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May 15, 2001 - May 26, 2001

5-26-01 Latest News

Wanna Go to Christopher Lee's Birthday Party?!
Xoanon @ 12:30 pm EST

The Official Christopher Lee Web Site will host a surprise birthday party live on Sunday, 27 May, 2001 for Mr. Lee.

Mr. Lee will attend, and is expected to talk about Peter Jackson, Cannes, and "Lord of The Rings."


Christopher Lee To Party Live With Fans at Website on May 27 Fans Begin Celebration Friday

Christopher Lee, currently starring as Saruman the White in New Line Cinema's upcoming "Lord of the Rings," and as Count Dooku in Lucasfilm's up coming "Star Wars: Episode II," will share his 79th birthday with fans and well-wishers live from The Official Christopher Lee Web (www.christopherleeweb.com) 27 May, 2001. Some of the events will be live, and some interactive, and anyone may leave personal greetings for the star whose 54 year, 255-film career has created memories for practically every movie-goer alive.

Three-Day Celebration: On Friday, 25 May, fans may begin posting their good wishes through this link:


In a nod to Mr. Lee's unbroken world record as International star with the most film credits, the birthday greetings page at the Website is prepared to handle messages in any language. (Mr. Lee himself speaks several European languages.) Fans are also invited to upload multimedia greetings; helpers will be on hand to approve messages and check attachments as they pour into the family site. Visitors do not have to register or sign in to the site to leave their greetings on this special page, which is the only birthday page Mr. Lee will see.

On Sunday, 27 May, 4:00 PM GMT, Christopher Lee will enter the Website, read birthday messages, and stream a RealMedia video message to fans at this link (www.christopherleeweb.com/clb.rm). To experience the video message, visitors will need a RealMedia video player, which they can download free at the RealMedia site (http://proforma.real.com/real/player/player.html?src=downloadr,010524rpchoice_c2&dc=526525524). Those who miss the live event can view an archived copy from the Christopher Lee Web Video and/or Audio page in the future.

From approximately 4:30-5:30 PM GMT Sunday, there will be a private birthday party for Mr. Lee with a limited number of fans, by invitation only. Mr. Lee will talk to the guests, open some of his presents on-line, and thank those who mailed them, then talk about whatever is on his mind. Participants will be given instructions by e-mail for getting to the private party. Everyone is invited to experience a multimedia recording of the private birthday festivities after that part of the event.

The third event this Sunday will be the final round in the Christopher Lee Trivia Competition, hosted jointly by Mr. Lee and Joe Skinnell, Competitions Manager for the Official Christopher Lee Web. Guests of the private party are invited to attend, and fans around the world can watch the competition on video and/or voice after the event, and try their hand at the questions. The final round of the Christopher Lee Trivia Competition is the culmination of several weekly rounds of questions, during which contestants identified Christopher Lee films from clips and stills and answered questions about Mr. Lee's career from sources such as Tall, Dark and Gruesome, Mr. Lee's autobiography


Goodies For All: All guests are welcome to download some special treats on Sunday, view art uploaded by fans, and read breaking news.

(c) The Official Christopher Lee Web, 2001.

Bilbo Baggins...the Horse
Xoanon @ 12:22 pm EST

From: Barbarshop

I work for a Thoroughbred Breeding Farm in PA and a few weeks ago we were thinking of names for our yearlings. We got kind of stuck. I have always loved J.R.R. Tolkien and of course can't wait for the movies to come out so I suggested BILBO BAGGINS as a possible name. Everyone seemed to like it so we submitted it to the Jockeyclub never expecting it to be accepted but...It was!

Click here to see a pic of Bilbo Baggins, the horse!

So sometime next summer watch for BILBO BAGGINS running at a race track near you! We still have 4 more yearlings to name this year, and 20 or so to name next year. If anyone has any name suggestions from Tolkien I'd love to hear it (Sorry, Shadowfax is already taken...)! Be creative, but the names most fit in 18 characters! Send your name ideas to, barbarshop@hotmail.com

Voiceovers and DVD News
Xoanon @ 12:12 pm EST

From: Andrea M

I found the news article in our local paper today, and the other information after the article was given to me by Bakshi studios.

