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August 21, 2000 - September 07, 2000

9-07-00 Latest News

More info on Noble!
Xoanon @ 12:15 pm EST

More info regarding Aussie actor John Noble!


As Artistic Director of the ‘Stage Company of S.A.’ for ten years, John Noble was involved in South Australia’s cultural explosion in the 1970’s and 80’s.

He performed with all of the States major arts companies. He also directed on London’s West End (David Williamson’s Sons of Cain), and acted in an award winning production at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland (Rob George’s Errol Flynn’s Great Big Adventure Book For Boys). He was a cultural guest in Texas as part of S.A’s sesquicentennial sister-state celebrations in 1985, and in 1986 represented Australia at the New Zealand Playwrights Conference in Christchurch. Other highlights include:

 Producing over 70 new Australian plays.

 240 performances of Ron Blair’s one man play ‘The Christian Brothers’.

 Commissioning and directing the enormously successful Percy and Rose for the 1982 Adelaide Festival of Arts and subsequent National tour.

 Producing four major pieces for the 1984 Festival of Arts, including the memorable Masterclass.

He served an eight-year term as a Trustee of the Adelaide Festival Centre. In that time he was associated in the Australian productions of Cats and La Miserable. He was chairman of the inaugural Australian Drama Festival in Adelaide in 1982, and was a foundation member and chairman of the Association of Community Theatres. In 1984 the Premier of S.A. Mr. John Bannon nominated him as Young Australian of the Year for his work in the Arts.

John is Head of Drama at Brent Street School of Arts. He has conducted master classes at N.I.D.A., Flinders University, the R.A.A.F., The Centre for Performing Arts, Carclew Youth Drama Camps, the S.A. Education Department, the National Book Council and the NSW & ACT Writers Centres. He has a private teaching studio specialising in presentation skills, accent modification, and film and TV performance and audition preparation.

As an actor, he has had guest roles in TV series Big Sky, Police Rescue, Water Rats, Timetrax, Above the Law and Tales of the South Pacific. For the last two and a half years he has a semi-regular role in All Saints as the neuro surgeon Dr John Madsen. He appeared in the mini-series Hills End, and films The Dreaming, Nostradamus Kid, A Sting in the Tail and Call me Mr. Brown. In 1999 played Sorrentino in the telemovie Airtight, and Mr. Norris in the feature film The Monkeys Mask. In 2000 he played a support lead in the telemovie A Virtual Nightmare. He will play Denethor in two films in the Lord of the Rings trilogy later this year.

9-04-00 Latest News

New Line Domain Names
Calisuri @ 12:17 pm EST

Corvar did a little research and found that New Line Cinema has been busy registering domain names. And this is not just any ordinary list of domains. This entire list directs you to the ORIGINAL Lord of the Rings movie site! You know, the one that fans pine for daily over the new site! Check it out:


I'm sure there will be more coming soon, especially since the price of domain names has come down dramatically.

And I don't know about you, but I want a peak at what elvishtranslator.com will become in the future! :' )

9-03-00 Latest News

Cast Watch: Weekly LOTR Cast on TV
Xoanon @ 3:37 pm EST

Monday, September 4

Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn) 'A Walk on the Moon', TMN

Brad Dourif (Grima) 'Childs Play', TMN

Sean Bean (Boromir) 'Aireborne', Cinemax

Sean Astin (Sam) 'Toy Soldiers', Cinemax

Tuesday, September 5

Bernard Hill (Theoden) 'The Bounty', Cinemax

Wednesday, September 6

Ian McKellen (Gandalf) 'Gods & Monsters', TMN

Ian Holm (Bilbo) 'The Last of the Blonde Bombshels', TMN

Thursday, September 7

Liv Tyler (Arwen) 'Cookies Fortune', Cinemax

Sean Astin (Sam) 'Toy Soldiers', Cinemax

Friday, September 8

Ian Holm (Bilbo) 'The Last of the Blonde Bombshels', TMN

Christopher Lee (Saruman) 'Diagnosis: Murder', TMN

Sean Astin (Sam) 'Like Father Like Son', TMN & 'Bulworth', Cinemax

Saturday, September 9

Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn) 'A Walk on the Moon', TMN

8-31-00 Latest News

Black Riders drop in for a battle in Arrowtown
Xoanon @ 9:31 am EST

Horsing around . . . The Black Riders of Mordor take a break during filming of the Lord of the Rings trilogy near Arrowtown yesterday afternoon.

By Kerry Williamson

Queenstown: The Black Riders of Mordor rode into Arrowtown yesterday, won a battle, and drank some coffee.

The Otago Daily Times got close to the action yesterday during the filming of parts of the $360 million Lord of the Rings trilogy, near Arrowtown.

A film unit of about 50 crew and 50 extras, several horses, some masked creatures and of course, the famous Black Riders, spent the day filming near the Arrow River.

The unit - part of Wellington producer Peter Jackson's entourage - filmed mostly battle scenes yesterday, and is expected to film for much of this week.

The film's first unit - led by Jackson - is due in the Queenstown-Lakes district early next week.

