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August 27, 2004 - September 03, 2004

9-03-04 Latest News

Mortensen Exhibit in Alabama
Xoanon @ 8:33 pm EST

Mary writes: The paragraph below is a clipping from the AU Daily e-mail sent to Auburn University employees for daily news and events on August 26, 2004. The exhibition from a private collector has one large photograph by our beloved Viggo Mortensen entitled "Scared Brigit." The subject is three dogs with some interesting color and motion. I did not really have a chance to take time to view/study the photograph as I was working at the time but will be going back for a non-work visit. Just thought y'all should hear about it.

The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art presents the third exhibition in the series entitled Auburn Collects. An Eclectic Aesthetic: Selections from the William Dunlop Collection is an exhibition of outsider art, photography, paintings, works on paper and chalkware objects drawn from the private collection of William Dunlop. The exhibition, which features works by modern and contemporary artists such as Diane Arbus, Nan Goldin, David Lynch, John Waters and Viggo Mortensen is on view beginning today through Nov. 14. Dunlop, an adjunct instructor in the AU Department of Art and an Auburn native, has been collecting for 27 years. For more information contact the museum at 844-1484.

Fellowship Festival Reports and Pictures! - Cadiliniel
leo @ 10:03 am EST

I've written a report of my day at the Fellowship Festival (I was there on Saturday). I wrote it specially for this message board I visit so it's a bit geared towards the members there rather than a general audience, and if more than a little bit fangirly *hee hee* Anyway, I thought I'd send it along, I hope the links to the piccies work. I've taken out a few bits that aren't relevant for a general site...anyway, let me know if it's okay! It's rather John Noble centric, as that was my main reason for going, and there should probably be a language warning thrown in there too, for use of the word 'w*nker' (and I'm quoting John at that point!). Anyway, here it is, let me know if you want to take any bits out of it:

Cadiliniel's journey to the Fellowship Festival 2004

DISCLAIMER: Most of the stuff I write down now is probably going to be mixed up at some bits, as I can't quite remember the order everything happened etc. so, just.bear with me on that front. And when I quote myself or other people, the quotes probably aren't right, but are mostly roughly what I remember them saying.!

I woke at 2am, Saturday, 28th August. I don't think I've ever been awake that early (well, never woken up that early, plenty of times I've stayed up that late!) but then, I don't think I was likely to get much sleep with so much excitement in my veins! I went online so that I could make some last minute posts - turns out one of my friends was online so she and I indulged in some Zero Hour squealage. Then, I realised the time and that I really should start getting ready! So, I said goodbye, promising to text her at some point during the day.

I'd prepared my clothes and bag all the previous few days, so there was no trouble there. I just hoped my t-shirt would go down well rather than badly! After all that, I put all my make up and a comb in my bag in anticipation for the day (needless to say, between everything I had no time to even think about extra beautification!). I checked over everything in my bag, and went downstairs. I wasn't going to have breakfast so early, so I had a quick drink of water before checking my bag yet again and then going to say goodbye to my mum, who wasn't coming but had woken up anyway. My dad and I left the house at about 3.40am.

The journey went well, though the breakfast was basically extortionately priced cardboard. The roads were relatively quiet, considering the hour, even though it's a bank holiday weekend. I managed to see some lovely and eerie low mists on fields, and the Sun slowly waking up. Also discovered that radio is absolutely rubbish at that time of the night/morning, but luckily my dad had a Tom Jones CD in the car that we could listen to part of the way, until the radio stations started playing better music.

We found our way through London easily enough, having looked over directions earlier. Thankfully, there was still very little traffic around, so that made things easier yet again. I was getting more and more excited the closer we got to Alexandra Palace, and we finally arrived at 8.00am. I managed to get even more excited from the walk to the venue from the car park. The excitement was not aided by another car arriving which had the FotR soundtrack blaring from all speakers (and what's more.right at the point where Boromir gets killed.!). I walked to the Palace to find quite a number of people gathered outside - the doors had yet to be opened, even though the opening ceremony was scheduled to begin at 9am. I was set to meet some other members of the LotR Fanatics Plaza. Slowly, we Plazaites seemed to converge, though the doors had still yet to open. Finally, at about 8.45am the doors opened to let us in. Then, there was the queuing. I had my theatre tickets and two of my three autograph tickets, but I needed to pick up one. The queue was huge, many waiting to pick up their tickets to get into the theatre, where the opening ceremony was being held. The queue was very slow moving, and they announced that the opening ceremony had been put back until 9.30am. Still we were queued. We slowly made our way and got our tickets, but there was still a huge amount of people behind us. As we waited for a ticket problem for one of the Plaza members to be sorted out, none other than Craig Parker and Mark Ferguson came out and addressed us all, telling us that they hadn't started without us, but that they were waiting for most people to come in. They went off again, and t hat was my first brush with the stars that day!

We all had different seat numbers so were sat separately in the theatre. I took my seat, which was surprisingly close to the stage (but not close enough for my camera to take clear pictures, it would seem *sigh*). In any case, soon enough, the ceremony began. A host of costumed people came on the stage, to a female voice over. There were Elves, Hobbits and of course humans. There was an Aragorn, and indeed a Boromir, complete with arrows. They did their part then left the stage to loud applause. Then came a voice, announcing onto the stage Mark Ferguson. He came on, welcomed us all, the faux-forgot that he was meant to introduce Craig too. This lead to a funny skit that established clearly that the two make as great a double act as most Con reports would have you believe. (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v57/Cadiliniel/CraigandMark2.jpg and http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v57/Cadiliniel/CraigandMark.jpg) They did a little clapometer thing, where Mark's arms were the indicators of how loudly we should clap/cheer. They also did a spre ading the love thing, which was hilarious, and involved first of all learning to love ourselves, which meant rubbing our own thighs (Craig was hilarious) and then we had to spread the love, and therefore had to rub the thigh of the person on our right (luckily, I was on the end of my row so had no legs to rub ;-)). Craig and Mark demonstrated this to much laughter as they got in a tangle to rub each other's thighs! They then went on to introduce those taking part. This included many Tolkien Society members, and so forth, before moving on, to be frank, to those we were all there to see. There came Gino from WETA, Lawrence, Sandro, Jarl, Jorn, et al. but the screams were at their loudest for both John Howe and Alan Lee, John Noble *g*, Bernard Hill, Bruce Hopkins and Karl Urban. They all came on, whilst Craig and Mark explained a little of how things would work.