Here is from my local newspaper the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinal's "Cue" section...

"Fellowship of the Ring getting new Words, opening"

Most of the dialogue in the much-anticipated "The Fellowship of the Rings" the first installment of "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, is being replaced as actors re-dub their voices in an underground studio in London and a new opening has been added.

Sir Ian McKellen, who plays the wizard Gandalf the Grey in the movie based on JRR Tolkien's popular novels, made these revelations in the "Grey Book" section of his website www.mckellen.com/cinema/lotr/journal.htm his diary about the movie-making.

"Almost all of the dialogue has had to be replaced." McKellen notes in one entery, "Sean Bean (Boromir) Ian Holm (Bilbo) And Christopher Lee (Suraman) Have added fresh soundtracks to their scenes." According to McKellen's website, the studio in New Zealand wasn't soundproofed.

The Opening Backstory has been changed, and new dialogue will now go to Bilbo, the adventurer introduced in Tolkien's prequel to the lord of the rings "The Hobbit", as he writes him memoirs, according to McKellen.

The Fellowship is scheduled for release Dec. 19th.

According to a source at Bakshi's studios, I have been told that he will release his 1978 unedited version of LOTR animation sometime this year onto DVD to commemorate the live action movie being released in December.

And for someone who long ago asked about the signifigance of the way Legolas always held his hands. (Exmp. The thumb, index and middle finger extended while the pinky and ring finger were bent, or when the index and middle finger were extended and the thumb crossed over the bent pinky and ring finger.)

Although someone awhile ago thought it was signifigant (And I must admit I did too.) I've been told by Bakshi studios that it really had no signifigance.

5-24-01 Latest News

NEW LOTR Trailer, 1 Day Left!
Xoanon @ 9:12 am EST

One day until the FOTR Trailer is released online and in theaters

One day left! Yes, one day left until the new FOTR trailer! Check out the new banner, a great shot of Frodo and PJ himself!

5-23-01 Latest News

NEW LOTR Trailer, 2 Days Left!
Xoanon @ 12:00 pm EST

2 days left until the NEW LOTR trailer hits theatres!! Thanks to New Line for sending us this new Banner for today! Great pic of Gimli the Dwarf!

Media Watch: Heat Magazine
Xoanon @ 11:10 am EST

Heat Magazine has two LOTR related clips, and ringer spy Alex sends them along for your viewing pleasure!

5-22-01 Latest News

Saul Zaentz tells the story of how the Rings films were born
Tehanu @ 7:23 am EST

Many thanks to Andre for this story. He got it from Der Spiegel, ran it through the Babelfish translator [RIP Douglas Adams] and we both tried to clean the result up into intelligible English. Bracketed phrases are best guesses.

" We were totally lucky ass holes " - By Ruediger Storm

The independent producer Saul Zaentz ( One flew over the Cuckoo's Nest ", " Amadeus "), 80, is one of the producers of the "Lord of the Rings" films. Spiegel ON-LINE spoke with Berkeley resident and three-times OSCAR winner about his role with the ring Trilogy, and about Hollywood's lack of imagination.

Spiegel ON-LINE: Mr. Zaentz, you control among other things the movie rights to the "Lord of the Rings ", and in 1978 you produced an animated movie. Why do you leave the large real film version [to someone else]?

Saul Zaentz: The animated film is the only one of my productions with which I am not satisfied. We simply had not found the correct form. Now there are the technical possibilities, but digital effects are no longer my world. Naturally we use it, in order to improve normal productions visually. But with the "Lord of the Rings " the computer animation is a [vital] part of the film. And now I am at an age where I cannot learn this type of film-making. Nor do I want to. That is now Peter Jackson's vision.

Spiegel Online: Is he the right man?

Zaentz: He is. Only because of him I gave away all the rights. I met him and his wife several times in the last few years, and with their intelligence and their enthusiasm the two convinced me.

Spiegel Online: Although with "Heavenly Creatures" he had only one film to show which can be taken seriously?