But yesterday, extras got their chance to shine. And the ODT was there to watch, albeit from a distance and beside a security guard and a media-wary publicist.

There were about 30 horse riders, dressed in dark battle gear, holding aloft Crusader-type flags charging down the river.

They clashed several times with about 20 shorter, stockier warriors on foot - maybe they were evil orcs, maybe they were Middle Earth soldiers - complete with intricate masks, swords, shields and big feet.

After the heat of battle, masks came off to show tired and dirty faces. The Black Riders dismounted and sipped hot coffee.

Yesterday's shoot is one of two taking place in the South Island this week.

The first unit - with stars Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Sean Bean and Orlando Bloom, and director Barrie Osborne - is filming near Golden Bay.

While several people wandered into the site yesterday, most were kept away from filming. Publicist Melissa Booth said security was tight because of the threat of photographers catching secrets on film.

The first film - The Fellowship of the Ring - is due for release late next year.

The company behind the movie is moving to stop the public getting images from the film, NZPA reported from Christchurch yesterday.

Publicist Claire Raskind said the film-maker would be enforcing its copyright, which meant photographs taken by the The Press of a Lord of the Rings film set in Mid-Canterbury could not be sold.

The Evening Post, which was to sell posters of images from the movie, has withdrawn them from sale under threats of an injunction.

8-27-00 Latest News

Fellowship of the Ring Publication Dates
Tookish @ 11:54 am EST

All things considered, it could be that the publishing of FotR might have began (or ended) on 29 July 1954, and the actual release date (when the books hit the stores) was 26 August.

Being a published author myself (albeit in magazines and quarterlies), the time between the two dates sounds about right for the normal gap between printing and distribution, and as the author, Tolkien wouldn't have had to wait until the distribution date (if even to the end of the print run!) to get his author's copies.

So maybe both the Daily News and Tolkien's letters are correct, but from different points of view. I wonder if there's any way to actually confirm if this suspicion of mine is correct, concerning this. The only ways I can think of would be to actually ask the Tolkien heirs (specifically his children) if they remember, or (an outside chance) if the Daily News and/or other English newspapers had a section on book release dates back in 1954, and someone could go back to the 5-week period in question's papers (probably on microfiche) and look for the release date in them.

Great ideas! Any gumshoes out there up for the challenge? :)

8-22-00 Latest News

Wizard Kebab: The Monster Edition.
Tehanu @ 5:24 am EST

I think we've covered all the possibilities here. For those of you following the debate on the Evening Post's mysterious picture, I've compiled the latest ideas on what it could be. It took ages. No more please.

Here goes:
Explanations for that mysterious picture of the impaled wizard keep rolling in....This isn't all of them, but the ones here sum up the rest.
Casper said:
"1) ....maybe it's one of the bogus Palantir visions Sauron put over on him (to
convince him resistance was hopeless by showing *Gandalf* dying a horrible
death). Just about the time Denethor freaked out, Gandalf was down by the
gates where all the big siege engines (including Grond) were raising havoc.
I believe Ian McKellen commented that the character we see in the picture
isn't Gandalf. That would be (sort of) true if it were only an illusion of
(Ulmo came up with something on the same lines: "Idea: The wizard is an effigy of Gandalf made by Orcs (Mordorian or Isengarders) and used as a battle standard or a demoralizer.")

Cipher also says the same, rather eloquently:
"It's a vision sent from Sauron to make Denethor feel isolated and helpless. Denethor, while not liking Gandalf, sees him as a powerful being and perhaps one that could help him out. So Sauron sends Denethor a vision of Gandalf dying horribly on a pike. Supporting evidence? The background is a bluescreen, indicating the use of CG during post production. The vision would be full of smoke, hard to see what's going on, but there would be an overly oppressive *presence* that I'm guessing would have to be depicted using CG.
Secondly: PJ is a big Tolkien fan and an excellent director. Killing Saruman at Ornthanc would completely mess up the ending of the trilogy which is one of its distinguishing characteristics: it may have elves and dwarves, dragons and rings of power, but it's not a fairy tale. Everyone doesn't live happily ever after, and even if you've won the big battle, that doesn't mean you've won everything. That final appearance by Saruman and the saving of the Shire lends a heavy feeling of reality to the story and without it, LOTR would not be as powerful a tale. I'm sure PJ knows this and wouldn't mess with it."

Continuing on with Casper's reasoning:
"2) It may have nothing to do with Gandalf and just be some random old fogey
in a white robe. When the evil hordes descended on Minas Tirith, they did
all sorts of stuff to terrorize the city. Maybe the poor schmuck in the
photo got run over by one of the siege engines or something. The wheel
could (again) be one of the wheels of the huge battering ram.

3) It could be some kind of daydream of Sauron's - going over in his mind
the slowest and most painful way to kill his annoying adversary after his

It can't be a scene from Moria, as some suggested, because Gandalf didn't
wear white robes until after his "death".

It can't be Saruman either. He was dressed in dirty rags by the time he
died, and the victim in the photo is too tidy. Also, I don't think Saruman would have been wearing white even on a good day..."