First in the theatre was Bernard Hill, who was making his convention debut at the Fellowship Festival ("I'm a virgin." were his own words!). But - I couldn't stay as I knew Karl was signing quite soon, seeing how everything had begun to run late. Another of the Plazaites, Idril, was also having an autograph session with Karl, and of course I made her go before me in the queue because I needed the time to compose myself! We then came to realise that John was signing at this time too.yes, actually sat at the table next to Karl! He was scheduled for signing later, so needless to say I was slightly taken aback. But back to Karl. He was looking lovely as usual, slightly baggy jeans, a blue stripy shirt and a gorgeous leather jacket. Anyway, my turn came. He was absolutely lovely in himself too. He said hi, I said hi (whilst grinning like an idiot) and extended his hand to shake my hand. Well, I thought that would have thrown me. I shook his hand!! Somehow, I managed to keep my composure as he asked how I was, I said I was fine, then I said I was going to be a pain and ask for three things signed. He said it was no problem, and asked my name so that he could sign the three things I had (one 10x8 photo as provided there, my copy of Weapons and Warfare and the programme of the Festival). He signed all three, and I a sked him what the filming commitment was that meant he couldn't be at Collectormania (the friend I was talking to previously was planning on going to Collectormania so wanted know, and frankly so did I, as it didn't say anything on IMDb). He said it was a new project and he asked if I'd be at his Q and A session later. I said yes (how could I not?!) so he said he would probably mention it then. Then I asked if I could have a photo, and he said sure I could, so I gave my camera to his PA to take the photo. How excited did I get when his arm was round my shoulder. Haha, I knew that was going to be a picture to keep for a verrrry long time. (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v57/Cadiliniel/MeandKarlautosession.jpg) I said thanks and he said it was nice to meet me (I managed not to start giggling) so I returned the compliment, said bye and went back to Idril. Then, I started giggling. She was then urging me on to see John.

His signing, as I was saying, was scheduled for later, so I had it my mind that I would have taken part in the debate before having the signing session. There were advantages to both situations; I'd thought if I'd done the debate first at least I'd have met him first and been less likely to mess up all I wanted to say during the signing. Of course, at least if I met him first at the signing I would have met him before having to discuss the finer points of Denethor in front of other people! Anyway, I had Idril urging me to go now, before the queue got big. So, I got everything I wanted signed ready, got TNSC out of my bag (and from the very many folders I had kept it in!) and got my camera ready. I asked Idril if she would watch my bag and she said sure, I think she'd worked out how excited/nervous I was about meeting John *huggles Idril* So anyway off I got to get in the line area for John. There were people in front of me and as they went to him I started getting really nervous. I could tell he was absolutely great in talking to everyone, but I was more nervous I think about me saying something stupid or forgetting to say something I was meant to say. Anyway, I waited, and John's PA was standing around (as were all of the PA's) and he came and noticed my t-shirt. So he came over to talk to me and we had a bit of a chat. He was lovely, and said tha t as soon as he heard that John was going to be at the event he'd e-mailed him asking if he could be his PA! He kept checking his watch as the two that had gone in front of me were taking a while. The PA wasn't telling them to hurry up as there wasn't anyone behind me at this stage. I didn't mind the wait, as I knew I'd want to spend as much time with him as possible, despite my nervousness, but the longer wait was doing nothing to help ease my nerves! I said to the PA as he explained this to me that as long as I got a while with him I didn't mind, to which he smiled, saying it didn't matter as there weren't many people in the queue. So I waited a little longer as the pair in front of me said whatever they were saying and I realised that they were finishing. I took a deep breath, and as they left the PA turned to me and took my ticket (shame, or I could have gone again!) and I went to see John. He smiled and said hi in a very energetic way, and again like Karl, extended his hand to shake mine. So in my head, I was in a bit of a mess, thinking '*gah* I just shook the Noble One's hand!' which had somewhat more significance than shaking Karl's hand, simply because it was John. Anyway, he asked me my name, and I said Nia. He sort of looked at me, and asked 'N-I-A?' I said yes, and couldn't help but grin (actually, I think I was grinning all the time.) as it seemed he recognised the name (maybe he didn't, but it seemed it rang a bell). So I said 'I have sent you e-mails before now.do you know the one you got recently about fan fict ion?' He smiled and said yes he did, to which I replied with something along the lines of: 'Well, that was me, and with slightly ulterior motives. You see (at this point I bring out TNSC* from the pile of stuff I had put on the table) I have a gift for you (to which he seemed quite touched, though I noticed someone had already given him a gift of sorts, though it was wrapped so I have no idea what it was). It's not just from me though, it's from four of us..' then I'm sure I said something else, but I forget what, note he was going 'aw' quite a lot of this time, which was more disconcerting than anything because I had to refrain from giggling like a girl and just keep on talking. Anyway, I went on to say that this was Volume One and that 'I believe you're going to Ring*Con in October?' (to which he nodded) and that he would get Volume 2 then. Thinking back now, I think it would have been better had I said who would be giving it to him them, but that slipped my mind amongst everything! But meeeep here comes the best bit. He said something along the lines of (and I swear, I'm not making this up *g*) "Aw, sweetheart that's sweet, you're going to have to come here to give me a kiss." I think I almost died at that point, but erm, I wasn't not going to, was I?! So yes, my friends, I got a kiss from the Noble One.Chris, Astara - just you wait 'til Ring Con!!! Anyway, I got back round to the 'fan' side of the table, and still managed to keep my composure as he started signing my things. He said it was lucky he saw that e-mail as he'd been away filming in Prague (I resisted the temptation to say "Yeah, I know!" for fear of looking like a total obsessive.) and had only recently got back, and he had loads of stuff in his inbox that needed dealing with, but he saw this one and answered it! Anyhoo, he signed the 10x8 and yes, he is indeed left handed, and thankfully I did resist blurting out the fact and looking like a very strange person (though I think that aspect of my personality was already quite well established :-P). The ink from the pen leaked a little as he signed the 10x8 and he said he'd put to one side so I could come back later to get it once it had dried. I mentioned that I was taking part in the debate later on to which he said something like 'yeah, that should be good' (I forget really, actually, I can't really remember when I mentioned the debate). Then I said as he was signing that we wanted to wish him a belated Happy Birthday for last week to which he came out with a loud 'Yes! It was my birthday this time last week,' (looking at his PA) 'no, Friday it was.' Then his PA said it was Billy's birthday today, and John said something (I forget I'm afraid), and then said 'I think Alan Lee has the birthday the same day as me.' to which I said 'Yes, he does,' so was probably starting to show my obsessive side! He, by this point, had signed the 10x8 and the festival programme, and moved on to Weapons and Warfare, that I'd opened to the right page. He looked at it, maybe a bit as though he hadn't seen the book before (I don't know, he didn't say anything). He looked at the picture on the right hand page and without any warning did The Voice. "I release you from my service, Peregrin, son of Paladin, go forth and die in whichever way you see fit." I think the grin had yet again widened on my face. He looked at his PA, who was stood next to us and said 'That's what I say in that bit,' back in his regular voice. Then joy of joys. He goes and gives and anecdote about the filming of that scene (one I haven't heard before anyway). He said how he had to go and drag Billy along and throw him through the doors, slam the door then turn around and say "Pour more oil on the wood." So one time when he was filming he did all the dragging, slammed the doors, turned round and said "Pour more wood on the oil!" He said how they cut the take, but everyone was bit unsure what exactly was wrong with it and that it took them a while to work out that he'd mixed up 'wood' and 'oil'! Trust me, that story was funnier when he told it.! Then he went ahead and signed the book (there might have been more talking, I can't remember). There were others behind me in the queue now, so obviously he had to end the session, so to speak. He said he'd see me later and told me not to forget my 10x8 and shook my hand and I said bye. I think I'd taken two steps away when I realised I'd gone and forgotten to ask for a bloody photo *doh* The next person in the queue was there, and there was one still waiting. Anyway, I said to his PA I'd forgotten and said I'd wait for the people (erm, make that person) in the queue to go first before I went to get the photo, and the PA graciously accepted the terms *g* So, I waited a bit again, and as the girl in front of me (in the most amazing Gil-Galad costume) finished, the PA (I really should have asked his name) told John.no, actually I think he'd already told John before the girl before me saw him, but anyway. He stood from his chair and came round the front of the table and said "Right, let's get Nia a photo." I think the photo speaks for itself http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v57/Cadiliniel/MeandJohnautosession.jpg *g* I thanked him again and went off, camera in hand back to Idril. A few more of the Plazaites had gathered there now as well, having found us again. I'm glad Idril was there, because my stomach was turning and I was definitely shaking (I think actually I'd been shaking all through the session with John). I think my voice was definitely shaking and I said 'Oh my God, I think I'm going to cry!' I think maybe it looked like I was going to cry too, as Idril said 'Aw, don't cry!' *cough*ravingfangirl*cough*