Zaentz: It's the same with Anthony Minghella, who made " the English Patient " for me, he'd only shot one good first work "Truly, Madly, Deeply". But one film is sufficient already, so that I can judge whether someone is a good director.

Spiegel Online: Is it sufficient just to be a good director in order to master the epic dimensions of the "Lord of the Rings "?

Zaentz: With "the English Patient " there were the same discussions. Studios said, 'Now that is a large movie, but Minghella so far made only a small one.' Nerve-killing! Finally I exploded. I said: If Miro had painted only small pictures, would you not let him paint a large one? On that they gave no answer.

Spiegel Online: Are you in contact with Peter Jackson?

Zaentz: I sent him some material on musicians, whom I considered suitable. But I do not know whether he selected some of them.

Spiegel Online: That is your only contribution to the "Lord of the Ring "?

Zaentz: If Peter Jackson had not convinced me, the movie probably would not exist.
In the last ten years there were different prospective customers [for the film rights], but the correct one was simply not among them. I sold the option to Miramax, which wanted to co-operate
with Jackson. I let them pay a considerable sum, because Miramax only makes those movies big, into which they invested properly. But then they wanted Jackson to make only one "Lord of the
Rings" film. That was naturally an absurdity, and he stepped out. Miramax would have had to pay now another large amount for the renewal of the option, but now they had no director anymore. And in that situation my friend Bob Shaye of NEWLINE called me and suggested we co-operate. And I said: Clearly, but only with Peter Jackson.

Spiegel Online: Nevertheless the cash had also to be right, didn't it?

Zaentz: Of course. We have a profit-sharing of the film and we control the Merchandising rights. But we found a concerted solution with new LINE, with which both parties earn something. Otherwise I have nothing to do with the movie. Therefore I want also no recognition as a producer for LOTR.

Spiegel Online: As a producer you experienced several nightmares. In the middle of producing "the English Patient " the financing fell through. Now you plan a complex film on Goya and his times. Are you ready for a new horror trip?

Zaentz: One cannot say : "I do not go over the road, because I might get hit by a car." I believe in my luck. It worked with the " Cuckoo's Nest." Exactly the same we were lucky that we received 1979 the rights for " Lord of the rings " from MGM. Therefore one called us also "the lucky ass holes of Berkeley ". After "Amadeus" we were the totally lucky ass holes," and after "The English Patient" the "extremely totally lucky ass holes".

Spiegel Online: And all this although you never did the typical Hollywood Blockbuster.

Zaentz: Hollywood always copies itself. If one has a successful animal film, they all do animal films. One should not look always at what the other studios do, but do his own thing. What I'm interested in is the influence of history on the " conditio humana ". That's what I want to talk about. That's the only way a movie works.

Spiegel Online: When you received 1997 the Irving G. Thalberg Award, you said, " the cup is full ". The following OSCAR for " English the patient " you commentated with " the cup has overflowed now. " Why do you then still continue?

Zaentz: Akira Kurosawa, one of my true heroes, said one of the greatest sentences which I have ever heard: "People like us should die while making movies ". I don't want to find the Holy Grail, but I always want to be on the way to it. My aim is the way.

Liv Tyler talks about LOTR - and Cate
Tehanu @ 6:47 am EST

Rallas sent us this report from an Aussie paper:

I've just finished reading a full page article (with picture) from an Australian Daily newspaper concerning an interview with Cate Blanchette. In the article there are several quotes from other actors (Tyler, Bean) and PJ. The interesting one is from Tyler:

"She's absolutely, hands down, probably my favourite actress and I loved to watch her", Tyler said at the film's worldwide media launch in Cannes. "It was wonderful, although we only had one scene together, to get to meet her and be together. She's an amazing woman".

Interesting as, if I remember correctly, Arwen doesn't meet her grandmother at all in the books! Another small change to the story..."

I don't do my best postings round midnight. People wrote to say that Galadriel and Arwen do indeed meet, near the end. Galadriel attends the wedding and afterwards rides some way with the company.

