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August 01, 2004 - August 11, 2004

8-11-04 Latest News

Fellowship Festival: News From Howe, Lee and Harper Collins!
leo @ 4:16 am EST

More exciting news from The Fellowship Festival, this time about John Howe and Alan Lee as well as a list of convention-exclusive offers from publishers Harper Collins!

From the organisers themselves:

Dear friends,

We announced a few days ago that celebrated Tolkien artists, Mr Alan Lee and Mr John Howe, who were responsible for the "look and feel" of Middle-earth in the films will be attending The Fellowship Festival, from 28th-30th August, at Alexandra Palace in London.

We are proud to announce that Alan and John will be meeting and signing for fans as part of the standard entry ticket therefore you will not need to purchase any extra tickets to meet them face to face, it's all part of the package!

Not only that, we have some very special offers for you. In conjunction with our publishing friends at Harper Collins, you can purchase the following at the festival for an amazingly greatly reduced show only price:

The Hobbit - Special show price £25 (normal price £25) Beautiful new edition of the children's classic, illustrated by Tolkien artist Alan Lee. SHOW EXCLUSIVE - NOT YET IN THE SHOPS!

Myth and Magic - by John Howe - Special show price £15 (normal price £19.99) A portfolio of over 250 of John Howe's Tolkien and fantasy cover, calendar and exhibition paintings, with supporting notes, sketches and photographs by the artist. Includes Foreword by Peter Jackson, director of the $300 million film trilogy.

Myth and Magic Poster Collection - Special show price £5 (normal price £14.99) Six stunning poster-sized paintings taken from John Howe's lavish portfolio of work

Lord of the Rings Poster Collection - Special show price £5 (normal price £14.99) A selection of stunning poster paintings from the celebrated Tolkien artist Alan Lee - the man behind many of the striking images from The Lord of The Rings movie.

The definitive guide to the design of the each of the movies, with over 500 illustrations by artists including John Howe and Alan Lee.

Art of the Fellowship of the Rings - Special show price £20 (normal price £25)

Art of the Two Towers - Special show price £20 (normal price £25)

Art of the Return of the King - Special show price £20 (normal price £25)

Illustrated hardback editions of Fellowship of the Rings/ Two Towers/ Return of the King Special show price £20.00 (normal price £25)

A huge thanks go to Harper Collins and of course, John and Alan.

If you haven't got your tickets yet (entry to the show starts from as little as £20 for 13 hours of action packed entertainment) then hurry, don't miss the event of the year!

See you at The Festival!

Show details: www.aaaevents.co.uk

8-09-04 Latest News

A good time was had by all at Barlibash Boston
maegwen @ 9:04 pm EST

This past weekend the folks from TheOneRing.net's IRC server gathered once again for the 4th Annual Barlibash, held this year in Boston to coincide with the Museum of Science's Lord of the Rings exhibit. Barlibash 2004 saw a lot of returning attendees as well as a new crop of Barlifolk to enliven the festivities. What follows is a highly personal account of the weekend of fun and mayhem.

In attendance: Corvar and Kallisti, Charliems and daisygamgee, jincey and samgamgee7, HannaBoffin and Tim, Po and Elfriend, Thorongil and Mrs. Thor (and baby Thor), Nocturna and Angmar, djdeathkiss and Ricky, Balin, Anne, Arwen, JPB, mallorn, Alquawen, Sheelf7, Sirelle, Lursa, Beruthiel, The6thWalker, and Miss Kitty. Lycorth and Nocturna's sister, as well as Alatariel and WeaponX, turned up for the exhibit; Mom, Denise, and Lurking Laurie of #teunc came out for the dinner at Dick's, and Lurking Laurie returned for the pool party.

* * *

I arrived in Boston on Thursday night and the festivities were already in full swing. Wednesday arrivees had had a great night out in the North End on Wednesday evening, dining on fine Italian food and then purchasing vast quantities of pastry from Mike's Pastry to bring back to the hotel. According to folks on the spot, the potential to damage the faux-velvet couches with Tiramisu smears was very real. The hotel staff must have been VERY VERY AFRAID.

The hotel, I should say, was fantastic. Our location this year was in Boston's fashionable Back Bay neighborhood, in Jury's brand new American hotel. The Irish chain is renowned for its Eire hospitality (in Ireland at least), and they've retro fitted an old Police station into a very swish hotel. We lucked out in obtaining the introductory room rate, as this is very much a boutique hotel full of original art and hipsters.

Some service wrinkles aside (Hello, Jury's, whether we're cool or not, it's still the *hospitality* industry), there were no complaints about the choice. The absolute heavenly feather beds and pillows really made up for any other burps.

I met up with the gang outside of Dick's Last Resort, a restaurant in Copley Square known for its food fights, rude waiters, and interesting concept of entertainment. I had left New Jersey late, so I didn't roar into town until about 9:15 p.m. I drove up Huntington Avenue searching for the restaurant while guided via cell phone by Thorongil, who was saying helpful things like "look for the hotel which is at 11:00," but couldn't understand why clock-positions aren't relevant unless you are standing next to each other.

