

And what about Lord Of The Rings? "Well, I was never offered a role outright. They did what was called an 'availability check.' They drew up lists of people for various roles and, in the case of Actor X, if he was committed to the Royal Shakespeare company for six months, then he can't do it. [More]

The Hobbit in Bakersfield, CA

9/29/05, 1:58 pm EST - Xoanon

Kevin Lively writes: I am currently directing a production of The Hobbit at Bakersfield Community Theatre (Bakersfield's Oldest Community Theatre). I thought you guys might like to hear about it. Attached is an article written by one of publicity guys for a local underground newspaper called The Black Board. [More]

Hall Of Fire This Weekend -- Of The Return Of The Noldor

9/29/05, 11:25 am EST - Demosthenes

Chapter 13 of The Silmarillion, Of the Return of the Noldor, takes us back to where we left the Noldorian elves, on the northern shores of Middle Earth. Feanor and his followers making their way inland, exploring and settling. Later, we see Fingolfin and his kin come ashore to the first rising of the Sun, and meeting again with the estranged kin who left them for dead on the ice.

Although there is accord between the two groups, it is shaky at best. Meanwhile, Morgoth tests their strength against his own, sending orc hordes and balrogs and finally Glaurung the Uruloki (firedrake) to challenge the elves. The Noldorian elves are introduced to the elves of Menegroth as well as the Dwarves -- who become tentative allies in the peace of this time. [More]

News for Sep. 28, 2005

Sean Bean Bear Auction

9/28/05, 3:22 pm EST - Xoanon

Lisa writes: You were kind enough to post about the Sean Astin auction I did last month to benefit the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer (which ended up raising $86!)... I was wondering if you'd post again? This time I have a bear signed by Sean Bean!

Basically, I'm doing all 8 of the Avon Walks this year and trying to raise $25,000. The last walk is actually this weekend in NYC! But, I still have a lot of bears to auction off.. and this batch (which is pretty skewed toward sci-fi/fantasy folks) includes Sean Bean! [More]

Alan Lee Chat Next Month!

9/28/05, 2:36 pm EST - Xoanon

TheOneRing.net -- in conjunction with Houghton Mifflin -- is delighted to announce that Alan Lee, the acclaimed LOTR illustrator and Academy Award-winning conceptual designer for the film trilogy, will join us in the Hall of Fire (on the TORn IRC server) on Saturday November 5 at 6pm EST for a live question and answer session.

Alan will be answering questions on his work illustrating Lord of the Rings, his involvement with Peter Jackson and WETA as a conceptual designer for the Lord of the Rings film Trilogy and his new book The Lord of the Rings sketchbook. [More]

Was 'The Return of the One Party' Haunted?

9/28/05, 10:16 am EST - Xoanon

The Party Logo Thanks to the Cheshire Cat for giving me the screaming heebie-jeebies the rest of the day, with this report on one of the 'most haunted' places seen on TV...The Hollywood American Legion..AKA the location of 2004's 'The Return of the One Party'!

Little did we know it, but when fans from far and wide gathered to watch the Oscars that night, and when the cast and crew of LOTR arrived afterwards to party with us that some ghostly spirits were also present! Take a look at her report..and if you were there..prepare to be FREAKED! [More]

Get LOST Tonight!

9/28/05, 10:05 am EST - Xoanon

'Lost', featuring Dominic Monaghan, is on ABC tonight. 8PM features the season 2 opener that many people missed last week while 9PM is a brand new episode. [abc.go.com]

Jackson's Gallipoli film Screens in Wellington

9/28/05, 10:00 am EST - Xoanon

Peter Jackson's restored version of the only film taken of the Anzacs at Gallipoli in 1915 will have its New Zealand premiere at a documentary film festival in Wellington today. The film Heroes of Gallipoli screens at the DOCNZ Documentary Film Festival. Jackson, a World War I buff, approached the Australian War Memorial two years ago to see if technology developed by Weta Digital could be used to restore archival film. The 20-minute film included Wellington Battalion soldiers. The original nitrate film was destroyed in 1967, and prints were scratched, fuzzy and low in contrast. [docnzfestival.com]

Happy Birthday Kiran Shah!

9/28/05, 9:57 am EST - Xoanon

Today is Kiran Shah's birthday! Kiran was born on September 28th, 1956 in Nairobi, Kenya in 1956. That makes him 49 years old today! Happy Birthday Kiran!