By now it was about 11.20am, and the debate was scheduled to start at 11.30am, but as everything was running late because of the delay in the morning. We needed to get a group Plaza photo taken, so we went to find somewhere to take it. I needed to go check what time the debate would begin, so on the way out to get our photos taken I had a look to see if the board that was up said anything, but it didn't, so I thought I'd come back and ask after having the photo done. We went out to the corridor between the small hall and the Great Hall and all gathered so we could all take group photos, and one of the attendants took a photo of us all together. I had a sandwich in my bag, and figured I had to eat something before the debate.so I ate a quarter of it, because I couldn't stomach any more at the point! I did have a good few gulps of water though. I went back to the small hall to ask someone what time the debate was set to start, and it was to start at 12.00pm. We had a little look round the stalls but soon enough it was time for me to go to the small area where the debate would take place and meet the others t aking part. I'd had a text from Ian Collier earlier that morning, saying that the debate would take on more of a Q and A session form than a debate. I think this was probably wise, seeing how we only had an hour and it would have been difficult, realistically, to hold a 'debate'. He'd also said in the text that "John seems cool" which had excited me no end! But back to the point. He said that John had told him that he had wanted to meet me before the debate, because it seemed that as I'd sent a list of possible questions to Ann Lindholm (who had asked me to take part) and she had forwarded them to John. That induced some inner *squeeing* on my part! He introduced me to Mike Percivall, another member of the Tolkien Society. We went to the 'stage' (meaning, the bit in front of all the chairs) and I put my bag behind the chairs. I had a little chat with Mike, neither of us being too sure about how this would all be held. The Steward of that area (yeah, I was jealous that all these people got to be called Stewards ;-)) came to be, saying that John had told her he wanted to meet me before the debate. Of course, I was stupid and far too honest when I told her I'd already met him earlier during the signing session >.< I had a few of my friends from the Plaza in the audience which consisted of some say 50 people (some standing). There were four chairs for 'the panel' and on kinda on the other side for John.&n bsp; John had also requested (again, I'm not making this up!) that I sit on the chair that was closest to him *guh* ! Anyway, John arrived, shook hands with Mike Percivall (who had yet to meet him) and we (well, they!) had a chat about how the whole thing should be structured; whether or not there was moderator or anything. John said because it was a small audience and therefore quite intimate so we could really just go ahead and see how it goes. The audience was involved far more than I expected, but that wasn't really a bad thing. I can't remember much of what was said, but I do know that a friend managed to video film all the bits where I spoke to John, so hopefully I can get that all soon!! One question I do remember, and was glad because someone else asked it, was "Had you read the book prior to getting the role?" He said he hadn't (but that he had read The Hobbit), but when he knew he was going to audition for the role of Denethor he had suddenly realised he had this big massive book to read, so he went ahead and found all the Denethor bits and read and re-read them, and then when he knew he had the part he read the whole thing over a few times including all other relevant pieces of info regarding Denethor (I'd think the appendices but I'm not sure if it includes The Palantiri or not). I'll try and remember what else was said properly, but I seriously can't remember right now. I can say that overall he did seem to be defensive of what the film did with Denethor, but I think he had the advantage of being an actor so obviously has to look at things from a filmmaking point of view. I think perhaps he can understand why certain things were done because of this. He did however openly say about the flaming plunge (when I asked about it - w00t) 'Don't tell Peter.actually I think he already knows, but no, I didn't like that.' And he said similarly about Gandalf whacking him with the staff (when he has his 'Flee for your lives' bit) wasn't to his liking either, and that it did more of a disservice to Gandalf, he though. He did, in fact, talk about two additional parts in the EE, and discussed the 'falling over' scene in quite some detail. He said that Denethor is yet again having a go at Faramir and that Faramir is essentially telling his father he is wrong (that must be the '.you would not know your son' bit) and that Denethor stands up in a rage (he did use the word 'make to strike him' at one point, but when I asked about this he seemed to change to it just being Denethor standing up in his rage and making more of that than the striking.hmm.) but then trips over his robes and falls over backwards. He's quite dazed, and when he looks up, he doesn't see Faramir, but he sees Boromir (this sounded quite nice, but I was still a bit miffed at the falling over *g*) and he says something to him, but then the image of Boromir fades and he sees Faramir again. I wasn't quite convinced that the scene was going to do any favours for Denethor, despite the seeing Boromir thing, but I think it'll take actually seeing this scene before it's possible to pass judgement. He told the story of filming the falling over part, saying how PJ got the perfect shot and yet made another 17 takes. And it would seem, ladies, that there is photographic evidence of the bruise that was on his behind, as taken by Billy Boyd, of all people! Apparently someone had phoned up begging John to let them have it for the EE, but he'd said no, because "they've got all this marvellous literary stuff to include; they don't want my bum in there too!" He also spoke about another scene, which sounded more promising. When Denethor is leading the procession to Rath Dinen, he stops and sees the battle below, and he does in fact have the line "Why do the fools fly?" I think my heart actually skipped a beat, because I think that'll perhaps (hopefully!) bring some more depth to Denethor. One other things I remember is that he said how when he went back to do the ADR, he had to spend about two days getting himself depressed enough to get Denethor's voice right again (he said something along the lines of "probably everyone was thinking 'bloody method actors, all wankers'"), even to the extent of getting himself quite ill in order to get in the Denethor frame of mind. (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v57/Cadiliniel/MeandJohninTalan.jpg) After our time was up we all applauded and the audience started to disperse and John thanked us (hand on my shoulder! hand on my shoulder!) and went off for whatever he was doing afterwards.