It's sitll interesting to speculate what scene they're written for since Tolkien didn't write any scenes between them - or am I misremembering there too?Arwen and Galadriel together. We've seen a lot of pictures of Arwen dashing round on horses and holding weapons. Now here's some evidence at least for some scenes that might be less physical and more emotional. It occurs to me that the Tolkien newbies watching the movies won't know about Arwen's loss of immortality if she chooses to stay with Aragorn. Either it gets mentioned in passing, or they can write a new scene (and why not between Galadriel and Arwen?) that reveals the seriousness of Arwen's choice.

5-17-01 Latest News

Led Zeppelin? Which Album?
Tehanu @ 4:38 am EST

Confusion reigns, because none of the most overtly Tolkien-influenced Zeppelin songs are on their third album, though some have argued that 'The Immigrant Song' and 'Celebration Day' could be vaguely reminiscent. In Celebration Day Eryndur mentions "...references to a woman who worries about her people's days being over, and how they'll have to go; and a train leaving for your destination, and being in the promised land. All this points to the fading of elves, the ascendancy of man, and the departure from the Grey Havens and the trip to Valinor."( I can't see PJ wearing any reference to a train anywhere in LOTR though.) And if you decided to say that 'The Immigrant Song' was about Numenoreans instead of Vikings it could fit though it wouldn't have much to do with the story of LOTR.

Meanwhile nobody has much to say about 'What is and what should never be,' the song that Alannis SAID she was singing on the MTV interview, according to Susie. But that song's not on Led Zep 3 either, it's on Zep 2. I looked at the lyrics and thought 'OK, so maybe Aragorn and Arwen are thinking this:'

'"If I say to you tomorrow,
Take my hand child come with me,
It's to a castle I will take you,
Where what's to be they say will be.

Catch the wind see us spin,
Sail away leave the day,
Way up high in the sky.
But the wind won't blow,
You really shouldn't go,
It only goes to show.
That you will be mine,
By taking our time."

Hmm, it could be cunning to have a song that represents A&A's feelings for each other so it can show up from time to time to remind us that they're still apart, still thinking of each other. Saves on making up additional dialogue for the same effect.

Well, maybe. Somehow it's still interesting to think about the other possibilities.

Led Zep albums 2 and 4 have some more favourite Tolkienish songs, says Eryndur: "Ramble On" is on Led Zeppelin II, and "The Battle of Evermore" is on Led Zeppelin IV. These two songs have the most blatant references to Tolkien, going so far as to actually mention specific Tolkien creations, namely "Gollum", "Mordor" (from Ramble On), and "ringwraiths" (in Evermore). Another point in their favour is that they're written to contain a duet. But you can rewrite a lot of songs so they use more than one voice, either alternating or in harmony.

Personally I like the reference to the urge to ramble on hitting hardest in Autumn - something that Frodo and Bilbo both felt.

As for the whole idea of using Led Zep music at all, or Alanis and Axl to sing it, here's a few thoughts. Led Zeppelin alternated a very gentle ballad style of music with harder-rocking music. "Ramble On," much as I like it, seems too rocky for the spirit of LOTR. (Plus what do you do about the bit where it wanders off into worrying about some woman lost in Mordor? ) But there's no end to the ways music can be arranged: the rather dry drum sound in "Ramble On" could easily be replaced with the old celtic bodhran. The interesting bassline would change character completely if played on a cello or viol de gamba. The lead guitar riffs? Imagine them on violin. About the only thing that would have to go completely is the cymbal/kit drum sound, which dates the music instantly. That, and the vocal lines that are more screamed than sung in that very 70s rock style.

But if you listen to something like 'Battle of Evermore' you may notice that most of the accompaniament is very light - mostly guitars. The other very twangy instrument you hear a lot of sounds like a hammered dulcimer - these days a standard sound on a sampler keyboard, but the original instrument is very old and very simple - a flat box on legs with wire strings that are played with hammers. It wouldn't take much to turn 'Evermore' into a very ancient-sounding simple folksong. The main thing that would have to change is that characteristically 70s rock caterwauling that they break into every now and then - it's very much part of a certain music of a certain time.