News for Sep. 27, 2005

TV Watch: Mortensen on 'The Daily Show'

9/27/05, 12:43 pm EST - Xoanon

Viggo Mortensen will be on Comedy Centrals's 'The Daily Show with John Stewart' tonight (September 27th). He is there to promote his latest film 'A History of Violence' which opens wide this Friday. Although expect topics to range from ducks to politics and back again.

News for Sep. 26, 2005

WIRED Talks King Kong

9/26/05, 11:23 pm EST - Xoanon

WIRED Talks King Kong KONG is coming is the title of Wired Magazine's King Kong special feature in the October issue. Jonathan Bing details PJ's Wellywood setup and goes deeper into the origins and series of events that led to him making Kong Kong, and our special Production Diaries on KongisKing.net. Be sure to check out 'Gorilla Filmmaking', an amazing series of photos featuring some of the major players at WETA/Big Primate/3 foot 6 and all the other companies under Peter's banner. Some very familiar faces are seen here, it is a great photo spread and a great article. Check out the photos in our scrapbook, and to read the article go to your local newsstands now or order WIRED online. [Images] [Wired Magazine]

ABC to repeat 'Lost' season premiere

9/26/05, 6:33 pm EST - Xoanon

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - ABC will postpone Wednesday's scheduled premieres of 8-9 p.m. comedies "George Lopez" and "Freddie" for one week to make room for a rerun of the season premiere of "Lost," which will lead into the drama thriller's second episode at 9 p.m. Coming on the heels of its Emmy win for best drama, "Lost" opened its second season last week with an all-time high of 23.4 million viewers. ABC said it decided to repeat the "Lost" season opener after receiving calls from viewers who missed part of the episode because of hurricane-related news pre-emptions.

Elijah Wood grows up, sort of

9/26/05, 6:30 pm EST - Xoanon

You might mistake Elijah Wood for any other music geek flipping through the CD racks in the Loop's Rock Records. With an armful of albums (The Warlocks, Roky Erickson, Black Mountain, Johnny "Guitar" Watson) he even sounds like one. "Have you ever heard of Dead Meadow?" the 24-year-old asks one tattooed salesman. "Have you heard of Wolf Mother, that band from Australia? Very Blue Cheer." [More]

Q&A Viggo Mortensen

9/26/05, 6:28 pm EST - Xoanon

Sora Song writes: Sometime poet, indie publisher, photographer, painter, musician and Lord of the Rings king Viggo Mortensen plays a family man in A History of Violence: 'I read that your co-star Maria Bello said her first reaction after watching the film was, "I thought I was going to vomit." What was your reaction?' Viggo: 'Umm ... I didn't feel like puking. I was very happy, to be honest. I guess I was sort of drained, but the main thing I felt was happy. I think David Cronenberg's way of [making] a movie is as close to perfect as you're going to find.' [More]

American Dad Goofs on Ringers

9/26/05, 1:03 pm EST - Xoanon

The latest episode of American Dad featured a funny little moment with some Star Wars and LOTR fans at a convention. Take a look (DivX v5.2.1 codec required). [More]

Live in Milan? Wanna Meet Alan Lee?

9/26/05, 12:59 pm EST - Xoanon

Andrea writes: Hey Xoanon! Alan Lee is coming in Milan on December 8th, I'm trying to obtain a private interview with him for my website, I'll translate it for you there if you are interested in it. [More]

Bilbo Birthday Report: Lower Mainland BC

9/26/05, 12:40 pm EST - Xoanon

Luthien Amandil - Elven Archer writes: This is just to let you know this year Lower Mainland BC (Canada) had a wonderful Bilbo's Birthday. To continue to celebrate I have put a small webpage report up on the net. [More]

News for Sep. 25, 2005

Viggo Mortensen on Charlie Rose Clips

9/25/05, 5:47 pm EST - Xoanon

Clips of Viggo Mortensen on Charlie Rose have popped up online at crooksandliars.com. As you may or may not know, the show gets very political...so be warned! [More]

Wellington to Pay Tribute to Film Industry

9/25/05, 5:37 pm EST - Xoanon

Kong Spy Gandalf writes: Wellington city is to pay tribute to the local film industry with a towering tripod figure that will be erected on Courtenay Place, just across from the Embassy Theatre - billed as "New Zealand's grandest picture palace" and built in 1924. The tripod was designed and created by Richard Taylor and the designers and technicians at Weta Workshop, funded jointly by the Council and Weta. This brief article with photos comes from the WCC's July newspaper. [More]

Mortensen's 'Intelligence Failure'