When I pulled up to the restaurant, the TORn gang was milling outside like a restless pride of lions in search of a watering hole. I hailed them, and was quickly joined car side by TORn PTB Corvar, Kallisti, and HannaBoffin. We all decided that heading back to the hotel bar was the wisest choice. Kallisti hopped into my car and we left the others to hoof it back.

We were rejoined by the group in the hotel lobby bar, where we terrorized the other patrons into amscraying to the downstairs bar. In the process of rearranging the hotel's upscale furniture to our liking (a big circle instead of artfully grouped chairs and couches), Hall of Fire moderator po managed to nearly wipe out what had to be a $1000+ crystal lamp whilst trying to pivot a chaise lounge. After a few minutes, hotel staffers with ear pieces snaking out of their heads began to nervously circle our group. One young man gingerly approached us, but in true TORn fashion po had the young man laughing uproariously within seconds, and then the staff left us alone to buy drinks from their bar.

Had a nice chat with Barlimans senior Op Balin, HannaBoffin, and HB's boyfriend Tim. Got to meet Lursa and Nocturna (who were looking as shell-shocked as I felt at that point). Had a Guinness bought for me by the gallant Balin, and after an hour or two tottered out into the night to drive to HannaBoffin's house in the suburbs, which was my residence for the evening.

Drive to their house took about 15 minutes and passed in a blur. HannaBoffin and Tim have a lovely place, and I dove onto the futon for a much-needed night's sleep.

* * *

Awoke Friday to the smell of bacon. Ah, I'd forgotten what it's like to wake up to the scent of someone else cooking breakfast. Was very very nice.

Tim put on a veritable feast for us: eggs made to order, peeled and segmented orange slices arranged nicely in a bowl, freaking AMAZING blueberry pancakes with warmed maple syrup, tea, and orange juice. It was great. HannaBoffin, Kristin (HB's friend who stopped by for the repast), and I ate like queens.

HB and Tim were headed out to the Boston Museum of Science to meet up with the IMAX gang (who had met up with the insane 8am Duck Tour gang), but I drove back to the hotel to check in and find Thorongil and Mrs. Thor, who, like me, had decided that people on vacation do not go sightseeing at 8am.

Baby Thor is beautiful, and almost walking! Hard to believe that he's not quite 11 months yet, though. This has been one bloody LONG year.

Sooooooooooooooooo... the Thorongils and I drove to the museum after a wee period of dealing with the hotel staff over the small matter of the valet service having smashed in the bumper of Mrs. Thor's car. Suffice to say, New York prevailed over Boston, and the bumper damage will be paid for.

#TheOneRing.net's mom and Head of All Things, jincey, awaited us at the front door with our tickets. jincey oversees TORn's chat room and has been a part of the site since the very beginning. We're all hugely indebted to her for keeping the chat family-friendly and a great place for TORn folk to hang out.

The LOTR museum exhibit was very impressive. To be honest, it was a bit overwhelming to me, because there was just so much there that I've written about for TORn over the last two years. Luckily, the details on the exhibit have been reported elsewhere, so I don't need to give exhaustive detail. Highlights for me: the Requiem dress, Galadriel's dress, the color studies done for pre-production, and the massssssssssssssssssive Alan Lee and John Howe pencil sketches. Oh dear Eru. If the exhibit curators had had their acts together, there would have been an exhibit program at the very least, if not actual posters and etc. Alas, the merchandise was limited to Sideshow and etc. stuff much available elsewhere -- at better prices. My one regret: Arwen's banner from ROTK was not there, and all the banners that *were* there were suspended from the ceiling high above the exhibit, so it was impossible to view them. Also, no furniture was on display, or housewares. Sadness.

Barliman's chatter Lycorth was able to hold Anduril, one of the swords on display at the exhibit, and was seen wandering around with a dazed expression of utter rapture. Everyone who was there had their own little thing that just enthralled them. Our resident Nazgul, Nocturna and Angmar, drooled over the Ringwraith set pieces, and mallorn and Alquawen -- ever the Hall of Fire moderators -- eagerly perused all of the exhibits to check the accuracy of the Tolkien knowledge on display. I nearly wrested a large color study of Caras Galadhon at twilight off of the wall. jincey and samgamgee7 had their picture taken on the forced-perspective interactive, which rendered one of them as hobbit-sized and the other as human-sized. Very amusing.

Since everyone was on their own time schedule in perusing the exhibit, we separately migrated back to the hotel, to meet up several hours later for a group trip to Legal Seafoods for dinner.

Sat with Beruthiel and Lursa for a while in the hotel bar. Two super-friendly people. Beruthiel is exactly as you'd imagine, and she's soooo funny. Lursa is adorable -- very nice, very easy to talk to, and a great person. Of course we had the laptop running in the bar -- thank you, Jury's, for your wireless network. I managed to resist the chat's lure, and had an excellent time getting to know them better.