I gathered my stuff together, and we went to see if we could get to see John Howe and Alan Lee. They weren't signing until 2.00pm, so I went to the queue for Bernard Hill, a queue that had to be the biggest for any of the signings of that day (yay for Bernard!). We were told then that he was going to finish the few at the front and that he would be back at 2.00 to sign for an hour. So, we had a look round some of the stalls again, then eventually went and started queuing for John and Alan, in the hope that they might appear earlier than 2.00pm. I had my illustrated copy of The Hobbit for Alan to sign, and I bought a copy of Myth and Magic for John to sign. I was stood with one of my Plaza friends, Samantha in the queue, so while waiting we did manage to have a good long chat about everything and anything! We were relatively close to the front of a very long queue, and it still took us ages to reach them. Again, I'm not making this up, but while we were waiting one of the Stewards came up to me and said she had a message from John saying that he thought the debate went really well and that he like my questions! *guh* Personal messages! Both Alan and John were great, Alan being very softly spoken, I thought, as he appears on the DVD's! John was amazing, drawing a little sketch for everyone and taking his time over them to get them right. He drew Gandalf for me! After that, it was already about 2.30, so a big queue had formed again for Bernard, which I swiftly joined. I knew John was doing his Q and A session in the main theatre at 3.00pm, and it slowly dawned on me that it was likely I would miss a bit of it because of the size of this queue. I waited, waited, and eventually came to Bernard, sporting white hair and matching beard ('he looks like Father Jack!' [from UK comedy show Father Ted] said a women behind me, and I must say she had a point! In the nicest way possible, of course!). He was every bit the gentleman, shook my hand, asked my name, and even asked about my t-shirt and was generally a very nice man. He signed my things, and I asked for a photo, which he kindly obliged. (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v57/Cadiliniel/MeandBernardautosession.jpg) By now, it was 3.30pm, so I'd only be able to catch half of John's theatre sessio n.

I wrote down various things from the theatre session, but I can't remember the order of them, so I'll just write what I remember! He had a great interaction with the audience who had plenty of questions to ask. Here are some of the things he spoke about. He said he enjoyed filming the Pyre scene because it was so dangerous with the fire and all, it was like being a kid again! He went on to say how he'd always loved to be in a cowboy movie, and that a few years back he got the opportunity and loved it (which film is that?!). He had a little story about how when they won best ensemble cast at the SAG's he got kissed by Catherine Zeta-Jones, but he didn't remember only that someone had got it on video! He also spoke about how everyone had a few too many beers at The One Party and that it was 'wild'. He mentioned that he gets a fight scene in his new film ('with guns and everything') but also that he only gets 7 minutes of screen time (he made a bit of a joke that 'that's how things go, I suppose'). He said of his first reaction to seeing RotK was that he was 'disappointed' that some parts he hoped were in it were cut, but that overall he thought that what he saw was a 'work of genius'. He said he cried 3 times whilst watching the film, Sam's 'I can't carry it, but I can carry you!' bit; Aragorn's speech at the Black Gate; and when Gandalf is telling Pippin about death. He also said he cried at Denethor's bits when he went back to do ADR, because he felt so sorry for him! His session ended to much cheering, and we had a 10 minute break before the comedy radio play, 'LotR 4 - The Return of the Towering Fellowship' was to begin. I went to have a look again at the things to buy, but realised I would have to cash money to buy all the lithographs I wanted. So I came back and decided I'd cash money later.

The play was hilarious. It was performed by Mark (who wrote it), Craig, Cameron and Sarah, whilst Bruce was doing the sound effects. It was all the funnier because it was the first time they'd all read it through together, so there were bloopers abound! It was a tad risqué maybe for a family event, but frankly, it was so funny I don't think anyone really cared. Worth the ticket price alone! It involved the Fellowship regrouping because Sauron was rising again and each member were being picked off one by one, starting with Merry and Pippin. Haldir shows up and kills Aragorn because he distracted him whilst being heroic at Helm's Deep, and intends to kill the rest of them because they're witnesses, but ends up falling in love with King Kong instead! Stand outs that I can remember (though I was laughing too hard to remember many) are 'Sam, I feel there's something strange in the air'; 'Is it the oppressive cloud of impending doom and destruction that Sauron is about to unleash?' 'No, it's the undercurrent of homo-eroticism that so dogs our story!' And a hilarious blooper where Craig ended up saying 'Hobbitship' rather than 'Fellowship', to many whoops from the audience. There were twenty minutes after that ended before it was Karl's turn in the theatre, so I went to cash some money and buy lithographs *g* Oh, and a Festival t-shirt (that only came in size L and XL.).

Karl's Q and A was fantastic, (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v57/Cadiliniel/KarlUrban.jpg) he was absolutely hilarious too, a really nice guy. I even managed to get some fangirling done in the process. He was talking at one point about having to speak Russian in the Bourne Supremacy and how he had a day to learn his lines but he couldn't, so had to stickytape his lines to the back of a car seat that was out of shot when filming! He went on to say something Russian (or something that sounded Russian, anyway) and then said "Now, that something to get your tongue round.ladies." Well, he was asking for it. There were claps and laughs from the audience, and one big lone girly 'WOOOOO!' from me *g* He looked (not at me, he just looked up, but I'm going to pretend he was looking right at me ;-)) and after a slight pause and with a bit of a laugh 'Moving swiftly on."! So, that was fun to say the least. Then he was amazingly cute when this little girl asked him a question at the front of the stage, he kneeled down to lend he his mic, and then answered the question as though directly to her and really well too (I swear I was melting at this point) and then after he answered he told everyone to give her a round of applause for such a good question *awww* And then, that was the last event of the day I would get to see, because it was now 6.00pm, and I had to leav e quite soon. I spent a bit more time with the people I'd met from the Plaza, some of them having to leave too. We had a little last look round the stalls, and all the tables where everyone had been signing were empty, so I took a photo of John's table and was soooo tempted to steal his half-drunk water bottle, but thought better of it, as it would probably be illegal or something ;-) I didn't see John again at the end of the day, but I told Idril, who was attending the Fellowship Feast in the evening to say hi to him for me *g* Then, we said our goodbyes and left, all in very high spirits. The journey home wasn't too bad, except I kept thinking my dad was going to fall asleep.! We arrived home just past midnight and very, very tired.

A few points for you on meeting John. I did in fact pass him a few times during the day when he was on his way to and from places. He made comment on my t-shirt (but I forget what it was *doh*), and I'm sure the word 'gorgeous' and 'babe' were used on two separate occasions. I'd have to say, I agree with whoever it was that said he likes the ladies! He was a really lovely guy, very talkative and energetic, quite assertive in his character. Unfortunately, I have to say he's almost definitely a smoker, but other than that, absolutely without shadow of a doubt bloody marvellous.

So all in all? The best day of my life.

*The Noble Steward's Chronicles - a collection of fanfiction that myself and three very good friends put together as a gift for him, in two parts. Like I said, he gets Volume 2 at RingCon.

I know, it's long...but...detailed ;-) Like I said, it was written for a message board, so it's written a bit more like a message board post than a proper report. Let me know if you'd like me to change anything.



Fellowship Festival Reports and Pictures! - Lady Tinania
leo @ 9:48 am EST

I know you have already had some reports about this event but I wanted to give you the point of view of a first-timer to this sort of event.