9/25/05, 5:24 pm EST - Xoanon

Laurelin writes: Viggo and Buckethead's new CD, Intelligence Failure, is now available for purchase at Perceval Press: This seventh full-length musical collaboration between Buckethead and Viggo Mortensen also includes contributions from Travis Dickerson, Henry Mortensen, Walter Mortensen, and Brigit. INTELLIGENCE FAILURE is a musical ode to the dream of preserving loving, civilized society in trying, often cruel times. Rising above the deceit and greed that have plagued and eventually conquered all the world's empires, there have always been brave individuals and isolated groups that have stubbornly refused to surrender their belief in humanity. This collection is dedicated to them. Combining variations on traditional melodies with original compositions and improvisation, as on previous Buckethead/Viggo recordings, this C.D. also draws from freely available statements by public figures to tell a part of the story of our time. Sometimes humorous, sometimes heartbreaking, INTELLIGENCE FAILURE is never anything less than fully-committed to an honest examination of where we are, and to expressing hope for where we might go. [More]

The right stage of life

9/25/05, 5:21 pm EST - Xoanon

Clara Iaccarino writes: Fixing me in her bluey green gaze, it seems Miranda Otto has a few questions of her own. As make-up artist Tira straightens her auburn locks, Otto moves deftly from baby banter to research for her new role. She mentions her obsession with baby clothes, then all of a sudden she pauses. "So, have you ever had to interview anyone you were morally opposed to?" she asks. [More]

When Tolkien got precious with Lewis

9/25/05, 5:16 pm EST - Xoanon

From the cloistered world of Oxford they created two of the best-loved fantasy realms in English literature which themselves inspired blockbuster movies. CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien were the closest of friends, one struggling to make his fantasy world of Middle Earth a literary reality, the other trying to convince friends his first book about Narnia deserved to be published. But new research has revealed that their friendship was riven by the most bitter and personal of rows on everything from literature to religion and even their choice of spouse. The fascinating revelations about their real relationship have been made by film-maker Norman Stone while researching a new drama-documentary on the life of Lewis. Stone, who made the award-winning movie about Lewis, Shadowlands, talked to mutual friends of the literary pair as well as examining documents in minute detail. [More]

IBM serves up dragon

9/25/05, 5:02 pm EST - Xoanon

Weta Productions, a sister company of Lord of the Rings and King Kong special effects shop Weta Digital, has spent several hundred thousand dollars setting up its own IT infrastructure to create animated TV series Jane and the Dragon. Though not on the scale of Weta Digital's infrastructure of more than 1000 IBM blade servers, Weta Productions has also turned to IBM for its hardware. It has bought 50 blade servers, each configured with two 3GHz Intel processors and 2 gigabytes of memory, 50 IBM workstations and four terabytes of high-speed disk storage, also supplied by IBM. [More]

News for Sep. 24, 2005

Ian Brodie's Latest Book News: Cameras in Narnia

9/24/05, 10:28 am EST - Xoanon

Celebriel reports that the Ian Brodie's new book, Cameras in Narnia, is now available for pre-order at his website & Amazon.com. (Ian is director of the New Zealand Fighter Pilots Museum in Wanaka.) The site notes "Ian Brodie has been on set and on location throughout its production, and has documented the making of the film from behind the cameras, with interviews with the director and key crew members. Using this movie as a specific example, he explains in layman's terms the magical process of turning a much-loved classic of children's literature into a blockbuster movie."

The book's release date is November 10, 2005, so it should arrive in plenty of time to read before the film's opening in December. The advantage of ordering direct from Ian's website is that all copies will be personally autographed! Lord of the Rings fans will be familiar with Ian's outstanding Lord of the Rings Location Guide, essential for New Zealand visitors to Rings locations. This looks like a terrific followup. [Pre-Order 'Cameras in Narnia' on Amazon.com today!]

News for Sep. 23, 2005

'A History of Violence' Premiere: Los Angeles

9/23/05, 1:25 pm EST - Xoanon

'A History of Violence' Premiere: Los Angeles Take a look at a few images of Viggo Mortensen at the premiere of 'A History of Violence' in Los Angeles. The movie opens in limited cities today, and then wide next week. Take a look! [More]

Reminder: TV A Viggo a go-go

9/23/05, 1:09 pm EST - Xoanon

Viggo Mortensen will be in two places at once tonight, you can catch him on 'The Late Show with David Letterman' on CBS and 'Charlie Rose' on PBS. Set those VCR's and TiVo's!

Lee's 'Corpse Bride' Released Today

9/23/05, 1:07 pm EST - Xoanon

Christopher Lee lent his voice to 'Corpse Bride', the latest stop-motion film from the people behind 'A Nightmare Before Christmas'. The film is out today in North America. [US Showtimes] [CAN Showtimes]

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