At Legal Seafoods we snagged a private room for our group -- in a very nice wine cellarish atmosphere -- which was great because we are LOUD. The roars of happiness when Table Two donated their appetizer platter to Table One could have shattered glass, I think. We had grown to quite a crowd at this point -- nearly 40 folks by my estimate.

Dinner was great. After we'd consumed all the seafood we could (well, I had steak, because... I don't eat seafood), some folks took off to go barhopping around Boston, while others retreated back to the hotel for drinks within walking distance of our beds, and a herd of hardy folks went in search of munchies to take back to mallorn and Alquawen's room for a viewing of ROTK, which reportedly went on until 1:30 a.m.

According to mallorn, at about 1 a.m. the room was strewn with potato chips, soda, and other junk food, while everyone watched in mostly rapt silence. Partly because the sound system wasn't great, but also because -- hey, these are hardcore LOTR fans ;)

I opted for the best choice, imo, by choosing Guinness in the hotel bar with HannaBoffin, Tim, TORn Staffer Arwen, and others whom I can't recall, lol. While sipping, Arwen showed us her pictures from the Ringers trip to New Zealand for the ROTK premiere and on the Red Carpet Tour. The pictures were amazing, and I am envious anew that I never followed through on my plan to go last December. C'est la vie.

Several Guinnesses were followed by a night in feather mattress heaven. I forgot I am allergic to down, but the headache in the morning was still worth it.

* * *

Saturday morning. A nice peaceful breakfast in the hotel restaurant. A bunch of different things were planned for today. Corvar and Kallisti, mallorn, and a handful of other people opted to go whale watching (or whale seeking, since no whales were ever actually seen). Arwen, Sheelf7, Sirelle, Mr. and Mrs. djdeathkiss, and myself decided to walk Boston's Freedom Trail. Beruthiel and Lursa were meant to join us, but the sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeepyheads had stayed up far too late the evening before, and decided to sleep in, as did Po and Elfriend.

Out on the trail were a crowd of Navy ROTC students, looking spiffy in their white uniforms and hats. God, they are soooo young.

It was a beautiful day, sunshine and puffy clouds, when we started out. At the start of the trail is the monument to the 54th Regiment of the Civil War, the first all-black, all-volunteer regiment to fight in the U.S. armed forces. The massive bronze statue is impressive, depicting Col. Robert Gould Shaw on horseback alongside his troop. The granite plinth features the names of all the men who died alongside him in battle, and we spent some time studying it while waiting for djdeathkiss and Ricky (who had diverted to a coffee shop) to rejoin us.

Sirelle is a history teacher back in Rhode Island, and while we waited she proceeded to tell us the coolest stories about how she actively engages her students in the study of history. The thing I wished that *I* had had in school was the week-long session on the Revolutionary War, where she abridges all the student's rights arbitrarily (no mixing of the sixth and seventh grade, imposes a tax on candy bars, has parents cooperation to assign punitive chores) to teach them how the colonists were treated by Britain. At the end of the week they get to "revolt" and overthrow the Lieutenant Governor (i.e. Sirelle) and hold a "Tea Party" of their own. It sounds very cool, and Sirelle herself is very cool, and her students are lucky.

We walked along the trail for a while longer, stopping at the Granary Burying Ground to see the graves of Ben Franklin, Paul Revere, Sam Adams, and many other famous Americans, including "Mother" Mary Goose, the author of children's nursery rhymes. Also on the trail were the Old North Church (of "one if by land, two if by sea" fame) and the Old State House -- from the balcony of which the Declaration of Independence was first read to the public on July 18, 1776.

After this we wandered over to Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market where we split up. Arwen was headed back to the Science Museum for her second visit to the exhibit, and Sheelf7 wanted to explore the historic site museums, which Sirelle, djdeathkiss, Ricky, and I decided to skip. We went on a little further into the North End, pausing to take a gander at Paul Revere's house before sitting down to the largest hamburgers known to man at a local restaurant. The North End was draped in bunting and lights for the Fisherman's Feast which starts next week, and it really reminded me of Hoboken and Little Italy.

Sirelle and I split off at that point to make our way to the Science Museum where we were meeting Arwen and Alquawen for a Duck Tour of Boston. For the uninitiated, Duck Tours are conducted around Boston via amphibious motored trucks which can navigate land and water. For that reason they are known as "Ducks," and you are encouraged to shout "Quack Quack" at people as you pass them, and Bostonians (or maybe they were tourists?) actually 'Quack Quack' back at you. As a nearly-New-Yorker, I was disconcerted by this, since we tend to pretend that the tour buses wending their way around Manhattan don't exist (sort of like Hogwarts Express).

It was fun, and Alquawen and Sirelle both got to steer the Duck, earning themselves a "I Drove the Duck" sticker for their efforts, which they did continue to wear for the rest of the evening. For some reason our tour guide was Australian, and kept going on at great length about having been an alligator wrestling champion. But he was nice, and it was a pleasant hour and a half.

We all went back to the hotel after that, and prepared for HannaBoffin and Tim's pool party.