I have never been to any sort of convention of any kind and so was really looking forward to, but was a little apprehensive about the event. It had been really hyped up on the aaaevents site, and I was a little disappointed to find out how small it actually was when we arrived on Saturday morning. I bought two three day standard passes, and was worried that there would not be enough to do to cover the three days. How wrong I was.

There were a few problems at the start and it kicked off a little late but it was worth the wait as Craig and Mark took the stage closely followed by Bernard Hill. He seemed a little nervous but soon eased into the question and answer session. By mistake, I found myself in a Tolkien society v. John Noble's Denethor lecture, but I enjoyed it so much I was glad I had got the times wrong. He was very relaxed with the small collection of people watching and willingly answered a variety of questions about his character and performance (I enjoyed it so much that I sat in on another 3 of his Q&A sessions). After this I stayed on in the Talan to listen to 2 lectures on costumes (held by Julia McGee (JediElfQueen) and Maggie Percival) while my partner went off to beat Games Workshop staff at their own game. Following this I got involved in some Hobbit dancing and listened to John Noble's Q&A, and then a costuming workshop where I recreated a (very cheap) version of Galadriel's pin....not too professional looking but still a bargain for £2 and perfect for children. We finished the day at the Bilbo's Sing-along party which was closed (very) early due to poor turn out, but still a good first day.

My second day started with video and slides from Gino Acevado and Lawrence Makoare, covering his transformation from human to Lurtz. This was followed by some shopping at the selection of stalls at the event which covered a variety of price bands (from trips to NZ and £350 Fellowship cloaks to trading cards, posters and pewter ornaments) because I missed the Sindarin lecture I wanted to attend. After this I was lucky enough to be in the front row of the stunt fighting demonstration by Lawrence Makoare and Jed Brophy. It was the highlight of the day. Both performers seemed at ease with the crowd and it turned out to be a very funny experience. The awwww factor was brought in by a very small boy dressed as Gimli, who pretended to embed his toy axe into Lawrence's back. After the successful charity auction (around £2700 raised for Beat Bullying I believe) my next visit was to a lecture (again held by the Julia McGee) about the materials that could be used to make costumes, followed by a Tengwar lecture from the Tolkien society. Later I attended Galadriel's Ball which was better attended than the previous night and was full of people dressed in a variety of costumes. After a bit of 'Strip the Willow' the party was in full swing and was enjoyed by all who attended.

Even after two days, I was still looking forward to the final days events. Bernard Hill was first up again and after listening to him answer questions I made my way into the Talan for a lecture on the materials and clothing worn in the different areas of Middle-Earth (we particularly looked at the women of Dale) held by Maggie Percival. I was desperate to make a Fellowship pin and so joined in with another costuming workshop to create my version of the famous pin. Again, it was on the cheap and cost only £1 but it was a bargain!! Since I had managed to miss every other Q&A with Karl Urban I made a special effort to get to this last one. I was glad I went as he was pleasant and joked with the crowd. Zainab Thorp had been holding Elvish lessons, and I managed to catch the final lecture on conversational Sindarin. She gave out plenty of resources and plenty of information to continue our quest to learn the noble tongue. The closing ceremony was filled with prize giving for the variety of competitions held of the three days, including a trip for two to New Zealand (unfortunately I did not win, but considering we have only just come back from NZ, I was not too disappointed). To fill some time before the Minas Tirith Library Challenge, we played on the games provided by EA Games (of which I particularly liked the PC game Battle for Middle-Earth) before coming 4th (out of about 15) in the trivia challenge. The prizes included Game cubes (for the Art, Poetry and Film winners) and trivia and board games, trading card packs, signed art works and cards for the winners of the trivia quiz (we got a LOTR Trivia game, Hobbit Board game and two packs of trading cards for coming fourth).

All in all, it was a very enjoyable three days. Personally I was glad that there were less people than expected because there was plenty of room to move around and see the events. As it was my first convention I have nothing to compare it to but I enjoyed it and would definitely consider going back next year or going to another event. All the guests were very nice and mixed with us, chatting and having photos taken regardless. I am glad I went and would recommend any fan to go next year.

Lady Tinània

Hall Of Fire Chats This Weekend
Demosthenes @ 9:02 am EST

Little they ate and little they spoke. They could not count the passing of time; and they scarcely dared to move, for the whisper of their voices echoed and rustled in the tunnel.

It is hardly a pleasant thing to be trapped in a dragon's back hallway, and Thorin and Company are soon compelled to find a way of escape, right through Smaug's treasure chamber. Due to Bilbo's quick action, the dwarves were saved from Smaug's first onslaught, but what now is to become of them? Again it is Bilbo who takes the lead, offering to spy out the Dragon's lair a third time. But Smaug is nowhere to be found. When the dragon's away the dwarves will play, and there is much joy at the first sight of the tremendous hoard. Thorin rewards Bilbo with a dazzling mithril coat, and Bilbo himself finds a treasure worth all the rest combined, the great Arkenstone, Heart of the Mountain.

Escape is finally made and comparative safety found, but larger questions loom. Will the Dwarves lust for wealth overcome their good sense? Even if they could get out the treasure, how would they get it home? Has Bilbo been seduced by the lust for riches? How will they survive the oncoming winter? Most of all, where, oh where, is that Dragon?

Come join us this week in #thehalloffire as we discuss The Hobbit: Chapter 13: Not At Home.

Upcoming topics:

Sept 11-12: Middle Earth's Greatest Hero
Sept 18-19: The Hobbit: Chapter 14: Fire and Water
Sept 25-26: The Downfall of Numenor
Oct 2-3: The Hobbit: Chapter 14: The Gathering of the Clouds


#thehalloffire on theonering.net IRC server. Need instructions? Go here:

Chat Times:

Saturday Chat:
5:30pm EST (17:30)
[also 11:30pm (23:30) CET and 7:30am Sunday morning AEST]

Sunday Chat:
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[also 2:00pm (14:00) EST and 4:00am Monday morning AEST]

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9-02-04 Latest News

TORNsibs Treeplanting in honour of LOTR, PJ
Tehanu @ 7:55 pm EST

On Thursday afternoon (NZ time) TORnsibs Delyth and Estelwyn attended the planting of 11 Commemorative Trees in a Wellington park. These trees were purchased with funds raised by members of the TORn boards, as a way of expressing our gratitude for the moving and inspiring work of Peter Jackson and his team.

Here's our report:

To our surprise, Wellington turned on an unusually warm and sunny day, no sign of the wintry cold and rain from yesterday. As one of the council people commented later, LOTR events seem to have this effect on the weather, as the same thing happened on the day of the ROTK premiere.

Estelwyn spent the morning traveling over from Nelson, and we finally met in person at the Wellington Railway Station around lunchtime. We were kindly given a lift out to Willowbank Park by Amanda White, our contact from WCC. She was really excited to have some people from TORn present, and took great delight in introducing us as "The Lord of the Rings Fans". We arrived at the site at about 1pm, which gave us plenty of time to check out the location – a very nice area, with a stream and some large eucalyptus trees, one of which had been blown down in a recent storm, making it seem even more appropriate to be planting there.