As for Alanis and Axl Rose doing Zep? Or doing some older-sounding music? Well, listening to singers do something new is always interesting especially if they're breaking into a new genre. I've got my own list of successes and failures: Kiri Te Kanawa is a GREAT operatic soprano, but her version of 'Summertime' makes me leave the room. On the other hand Mahalia Jackson is a singer who does more gospel than anything else, which a lot of people find boring, but I defy anyone to listen to her version of 'Summertime' without the hair lifting on the back of their neck. Sinead O'Connor doing Schubert's 'Ave Maria'? I can't hit the 'off' button fast enough, and yet she has a great voice in her normal songs. Celine Dion doing most things leaves me marvelling that such an extraordinary voice can be used to so little effect, and yet the time she sings something by a good composer, like when James Horner put her on the 'Titanic' soundtrack, then she's powerful and moving.

So sometimes people do these daring departures from their normal style and it pays off. Sometimes it doesn't. All adds to the suspense of waiting to see!

PS if you HAVE to mail someone about this, mail tehanu@theonering.net as the others have NO interest in discussing it!

5-16-01 Latest News

Killing time, killing time....
Tehanu @ 6:13 am EST

For the 32.6% of us who are going to explode by the time the films come out, we can try and find some relief in doing other Tolkien-related things to distract ourselves from the movies. Not all of you will have found the audio recording on Tolkien reading from LOTR on Salon.com - that's always worth a listen just to hear him do Gollum's voice.[More]

Along the same lines, there's always the BBC audio version of LOTR on tape, with Ian Holm playing Frodo instead of Bilbo as he does in the film. This is THE classic version. Sam wrote in with good news for British Ringers:

"I noticed in WHSmiths (a big chain in England for books, CD's, magazines, newspapers, you name it) that they are now selling the 13 tape audio cassette box set for twenty pounds (£20) which if you ask me is a pretty good bargain...whether it's going for cheaper elsewhere I've got no idea..." [Nope, costs about twice as much here even allowing for the exchange rate-T.]

Elsewhere, Rallas alerted me to this:

"Debbie Ridpath Ohi, a Toronto writer and musician, has invited Tolkien fans and foes alike to join her as she wades her way through the yarn that has won the odd accolade as greatest book of the 20th century." You get to see an experienced writer respond to the book for the first time, and then there's the responses to her from other people. It's great to see a skeptic getting gradually drawn in to the story.[More]

5-15-01 Latest News

Weekly Cast Watch
Xoanon @ 10:03 am EST

Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn)

28 Days (2000)
Thin Red Line, The (1998) UK
Psycho (1998) UK
Perfect Murder, A (1998) UK
Albino Alligator (1996)
Portrait of a Lady, The (1996)
Passion of Darkly Noon, The (1995)
Prophecy, The (1995)
Floundering (1994)
American Yakuza (1994)
Boiling Point (1993)
Ruby Cairo (1993)
Young Guns II (1990)

Liv Tyler (Arwen)

Dr. T & the Women (2000)
Cookie's Fortune (1999) UK
Plunkett & Macleane (1999)
Can't Hardly Wait (1998) UK
Armageddon (1998)

Ian Holm (Bilbo)

Last of the Blonde Bombshells, The (2000) (TV)
eXistenZ (1999) UK
Sweet Hereafter, The (1997)
Fifth Element, The (1997) UK
Madness of King George, The (1994)
Naked Lunch (1991)
Hamlet (1990) UK
Brazil (1985) UK
Dance with a Stranger (1985)
Return of the Soldier, The (1982)
All Quiet on the Western Front (1979) (TV)
Severed Head, A (1971) UK
Fixer, The (1968) UK
Bofors Gun, The (1968) UK

Sean Bean (Boromir)

Black Beauty (1994) UK

Marton Csokas (Celeborn)

Halifax f.p: Swimming with Sharks (1999) (TV)

Hugo Weaving (Elrond)

Matrix, The (1999) UK
Interview, The (1998)
Babe (1995) UK
Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, The (1994)

Miranda Otto (Eowyn)

What Lies Beneath (2000)
Jack Bull, The (1999) (TV) UK
Dead Letter Office (1998)
Thin Red Line, The (1998) UK