The party was a huge success. First of all, HB and Tim are ... like... the BEST. HOSTS. EVER. Food, beverages, party games, pool toys, snacks, cakes, tents, and LAPTOP were all provided for the very rowdy TORn bunch. I'd like to say that I availed myself of all the party paraphernalia, but I got my hands on a computer for the first time in a few days and I didn't let go of it. Lursa sat by my side chatting via her cell phone, and we proceeded to have a very amusing time in #TORn chatting with Wingfoot (who may or may not have actually been on the road to Boston and chatting via a wireless connection, oddly with the same IP address as his home computer. But, enough about that ;) ).

At the party, Elfriend appeared suddenly in full Pirate garb, complete with eye makeup. Very fetching. He proceeded to throw himself into the pool, before any elf-tossing could occur. A few folks got their shots at him later, however, and Elfy did spend most of the party soaking wet. Being thrown in and out of the pool didn't work up enough appetite for the Elf to finish off his special key-lime pie, but he did make a valiant effort.

We had some hardcore swimmers who never left the pool. Who knew jincey could be so feisty with a beach ball? She was lucky Barliman wasn't there, or she just might have gotten herself kicked ;)

samgamgee7 and Balin and Corvar and Miss Kitty also fully enjoyed the pool, and hostess with the mostest, HannaBoffin, did find time to splash around too. Meanwhile, Tim was amazing -- cooking up a storm, keeping things flowing, and in general just being awesome. Tim's sister Donna also worked incredibly hard setting up for the party, and chauffering folks back and forth from the T, waiting patiently as people asked to stop and ogle the LOTR sand sculpture of Saugus, which is down the street from HB's house.

While Lursa and I chatted, the rest of the gang retreated to the SECOND tent (the first one housing the enormous spread of food) where they held two rousing games of LOTR Trivial Pursuit. Sirelle turned out to be whipsmart at Middle Earth facts (makes sense for a history teacher) and reportedly beat everyone handily.

At the end of the party portion of the evening, everyone rejoined us chatters for a small session of "Where is Wingfoot," before we all split up again. A few people went off to see a Comedian/Hypnotist perform at Faneuil Hall, while the rest of us lounged for a while longer before returning to the hotel.

Since I hadn't had a drink all evening due to being a driver, I went back to the hotel bar, of course. We commandeered ourselves a bunch of tables out on the terrace and quickly proceeded to order drinks. Well, as quickly as we could, since the wait staff at the hotel are not exactly eager bunnies. Thanks to The6thWalker for being outspoken and unafraid, and who marched into the hotel to complain, we eventually got rather good service until the end of the evening. We all had a great time talking and recapping the weekend. Miss Kitty patiently read everyone's tarot cards, and Nocturna and Angmar made a surprise appearance (particularly to the other guests sitting on the terrace) in their RingWraith costumes, which were awesome :)

The comedy club folks eventually returned, and we all had one final round of drinks before we were unceremoniously asked to leave the bar, lol. That's TORn folks for you -- we don't leave until they throw us out.

* * *

Sunday morning saw some folks out the door before I even crawled out of bed. Those who stayed later journeyed far afield to find a restaurant serving breakfast at a reasonable price, and stumbled upon Vox Populi which served up the best breakfast taters ever. One-by-one Barlifolk departed, until just a small knot were left. We strolled back to the hotel, and everyone crowded into my room for an awed look at my bathroom (which turned out to be larger than most people's and was able to hold 6-7 people comfortably) and then we all said goodbye. I piled my stuff into the car, and headed south to New Jersey.

* * *

This was my third Barlibash, and I think it may have been my favorite. I want to thank HannaBoffin and Tim with every ounce of appreciation I have for their hospitality: both in putting me up for the first night and for their amazing party hosting. I also want to thank jincey and HannaBoffin for coordinating things so spectacularly, and Kallisti -- our Jenny-on-the-spot -- who provided local intelligence, wisdom, and patience.

It was so wonderful to meet everyone, and to discover once again that Barlifolks are so damn cool. I wish I could see all of you guys more often, up close and in person. But, I'm thankful that we all make the time to see each other as often as we do. See you all next year :)

Second Date Added for Shore Concert in London
Xoanon @ 2:38 pm EST

David writes: I thought that you might like to know that there are still tickets available for the Howard Shore LOTR Symphony at the Royal Albert Hall in London on the 23rd September 2004. The performance on the previous evening of the 22nd was sold out immediately, and the second date was then offered and put on sale from the 3rd August. The Royal Albert Hall management tell me that they are concerned that the hundreds who were turned away from the first performance may not be aware that the second is being run the following evening and/or booking now. We want a full house! Can you publicise this? Howard Shore has kindly agreed to this second date, and we don’t want to let him down! [More]

8-07-04 Latest News

Ala Lee To Attend Fellowship Festival!
leo @ 3:45 am EST

Some might have already guessed it but none other than Alan Lee is the latest addition to the lineup for The Fellowship Festival:

We are proud to announce that Mr. Alan Lee, one of the world's leading Tolkien Artists will be joining us at The Fellowship Festival from 28th-30th August 2004, at Alexandra Palace, London.