Our trees were planted together at a site near the road so they will be easy to find if anyone is there in the future. The trees (kauri – NZ’s largest tree) are 7-8 years old and about 2m tall. They were waiting patiently on the slightly muddy ground by large, freshly dug holes. We were introduced to people as they arrived, including the Mayor, Kerry Prendergast, and Myfanwy Hill, the organiser of the event – and keeper of the mayoral gumboots and the well-polished ceremonial spade!

The ceremony was a pretty low-key affair, which began with an introduction from the manager of the Parks and Gardens department of the council. He explained that the council’s new Commemorative Tree programme was a part of the overall strategy for greening of the city, talked in general about management and care of trees by the council, and said a little about these particular trees.

The Mayor then went on to welcome all those present, including us (Delyth and Estelwyn), 3 city councilors, a handful of council staff, a couple of council parks department volunteers, and a local midwife. She spoke about the concept of planting a tree as a memorial, to celebrate a birth or other event, or to "honour someone or express appreciation". She also mentioned the appropriateness of TORn’s trees launching the Commemorative Tree programme – to be honouring both "one of Wellington’s best-loved sons", and Professor Tolkien, who loved trees! She then indicated that we could say a few words.

Estelwyn agreed to speak on behalf of the TORnsibs, though it was quite impromptu. She explained briefly how the idea of this "commemoration" had evolved, and what it meant to us at TORn – the idea of saying "Thank-you" to Peter Jackson et al. in a tangible, lasting way that also gave something back to the community of Wellington. She mentioned that we were only 2 of hundreds of people round the world who had contributed to this fundraising effort, which also included a large donation to the Organ Donation awareness campaign GiveLife. She finished by explaining the significance for us at TORn of planting 11 trees – 9 for the Fellowship, 1 for PJ, and one for JRRT, plus 11 trees to celebrate 11 Oscars!

After this a Maori man from WCC said a karakia (a Maori prayer/blessing) and then we helped the Mayor plant the first tree! Plenty of photos were taken of us for a local newspaper, and one of the newspaper photographers gleefully informed us that he had just come from a press conference with Peter Jackson about King Kong. We got to plant another two trees while more photos were taken, although without our own pair of ceremonial gumboots it got a bit messy! The remaining trees were planted by the other councilors and invited guests. When all eleven trees were in the ground, we took some photos of the finished job, and then we were whisked off (in good Kiwi style) for a cup of tea in the restaurant next door.

Inside, one of the councilors we met proudly claimed to be the second New Zealander to read LOTR back in 1954. His 4th form (about age 14) English teacher had been a student of Tolkien’s at Oxford and had brought back to NZ three big hard cover books and given them to him to read. He said he had enjoyed them very much, but they were hardly talked about then. He then went on to tell us of his surprise some years later (1968) when he was in California, to discover LOTR had become all the rage with the "flower power" people!

Once everyone had left, Amanda drove us back into town while telling us stories of her encounters with LOTR in Wellington. She had one particularly interesting tidbit of information. She was in the crowd at a rugby match where PJ and co. recorded the "Death!" chant for the Ride of the Rohirrim scene. They also recorded the chanting of "Grond! Grond!"

All in all, it was a fun afternoon. It felt good to represent TORn and to help people understood our reasons for planting these special trees. We want to thank all the TORnsibs who contributed to this fundraising effort, and especially White_Aslan for her organising talent. You can all be really proud – the trees are lovely. Photos to come!

Kong Takes Big First Step
Xoanon @ 12:28 pm EST



Universal City, CA, September 2, 2004 - Principal photography is set to begin September, 2004 on the dramatic adventure King Kong, with triple Academy Award® winner Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King) bringing his sweeping cinematic vision to the iconic story of the gigantic ape-monster captured in the wilds and brought to civilization where he meets his tragic fate. Jackson assumes directing, producing and co-screenwriting duties and surrounds himself with a list of superlative filmmaking and acting talents.

Jackson re-teams with longtime collaborators Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, co-writing the screenplay with three-time Oscar®-winning partner Walsh and The Lord of the Rings co-writer, Academy Award® winner Boyens. The screenplay is based on the original story by Merian C. Cooper and Edgar Wallace, which became the classic 1933 RKO Radio Pictures film, directed by adventurers Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack. Jan Blenkin, Carolynne Cunningham, Fran Walsh and Jackson will produce the film under their WingNut Films banner, with Universal Pictures releasing King Kong worldwide on December 14, 2005. As with his Lord of the Rings trilogy, Jackson will shoot King Kong on location in his native New Zealand.

Set to star in the Universal Pictures release is a slate of some of Hollywood's most versatile and accomplished actors, including Academy Award® nominee Naomi Watts (21 Grams), Jack Black (School of Rock) and Academy Award® winner Adrien Brody (The Pianist).

Naomi Watts portrays Ann Darrow, an actress from the world of vaudeville who finds herself out of a job in Depression-era New York. Her luck changes when she meets Carl Denham, played by Jack Black-an entrepreneur, raconteur, adventurer and filmmaker who is struggling to make a name for himself in the entertainment industry. Bold, ebullient and charismatic, Denham has a natural sense of showmanship and an appetite for greatness, which ultimately leads to catastrophe.

Adrien Brody steps into the role of Jack Driscoll, a New York playwright, who becomes an unlikely hero in a romantic adventure story which will test his physical courage and his heart.

Peter Jackson commented, "I'm thrilled to be working with Naomi-not many actresses could step into Fay Wray's shoes and I have no doubt she will be equally as stunning in the role of Ann Darrow." Watts will be starring opposite Brody in a feisty love story which has been updated from that of the original film. "Adrien is one of the most gifted actors working today-he is smart and charming and incredibly versatile and I think he's going to be fantastic in this role, which is unlike any he has played before."

Jackson has been wanting to work with Jack Black ever since he saw him in High Fidelity. "Jack adds a wonderful dimension to the role of Carl Denham. He's playing a maverick visionary who is undone by the monstrousness of his own ambition."

Cast members also include Andy Serkis (The Lord of the Rings trilogy), Thomas Kretschmann (U-571), Colin Hanks (Orange County) and Kyle Chandler (Angel's Dance, television's Early Edition).

Andy Serkis (who served as the live-action basis behind the CGI Rings character of Gollum) will provide on-set reference for the title character of King Kong.

Serkis also plays the character of Lumpy the cook, in service aboard the tramp steamer Venture, bound for Skull Island, under the command of Captain Englehorn, played by Thomas Kretschmann. Colin Hanks portrays a production assistant to filmmaker Carl Denham and Kyle Chandler takes on the role of a 1930's movie star cast opposite Ann Darrow.

Jackson added, "The fun part of my job is getting to work with talented actors like Colin, Thomas, Kyle and Andy because they bring so much more to a role than what is written on the page. Colin Hanks is the perfect guy to play Denham's assistant, Preston. He is so good - you forget that you're watching an actor - which can be a little disconcerting."