Elijah Wood (Frodo)

Bumblebee Flies Anyway, The (2000)
Faculty, The (1998) UK
Ice Storm, The (1997)
Good Son, The (1993)
Forever Young (1992) UK
Internal Affairs (1990)
Avalon (1990) UK
Back to the Future Part II (1989) UK

Cate Blanchett (Galadriel)

Ideal Husband, An (1999) UK
Pushing Tin (1999) UK

Ian McKellen (Gandalf)

Apt Pupil (1998) UK
Shadow, The (1994) UK
I'll Do Anything (1994)
Scandal (1989)
Alfred the Great (1969) UK

John Rhys-Davies (Gimli)

Secret of the Andes (1998) UK
Great White Hype, The (1996) UK
Aladdin and the King of Thieves (1996) (V)
Katharina die Große (1995) (TV)
Cyborg Cop (1994)
Unnamable II: The Statement of Randolph Carter, The (1993)
Sunset Grill (1993)
Perry Mason: The Case of the Fatal Framing (1992) (TV)
Seventh Coin, The (1992)
Perry Mason: The Case of the Murdered Madam (1987) (TV)
King Solomon's Mines (1985)
Nairobi Affair (1984) (TV) UK
Victor/Victoria (1982)

Andy Serkis (Gollum)

Arabian Nights (2000) (TV) UK
Among Giants (1998) UK
Mojo (1997) UK

Harry Sinclair (Isildur)

Heavenly Creatures (1994)

Bruce Spence (Mouth of Sauron)

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

Sean Astin (Sam)

Kimberly (1999)
Icebreaker (1999)
Bulworth (1998) UK
Dish Dogs (1998)
Long Way Home, The (1997) UK
Harrison Bergeron (1995) (TV)
Low Life, The (1994/I)
Where the Day Takes You (1992) UK
Encino Man (1992) UK
Toy Soldiers (1991) UK
Memphis Belle (1990)
Staying Together (1989)
War of the Roses, The (1989)
White Water Summer (1987) UK
Goonies, The (1985)

Christopher Lee (Saruman)

Sleepy Hollow (1999) UK
Tale of the Mummy (1998) UK
Jinnah (1998) UK
Odyssey, The (1997) (TV) UK
Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990)
Safari 3000 (1982)
1941 (1979) UK
Circle of Iron (1979)
Return from Witch Mountain (1978) UK
Nothing But the Night (1972)
Scream and Scream Again (1969)
Gorgon, The (1964) UK
Beat Girl (1960)
Battle of the River Plate, The (1956) UK

Bernard Hill (Theoden)

Midsummer Night's Dream, A (1999) UK
True Crime (1999) UK
Gandhi (1982) UK

Brad Dourif (Wormtongue)

Shadow Hours (2000) UK
Urban Legend (1998) UK
Color of Night (1994)
Amos & Andrew (1993)
Trauma (1993)
Body Parts (1991) UK
Cerro Torre: Schrei aus Stein (1991)
Jungle Fever (1991)
Child's Play 2 (1990) UK
Hidden Agenda (1990)
Mississippi Burning (1988) UK
Dune (1984) UK

Jim Rygiel (SFX)

102 Dalmatians (2000)
Anna and the King (1999)
Star Trek: Insurrection (1998) UK
Cliffhanger (1993)
Batman Returns (1992)
Ghost (1990)
2010 (1984) UK

Howard Shore (Composer)

Cell, The (2000)
eXistenZ (1999) UK
Analyze This (1999) UK
Se7en (1995)
Ed Wood (1994)
Sliver (1993)
Single White Female (1992) UK
Prelude to a Kiss (1992)
Naked Lunch (1991)
Silence of the Lambs, The (1991)
Postcards from the Edge (1990)
She-Devil (1989)
Big (1988)
Dead Ringers (1988)
Moving (1988)
Fly, The (1986)
Places in the Heart (1984) UK
Videodrome (1983) UK
Silkwood (1983) UK

Peter Jackson (Director)

Heavenly Creatures (1994)

To get more information, use the sites I use like:

mydigiguide.com, tv-now.com and IMDB.com

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