As all Tolkien fans out there will know, Alan illustrated the lavish anniversary edition of The Lord of The Rings. Alan also laboured on the New Zealand set of Peter Jackson's film trilogy, The Lord of The Rings. As conceptual designer for the films, it was Alan's job to create the distinctive "look" of Middle Earth.

Alan will be talking about his life and work in our Hall of Fire, along with meeting and signing for fans and attending the Fellowship Feast, the exclusive dinner for 90 fans and the cast and crew attending.

Most importantly, Alan, along with John Howe, the other conceptual artist who worked alongside Alan, will be the judges of the fan art competition.

Alan joins our other distinguished guests including:

Bernard Hill (King Theoden)

John Noble (Denethor)

Craig Parker (Haldir)

Mark Ferguson (Gil-Galid)

Bruce Hopkins (Gamling)

Sarah McLeod (Rosie Cotton)

Cameron Rhodes (Farmer Maggot)

Lawrence Makoare (Lurtz)

Jorn Benzon (Rumil)

Jed Brophy (Snaga/Sharku

Jarl Benzon (Glorfindel)

Sandro Kopp (Gildor)

Gino Acevedo (Weta Workshop)

John Howe (Conceptual Artist)

Come and meet Alan, along with the other 14 other The Lord of The Rings cast and crewmembers at the festival.

You can get your tickets here or call our hotline on +44 (0) 208 880 8150

For all event information and a full list of cast and crew attending go to: www.aaaevents.co.uk!

8-06-04 Latest News

ALA Lists Most Read Books
Xoanon @ 6:18 pm EST

holbytla writes: J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings is on a new list compiled by the American Library Association of the most re-read fiction works (novels, plays an short stories). Other books on the list, which was not ranked, include:

Win Two Silver Day Passes for The Fellowship Festival!
leo @ 12:44 pm EST

Still haven't bought your tickets for The Fellowship Festival? Shame on you! But good thinking as well! Because today we will exclusively give away two Silver Day Passes for the festival, and all you have to do to win them is answer one simple question...

The Fellowship Festival is set to be this years convention-not-to-miss. With an amazing lineup including Bernard Hill, John Noble, John Howe and Alan Lee as well as many of the Kiwi actors we all love so much this will be a weekend not to miss. TheOneRing.net is proud to be allowed to give away two Silver Day Passes for this event, entitling you to the following:

* Numbered ticket allocated in the best available seat in the silver section
* Access to Hall of Fire Theatre activities hosted by Craig Parker and Mark Ferguson (includes Q+A sessions with all cast and crew attending)
* Access to The Talan Workshop and Seminars
* Access to The Pelennor Fields live demonstration Arena
* Entrance to the Official Licensed Exhibition where exclusive LOTR collectables are available
* Entry to the entertainment each evening, Saturday Bilbo Baggins sing along, Sunday, Galadriel's Ball and Monday, Minis Tirith Library Challenge.

All you have to do to win one pair of Passes is answer the following question:

Craig Parker and Mark Ferguson are co-hosting The Fellowship Festival. Craig and Mark made their convention-debut at the same time at the same convention. Please email us the name and year of this convention.

Entries can only be emailed to leo@theonering.net and must be in before sunday 11am GMT. The winner will receive notification from yours truly. Good luck and see you there!


8-03-04 Latest News

DVD Tuesday News
Xoanon @ 7:52 pm EST

This week there are plenty of DVD goodies for you to pick up. Take a look at the list below:

Garage Days

Martson Csokas stars in this comedy written and directed by Alex Proyas. The film focuses on a rock band trying to make it big in the music business. [Amazon.com] [Pre-Order on Amazon.co.uk]

13 Going On 30

Many fans were delighted to see Andy Serkis in a small role in this dramatic comedy starring Jennifer Garner. Take a look at this one for a bit of Andy without the CGI! [Amazon.com] [Amazon.co.uk Region 1 Available only]


Viggo Mortensen stars in this underrated action adventure film. The film is a mix of Indiana Jones and Lawrence of Arabia, with sweeping vistas and plenty of gunfights and bare-knuckle fighting. Catch this one if you missed it in the theatre. [Hidalgo - Widescreen Edition] [Hidalgo - Full Screen Edition] [Amazon.co.uk]

Sliders - TV Series

John Rhys-Davies stars in this Sci-Fi show that follows a team of people who found a way to open gateways to another dimensions. However they are unable to get back home. Get seasons 1 and 2 in one box set! [Amazon.com] [Amazon.co.uk Region 1 Available only]

Hobbit Spotted on Antiques Roadshow
Xoanon @ 7:24 pm EST

LadyGreenleaf writes: I watched a bit of the Antiques Roadshow UK just right now because there was nothing else to watch, and also because I love British accents and I wanted to listen to the people talk. I don't usually watch the show, so I didn't know exactly how it worked, but I have heard of it, and I knew enough to know what was going on. There was a man, who was the 'expert', and a lady, who was the guest, with a bunch of papers and a book.