"Thomas brings a quiet authority to the role of Captain Englehorn. His droll sense of irony is the perfect counterpoint to Denham."

Kyle Chandler is playing the role of Bruce Baxter - a nineteen-thirties 'movie star' who appears in the film Denham is shooting. "It's a film within a film; Kyle brings enormous charm and style to this role, managing to capture the quality of some of the great legends of the era, such as Cary Grant and Clark Gable."

King Kong also marks the return of Andy Serkis to New Zealand and will reunite actor and director on another epic piece of fantasy story-telling.

"I'm really looking forward to seeing what Andy Serkis does with the character of Lumpy, the cook. This will be the first time we will actually get to shoot extended drama sequences together, in the full knowledge that Andy will not be 'painted out' after the fact-as he was with Gollum. But Andy hasn't escaped that fate entirely. He will also provide valuable on-set reference for the character of Kong and he has spent weeks in the London Zoo and in the highlands of Rwanda researching various aspects of gorilla behavior. It is not our intention to soften Kong in an attempt to humanize him. The power of the story lies in the fact that this is a savage beast from a hostile environment and we will not compromise that."

Actors Evan Parke (Planet of the Apes), Lobo Chan and Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot) have also come onboard King Kong as crew of the Venture, with Parke as Hayes, the first mate, a hardened ex-infantryman from WWI; Bell as the ship's lookout, Jimmy, a delinquent with a habit for getting into trouble; and Chan rounding out the crew as Choy, the ever-optimistic deckhand.

Jackson's creative team on King Kong includes director of photography Andrew Lesnie (cinematographer for the Rings trilogy and Oscar® winner for The Fellowship of the Ring); editor Jamie Selkirk (Oscar® winner, The Return of the King); production designer Grant Major (Oscar® nominee for all three Rings and winner for The Return of the King); costumer Terry Ryan (The Hard Word, Paradise Road); and unit production manager Anne Bruning, who last worked in New Zealand on The Last Samurai.

Visual effects will be again accomplished by New Zealand-based companies Weta Digital and Weta Workshop, recipients of multiple Academy Awards® for their collective work on The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Visual effects and miniatures will supplement practical locations in creating primordial jungles and '30s-period America.

Stacey Snider, chairman, Universal Pictures, said, "We are thrilled to be joining Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh on the heels of the landmark achievement of The Lord of the Rings. Peter and his team will bring their superior filmmaking, unequalled vision and the latest in film effects to this treasured classic. With the high-voltage casting of Naomi Watts, Jack Black and Adrien Brody, Peter's brought on some of the most talented young actors in Hollywood. There is something unbelievably exciting about working with a filmmaker on his dream project, as King Kong is for Peter. I really look forward to our collaboration."

Jackson noted, "I very much want to respect the iconography of the original film, because I don't believe we should try to change what worked. Our version of King Kong will reflect the same sort of dramatic sensibility we employed on The Lord of the Rings- placing real characters, with real dilemmas, in the context of a truly fantastical world. I'm determined to give the film a gritty reality and to play the dramatic elements of the story for all they're worth. Our movie is set in 1933, and this is important because it means we can invest the story with the mystery and romance of a bygone era. The Thirties was a time of discovery, when we did not know the full parameters of the world and literally, anything was possible."

Peter Jackson made cinematic history with The Lord of the Rings, becoming the first person to direct three major feature films simultaneously. The final installment, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, received 11 Academy Award® nominations and swept every award for which it was nominated (tying the record held by Titanic and Ben-Hur), including Best Picture, Best Directing and Best Adapted Screenplay. The film was awarded BAFTAs for Best Film and Best Adapted Screenplay, with Jackson also garnering Best Director prizes from the Directors Guild, Broadcast Film Critics Association, Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Chicago Film Critics, Los Angeles Film Critics and other nominating groups worldwide. The second installment, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, earned six Academy Award® nominations, including Best Picture. It won two Oscars® and two BAFTA Awards. Released in 2001, the first film in the trilogy, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, was nominated for 13 Academy Awards®, including Best Director, and won four. The film also received the American Film Institute's prestigious Film Award and was nominated for 12 awards from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), winning awards for Best Film and garnering Jackson the David Lean Award for direction. In addition to four Golden Globe nominations, the film also received numerous distinctions and awards around the world.

Jackson and Walsh previously received widespread acclaim for their 1994 feature Heavenly Creatures, which was awarded a Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival and an Academy Award® nomination for Best Screenplay. Other film credits include The Frighteners starring Michael J. Fox, the adult puppet feature Meet the Feebles, the mockumentary Forgotten Silver and Braindead.

Naomi Watts received her first Academy Award® nomination for Best Actress for her role in Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu's 21 Grams, in which she starred alongside Sean Penn and Benicio Del Toro. Her performance also garnered Best Actress Awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Southeastern Film Critics Association, Washington Area Film Critics and San Diego Film Critics, as well as Best Actress nominations from the SAG Awards, BAFTAs, Broadcast Film Critics and Golden Satellites. At the film's premiere at the 2003 Venice International Film Festival, she received the Audience Award (Lion of the Public) for Best Actress, and she was also honored by the Palm Springs Film Festival.

Watts earned widespread acclaim for her work in David Lynch's controversial drama Mullholland Drive, which premiered at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival and which brought her Best Actress Awards from a number of critics' organizations, including the National Society of Film Critics. In addition, she was named the Female Star of Tomorrow at the 2002 ShoWest Convention, and received the Breakthrough Acting Award at the 2002 Hollywood Film Festival.

Watts has been filming non-stop and has an extensive list of upcoming releases: We Don't Live Here Anymore, opposite Laura Dern, Peter Krause and Mark Ruffalo-for which she is also a producer; The Assassination of Richard Nixon, opposite Sean Penn and Don Cheadle; David O. Russell's I (Heart) Huckabee's, with Jude Law and Dustin Hoffman; Stay for Mark Forster, opposite Ewan McGregor and Ryan Gosling; and The Ring 2 - the sequel to the 2001 blockbuster, The Ring.

Last year, Watts starred in the Merchant-Ivory production Le Divorce, in which she joins an ensemble cast, including Kate Hudson, Glenn Close and Stockard Channing, and starred in Gore Verbinski's box office hit The Ring. Other film credits include Undertaking Betty and Ned Kelly.

Born in England, Watts moved to Australia at the age of 14 and began studying acting. Her first major film role came in John Duigan's Flirting. Watts also produced and starred in the short film Ellie Parker, which screened in competition at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival and for which she received the Best Actress in a Short Film Award from the Method Fest.

Jack Black has appeared in many motion pictures, but it was his scene-stealing performance as John Cusack's sarcastic music store employee in Stephen Frears' critically-acclaimed comedy High Fidelity that cemented his place in the hearts of audiences. That breakout role in 2000 garnered him a Blockbuster Entertainment Award in the supporting actor category and a nomination for an American Comedy Award. Black then co-hosted the 2002 MTV Movie Awards with Sarah Michelle Gellar; the program was the highest rated MTV Movie Awards show ever and was the top-rated cable program of the year.