TheCityOfSyracuse (what, everyone?) said:
"Its Saruman. The setting is the Shire...The "new mill" Rather than kill him with a knife, Grima pushes him somehow as Saruman is gloating on how the hobbits will find much done that they will not undo in their lifetimes."
Lanales Elf Archer said the same thing. So far this is the winning theory in my view.

"Why build an expensive set of the rape of hobbiton (my term)and not use some of the ironic detail that Tolkien clearly intended to make this dramatic point?"

Good thought! Enrique, in Spain, had similar thoughts:
"The very first thing that came to my mind, however, was that they were shooting Sharky´s end (Sarumans death) at the destroyed Shire. Remember that using the rivers power there was a mill, and later the mill was destroyed to build some kind of factory. But it seems unlikely to me that they would have also destroyed the big mill´s wheel (maybe retouched it to a more "spiky" somber apperance) as the mechanism would still be of much industrial use. So, why not have Saruman run away from the hobbit uprising and falling into one of the wheel´s spikes?. That way, the destruction of the Shire really appears after Sauron´s demise. "

Randy had a more metaphysical explanation:
"I strongly believe I have found what the spiked wizard is. It is Gandalf, and the previous theories support mine. Towards the end of the chapter "A Journey in the Dark" there is a line that reads..."The noise of churning water came up from far below, as if some great mill-wheel was turning in the depths." It would seem that Sauron had the orcs of Moria carring out the same sort of tasks that were conducted at Angband, The Dark Tower and Isengard; some sort of evil involving machinery. When Gandalf fell in Moria he was impaled on one of these spike-wheels down below. This of course would necessitate the replacement of his Gandalf the grey body with the Gandalf the white body by Eru. The noises heard down the well could also be said to be akin to machines. This theory could be integrated into the movies without change to the book's storyline."

Whereas Malcolm could imagine a script that would be funnier:
"Ok here's a possible explanation for the wizard on the spike.
The Wizard is Gandalf. When Gandalf goes to break Saruman's Staff they struggle and Gandalf falls on to this big Wheely spikey thing left lying around.
Saruman goes 'HA!'
Gandalf gets off the spike and there is no wound (and no blood)
Saruman goes 'What the ***?'
Gandalf then explains (as he has before) that no mortal weapons can harm him since his rebirth. (From the chapter 'The White Rider': Gandalf says "No blame to you, and no harm done to me. Indeed my friends, none of you have any weapon that could hurt me."
So even Anduril could not hurt Gandalf the White what would a little spike do ?

I think this is PJ's way of showing that Gandalf has returned from death more powerful than he was."

"Maybe this guy is just wearing white against the black colored wheel so the effects guys can make him look like something else. Sort of like the they painted Kevin Bacon different colors in Hollow Man so they could do effects on him. The opposite of acting in front of a green/blue screen," suggests Dave.

Enivri thought "I think it is part
of a dream sequence and that it is Gandalf *Ian Mackellen said it wasn't him
not that it wasn't Gandalf*. I reckon that it's part of one of Frodo's
troubled dreams that he has when he's in Mordor. He doesn't know that
Gandalf is alive and he's probably still upset about his death and so
envisions him dying horribly. Maybe Frodo often dreams of how Gandalf died
at the bottom of the darkness in Moria? That would certainly justify him
losing hope *along with everything else!*"

OK OK, that's enough. We're starting to earn our reputation for being nit-picking fanatics.

A 'Scouring of the Shire' hint?
Tehanu @ 4:56 am EST

Amargasaur and I have been arguing about whether this picture is or is not proof that 'The Scouring of the Shire' takes place in the movies. A. argues that if this is Sam greeting his daughter Elanor on his return home, the only reason there would be tree stumps in the background is if we saw 'Sharkey's people' cutting down trees at some point. I can't see any stumps, just farm junk. He's convinced though.

Amargasaur insists: "...but after adjusting the lighting in the pic they are much clearer. The location of them is perhaps hard to say exactly, but in the first picture, there are two tree stumps, small ones, half way up on the left side of the picture. You might mistake them for barrels of some sort, or something like a black paint can, but at the bottom of them they widen and seem to be set asoundly in the grass. So...look on the left side of the picture, half way up, right against the side of the pic.
Hope that helps!"
Well, my screen isn't good enough to show all that. Still, this is one of a number of encouraging signs that the Scouring is in (like the burning of the mill on the Hobbiton set, for instance.)

8-21-00 Latest News

The Other Ring
Xoanon @ 11:19 am EST

Anyone who's gotten interested in what inspired Tolkien's imagination would like this project - it's an animated version of Wagner's gigantic opera cycle, The Ring - which also centres on a cursed ring. A potted version, using the main elements of the Nordic myth and accompanied by Wagner's music without the singing. Intrigued? You should be. Cursed gold, dragons, swords and sorcery....done in 28 minutes. Initially it'll be aired on BBC/Channel 4TV, I believe, as they're backing it. The makers, Case TV, hope to make it more widely available as a video eventually. We'll keep track of this project too.....something to watch while we wait for LOTR.

Click to enlarge

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