The papers turned out to be letters from C.S. Lewis, that had apparantely been written to a family member of hers. There was a five-page handwritten one, and another one that was three pages long, but I didn't see if it was handwritten or just typed. It was not shown exactly who they were addressed to, but both were ended with very kind, appreciative comments, which I didn't understand clearly, followed by 'Yours, CS Lewis'.

But that's not the best part! They mentioned The Inklings, and the 'Eagle and Child', or 'Bird and Baby', so I knew that it must have something to do with Tolkien. And, of course, it did. The book turned out to be a copy of The Hobbit, and I just did a bit of research and although I couldn't find the exact book, I did find a picture of the design that was on the cover (it's the attachment), and I can tell you that it was hardcover, and a pale, sort of olive green colour, so maybe you know which one of the many it is. The man from the roadshow said that it didn't have a dust jacket so it was quite dirty and the book itself didn't excite him too much.

But what did excite him was a very good reason to get excited about! Inside the front cover was a postcard written by the author of the book himself!!! They even compared the script writing on the card to the one on the maps in the book, and you could clearly see that it was almost the exact same, the one on the maps a bit neater. The postcard was signed simply 'JRRT', and the man complimented the script, es pecially the 'T'. After this, he said that the postcard from Tolkien was 'very rare', and that the letters from Lewis were 'extremely rare', and also that the postcard (or maybe the book and the postcard both, I'm not sure) would sell for 500 pounds. I live in Canada and have no idea how much that turns out to be in Canadian dollars, but the woman who owned the items looked quite surprised, and quite happy also, so my guess is it's a lot.

All I know is that many people would be willing to pay many thousands of dollars to own something handwritten by JRR Tolkien. I was still in shock trying to figure out how that woman was able to get her hands on something so.... 'precious', to hear how much the letters by Lewis would sell for, but she was quite surprised by that too, so I'm guessing some other large amount of money. I tried to go on the Antiques Roadshow UK website when the show was over, to see if I could get all the details for you, but unfortunately there were none. I also do not know if this is a recent show, or if it is just a rerun shown in Canada. It was surprising nonetheless.

Cards Inc. Announces Special Fellowship Festival Products
leo @ 4:29 pm EST

The Lord of the Rings - Event Exclusive Merchandise

Cards Inc. are please to announce that we will be attending The Fellowship Festival in celebration of The Lord of the Rings on the 28th - 30th of August at Alexanda Palace in London. Fans will have the opportunity to purchase products exclusively designed for the event. These products will only be available to purchase at The Fellowship Festival so book your tickets today to ensure that you don't miss out.

Two exclusive edition collector plates will be available at the event 'Gandalf the Grey' and 'Smeagol'. Both plates form part of the character plate series and are a must for those fans who wish to complete their collection.

There are also two lithographic artprints entitled 'The Shire' and 'The Grey Havens' available to buy, both of which have been produced in a limited edition of only 250 of each. Printed on high quality art paper, each print comes complete with a certificate of authenticity.

Fans will also have the opportunity to purchase exclusive merchandise featuring The Fellowship Festival including a baseball cap, T-shirt and mug. A full colour show brochure will also be available.

Look for more information about The Fellowship Festival or to purchase tickets on www.aaaevents.co.uk!

Mind you, TheOneRing.net will be giving away a pair of Silver Day Passes for the event (valued at £150 each) this friday, so stay tuned!

8-02-04 Latest News

LOTR Symphony in New Jersey
Xoanon @ 11:40 am EST


First NY-Metro Area Engagement!

Howard Shore's THE LORD OF THE RINGS SYMPHONY with The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra

John Mauceri, conductor / Sissel, vocalist / Montclair State University Chorale / New Jersey Youth Chorus

TWO PERFORMANCES ONLY: Friday, December 3, 2004 at 8:00pm and Saturday, December 4, 2004 at 8:00pm

NJPAC and NJSO join forces to present the NY Metropolitan Area premiere of THE LORD OF THE RINGS SYMPHONY: SIX MOVEMENTS FOR ORCHESTRA AND CHORUS, a multi-media extravaganza featuring music from the blockbuster big-screen trilogy whose soundtrack recordings have sold over 4 million copies. This once-in-a-lifetime concert will feature composer Howard Shore's monumental, Grammy and Academy Award-winning score from all three Lord of the Rings films in a six-movement, two-hour musical journey into the realm of Middle Earth – from the tranquility of the Shire to the horrors of Mordor and explosive Mount Doom. To enhance the musical experience, storyboard sketches from the movie trilogy and original illustrations for the centenary edition of J.R.R. Tolkien’s books will be projected above the orchestra. This spectacular event will incorporate more than 200 performers, including the full New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and two choruses.

Tickets for this performance range from $15 to $68. Tickets are on sale now through, via phone toll-free at 1-888-466-5722, online at www.njpac.org, and at the NJPAC Box Office, One Center Street, Newark, open Mon. to Sat. from 12pm to 6pm, and Sun. from 10am to 3pm. (A $2 facility fee will be added to the price of each ticket purchased through NJPAC. No discounts apply for this special engagement. Please note that the NJPAC Box Office will be closed from August 2 through 29; during that period, tickets will be available online at www.njpac.org and via phone at 1-888-466-5722.)


Trilogy Screening in Italy
Xoanon @ 11:34 am EST

Etellenie writes: The movie trilogy of The Lord of the Rings will be shown in Parma (Italy) at the summer arena of the Astra D’Essai theater the next three Thursdays: the 5th, the 12th and the 19th. The evenings will be introduced by costumed pageants, music and a buffet dinner offered to the spectators.

The initiative is organized by the Culture Area of the City of Parma - Cinema Office, in collaboration with the Astra D’Essai theater.

The event will consist of the extended versions of the first two movies, i.e. the extended version of The Company of the Ring on Thursday, August 5th – followed by the extended version of The Two Towers on Thursday, August 12th – and finally on Thursday August 19th The Return of the King. On all three occasions the movie will start at 9:30 p.m., but admission is at 8:30 p.m. with the concert starting at 9:00 p.m.

Every evening, before the movie, there will be a pageant of players dressed in costumes based on the originals worn by the actors in the movie, with a concert of musicians and singers specialized in Medieval and Celtic repertoires, followed by a buffet of welcome to the spectators kindly offered by “Slow Food - Convivio di Parma” to introduce everyone gradually into the climate and atmosphere of the sounds and scenes of the movies.

The initiative was made possible thanks to the precious collaboration of the cultural association Yavin 4, to which the fans of the Lord of the Rings belong. They will characterize the three evenings with their costumes, respectively representing the Nazgûls, the Elves and the Gondorians, with the Medieval musical group of the “Lindòrinand” the first two evenings and the Celtic music group “Kalevala” for the last.

The cultural association “Tribe of the Cuckoos” (from Gattatico, Reggio Emilia) will provide the costumes for the service personnel, and several makeup artists from SFX Studios - Parma (specialized in makeup and special professional effects) the evening of August 19 will apply pointed ears to the spectators. Original jewelry and other products will be displayed for promotional purposes.

The cost of the ticket for each movie is € 7, but a specific subscription ticket to all three is available at the price of just € 12.

The initiative was made possible thanks to the contribution of the Monte Parma Bank.

Information: IAT, Tourist Office of the City of Parma: phone 0039.0521.218889 e-mail turismo@comune.parma.it

8-01-04 Latest News

LOTR Symphony: A Different Perspective Part III
Xoanon @ 10:04 pm EST

BonMothma writes:

I have enjoyed offering fans the chance to see what it’s like to experience “The Lord of the Rings Symphony” from the point of view of a singer in the Mendelssohn Choir (read PART I & PART II). I had planned to talk about this past week’s rehearsals and performances in this final chapter. Last night, however, Dr. Page, the director of the choir, made it clear to me that he does not like details of the rehearsals being made public.

Honestly, it never occurred to me that this might be the case. I liken it to watching all the behind-the-scenes stuff on the extended DVD’s. It gives me a greater appreciation for the finished product when I see the hard work and care that went into it. Obviously, not everyone feels this way, and I will abide by Dr. Page’s wishes.

However, I do not wish to leave this story unfinished, so I’ll skip the rehearsals and talk about what it was like to experience these performances from the stage.

First of all, a bit more about the piece itself. Listeners will hear music other that what’s listed in the program.

The first movement lists “The Prophecy - Concerning Hobbits - The Shadow of the Past - A Short Cut to Mushrooms - The Old Forest - A Knife in the Dark.” It concludes with the music from "The Treason of Isengard" - the wizard fight.

The second movement lists “Many Meetings - The Ring Goes South [this includes some music from FOTR EE when Arwen and Aragorn look at each other as the Fellowship is leaving] - A Journey in the Dark - The Bridge of Khazad-dum - Lothlorien - Gandalf’s Lament - Farewell to Lorien [FOTR EE, Galadriel’s gifts] - The Great River [There is some music from Amon Hen in here next, including some from the score but not on the soundtrack album] - The Breaking of the Fellowship.”

The third movement lists “Foundations of Stone - The Taming of Smeagol - The Riders of Rohan - The Black Gate is Closed - Evenstar - The White Rider - Treebeard - The Forbidden Pool.” I didn’t notice anything additional in this movement.

The fourth movement lists “The Hornburg - Forth Eorlingas - Isengard Unleashed - Gollum’s Song.” Again, nothing additional to what was listed.

The fifth movement lists “Hope and Memory [Pretty much all of “Minas Tirith” is added here] - The White Tree - The Steward of Gondor - Cirith Ungol - Anduril.”

The sixth movement lists “The End of All Things [it actually begins with “The Fields of the Pelennor” - the whole thing, then plays part of “Hope Fails” before going into “The End of All Things.”] - The Return of the King - The Grey Havens - Into the West.”

The setup for these performances differs according to the venue, I’m sure, but for us, the choir was set up behind the orchestra. The screen was above our heads and just in front of the choir. Howard Shore was not extremely pleased with this set up, because the pictures are not supposed to be the focus, but it was the only way to do it at Heinz Hall. It was hard for me to not look up at the pictures when I had down time in the performance, but I glanced at them during the last rehearsal when I could.

Howard Shore’s conducting style was a pleasure to experience. He was very animated and expressive. For me, it really helped set the mood for whatever was happening musically. Offstage, he is quiet and reserved, but very gracious with his fans.

The sound of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra was balanced very differently for me because the percussion section was directly in front of us, and the French horns were in front of them. The strings sounded very far away sometimes (they were), but it gave me an opportunity to hear things in a totally new way. The percussion section was a sight to behold. There were some interesting things used to get the right sounds for the Isengard and Treebeard music. My favorite percussion moments were the drums at the beginning of “The Fields of the Pelennor,” and an occasional deep bass drum, that softly punctuated some of the quieter moments.

One of my favorite instrumental moments was “The Forbidden Pool.” I loved the combination of instruments that creates the sound of water in that sequence. I also loved the music for the lighting of the beacons. The horns all sounded so majestic.

It’s hard to pick one section that I liked singing best. Actually, one of my favorites was a part I did not sing - the Moria part when the Fellowship see the city of Dwarrowdelf. I loved hearing the men’s voices swell at that climax. We moved from Khazad Dum to Lothlorien, which was a big change. I loved singing that part - very ethereal. I think my other favorites were pretty much everything in the fifth and sixth movements, especially “The Steward of Gondor” - a very haunting sound.

I got to talk a bit with Sissel after Wednesday’s rehearsal. She is a very gracious and beautiful lady. I enjoyed listening to her renditions of “Gollum’s Song” and “Into the West,” but where she really shined was on the high parts. “Evenstar” was beautiful, but my favorite was in “The Return of the King,” where Arwen and Aragorn are reunited. Everything gets quiet, and all you hear is her voice. It was stunning.

Howard Shore, if you’re reading this, thank you for your beautiful work on these movies and for putting together such a brilliant symphony. I’m looking forward to the release of the boxed set. I apologize for anything I’ve said in these posts that may have revealed more than you would have wished. I’m just an enthusiastic fan who is very grateful to have experienced this, and wished to share it with those who can't.

I am also grateful to Dr. Page for allowing me to sing with the Mendelssohn Choir. And I wish to thank Fred-O, whose letter to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra prompted them to book these concerts. The final performance for this was on my birthday. To sing my favorite music on my birthday is the best present I could receive. I had to keep my composure and focus for these performances, but once I had finished last night, I began to cry. It was so wonderful and beautiful to participate in this, and I am sorry that it’s over. I will never forget it.

Another 'Figwit' Doco Review
Xoanon @ 12:25 am EST

Phillip writes: You don't seem to have a report of 'the documentary 'Frodo Is Great Who is That?’ I saw it yesterday at the Wellington Film Festival and provide this review.

'Frodo Is Great Who Is That' was shown at the Wellington International Film Festival on July 31st to a full house that included the filmmakers, Jamie Selkirk, and a good number of the people who appear in it. The movie itself helped to general a cheerful, uproarious and celebratory event.

The film itself was well made and well constructed by three young Wellington filmmakers who made the best of a great opportunity. We get the full story of Figwit from his first appearance in FOTR (the clip from the movie with helpful red arrows added) to the filming of his speaking appearance in ROTK (17 takes were required to get the line right), the final footage used in the film and Flight of the Conchords' performance at the Wellington world premiere of ROTK.

In between we get loads of laid-back Kiwi irony from Bret's father (who played Elendil in the prologue), friends, fellow band members, assorted web site organizers from around the world (including, of course, Tehanu), members of The Scottish Fellowship and random members of the public in the streets of Edinburgh during the festival. The big coup is a substantial range of contributions from cast and crew of LOTR, including major contributions from PJ, Barry Osborne, Mark Ordesky and most of the major stars. The whole mood is a mixture of in joking, self-mockery and genuine delight at the whole Figwit phenomenon. We get an hour of good entertainment and lots of laughter, but we also get an insight into the whole FOTR story as a cultural phenomenon that takes us beyond what we have seen in the documentaries on the DVDs or in Costa Botes' 'making of..' film. And beyond that again we get a quite serious implicit case study in the power of the Internet, the relationship between TORN, New Line and PJ, and the global reach of popular cultural phenomena.

The production values in this film are very high, stretching from New Zealand to Israel to Scotland, and including powerful references to the movies themselves. Add to that the significant participation of a lot of well known faces who are not just going through the motions but energetically performing and clearly having a lot of fun ('letting their hair down' seems to be especially appropriate given the frequent send ups of elves and their hair). The film makes the very best of the opportunity they got (all three themselves worked on LOTR). It moves fast, is well structured, has been tightly edited, and has narrative coherence. It deserves a global audience, and at 60 minutes has clearly been aimed at television.

If you get a chance to see it don't leave before the. The climactic joke builds through the credits and reaches its finale after the credits have finished. For those of us who were fortunate enough to attend the Wellington screening this joke continued into the Q and A session afterwards.

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