This past October, Black proved his box-office draw with the #1 opening box office hit School of Rock, from producer Scott Rudin, director Richard Linklater and writer Mike White. In the film, for which Black received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy, he plays a failed rock musician who, in order to get some quick rent money, pretends to be a substitute teacher in an uptight private school.

Black most recently appeared in the film Envy, in which he starred opposite Ben Stiller for director Barry Levinson. Black has also finished the voice work for the animated feature Shark Tale. Alongside Will Smith, Angelina Jolie, Renée Zellweger and Martin Scorsese, Black will voice the young character Lenny in a tale about an undersea mob and the trouble they get in to.

Fans also know Black as the lead singer of the rock-folk comedy group Tenacious D, which he created with friend Kyle Gass. Their self-titled album was released in the fall of 2001 on Epic Records and was quickly certified at gold-selling status. The band had a 1999 variety series on HBO and the duo has completed the script for their semi-autobiographical feature Tenacious D in: The Pick of Destiny, with an anticipated start of production later this year.

Black was recently seen on the big screen in two hit comedies: in the Farrelly brothers' Shallow Hal, in which he had his first starring role, opposite Gwyneth Paltrow; and in Orange County, from director Jake Kasdan (Zero Effect) and writer Mike White (Chuck & Buck), in which Black starred alongside Colin Hanks. Black's past film credits also include Saving Silverman (with Jason Biggs and Steve Zahn) and the independent drama Jesus' Son, with Billy Crudup. He made his feature film debut in Tim Robbins' Bob Roberts.

Adrien Brody has made an indelible impression on Hollywood. His Oscar® win for his performance in Roman Polanski's The Pianist made him the youngest person to win a Best Actor award. His portrayal of Wladyslaw Szpilman also earned him Best Actor nominations from the Golden Globes, the Screen Actors Guild and BAFTA. Other accolades for this performance include ones from the Cesar Awards (French equivalent to the Oscars®), the Boston Society of Film Critics and the National Society of Film Critics.

Brody recently starred in M. Night Shyamalan's dramatic thriller, The Village, opposite Joaquin Phoenix, William Hurt and Sigourney Weaver. He recently filmed The Jacket, directed by John Maybury, starring opposite Keira Knightley.

Brody first came to prominence for his role in Steven Soderbergh's King of the Hill, and garnered critical praise in Spike Lee's Summer of Sam and Barry Levinson's Liberty Heights. He also starred in Eli Chouraqui's Harrison's Flowers and in the ensemble film The Singing Detective opposite Robert Downey, Jr., Mel Gibson and Robin Wright Penn, which made its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. His other film credits include Charles Shyer's romantic drama The Affair of the Necklace, opposite Hilary Swank; Ken Loach's Bread and Roses; Terrence Malick's The Thin Red Line; The Last Time I Committed Suicide, with Keanu Reeves; and Eric Bross' Ten Benny. And last year, Brody could be seen in Dummy and Love the Hard Way.

Brody was born and raised in New York City, where he attended the High School for Performing Arts and then the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

Universal Pictures is a division of Universal Studios (www.universalstudios.com). Universal Studios is part of NBC Universal. NBC Universal is one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Formed in May 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment, NBC Universal owns and operates the No. 1 television network, the fastest-growing Spanish-language network, a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80%-owned by General Electric, with 20% controlled by Vivendi Universal.

9-01-04 Latest News

LOTR Symphony Gala in Utah
Xoanon @ 7:55 pm EST

The folks from Into the West write: Into the West is thrilled to present The Lord of the Rings

Inaugural Gala & Fund Raising Event
Hosted by Amanda Dickson of KSL Radio

Friday, October 29th at 5:30 p.m.

Begin the evening with dinner at Hotel Monaco’s Bambara Restaurant, followed by The Lord of the Rings Symphony, composed by Oscar award winner Howard Shore, conducted by John Mauceri of the Hollywood Bowl and performed by Utah Symphony at Abravanel Hall.

Prior to the performance, enjoy entertainment by Jackson Elementary Strings Students, a costume parade, door prizes and a silent auction that includes items from Borders Books and Music, Side Show Collectibles, Cottonwood Mall and Utah Symphony & Opera.

Costume attire is welcome – Feel free to don your finest Lord of the Rings costumes!!

Tickets are $75 per person, which includes a donation to Jackson Elementary School, one of Salt Lake City’s inner city schools. Considered pioneers in music education, their mission is to expose every student to the art of playing the violin. Through learning how to the play the violin, students not only receive a cultural education, they also improve other areas of their academic performance. Please join us in supporting this worthy cause while celebrating the epic music of The Lord of the Rings. All proceeds from this evening’s event will benefit Jackson Elementary School.

Buy your tickets before Wednesday, September 8th,
when tickets go on-sale to the public!

Call now at (801) 533-NOTE (6683) as availability is limited.

Silent Auction Items and Door Prizes include:

If you have an item you would like contribute to this auction, please contact Gloria at GJensen@magellanhealth.com .

Into the West – Lord of the Rings Fellowship of Utah is composed of members who are inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien’s words, have an interest in the encouragement of culture and philanthropy, and promote the values of Service, Celebration and Charity. Our group has monthly educational lectures, parties and ongoing philanthropic events such as quilts for Primary Children’s Hospital, book drives for Valley Mental Health’s ARTEC unit, and humanitarian aid kits for third world countries. If you would like to learn more about us visit our web site at http://vcode.com/intothewest . If you would like receive Into the West information and updates please send your email address to: GJensen@magellanhealth.com .

Into the West gratefully acknowledges:

Utah Symphony & Opera
Bambara Restaurant
Borders Books and Music
Cottonwood Mall
Sideshow Collectibles

Fellowship Festival: A Report!
leo @ 12:47 pm EST

After three days of convention-madness the time has come to write something about it. And to make an undoubtedly long story short: I loved it! It was definetely a weekend well spent. A now for the slightly longer version...

Much has been said and written about the Fellowship Festival already, and rightly so because the lineup they brought to London for the weekend was probably the most impressive I have seen on a fan-organised event (not counting our Oscar-parties).

Bernard Hill, Karl Urban, Alan Lee, John Noble, John Howe, Bruce Hopkins, Lawrence Makoare, Jed Brophy, Craig Parker, Sandro Kopp, Cameron Rhodes, Gino Acevedo, Jarl and Jorn Benzon, Mark Ferguson and Sarah McLeod were those attending and it has been mentioned that the entire New Zealand filmindustry could take the weekend off because of their absence.

The organisers behind the Fellowship Festival have taken a leaf from the (succesfull) idea behind conventions like Ring*Con (the German one) and combined the film with the books by inviting a host of (Tolkien Society) guest speakers and featuring workshops on writing Tengwar, making your own Hobbit-feet and much, much more.

But many of the highlights of the weekend were the panels and workshops in which some of the actors participated: Sarah McLeod and Cameron Rhodes managed to make a Hobbit-dance look good, John Noble spellbounded an audience of Tolkien Society people in a very interesting discussion about his character (Denethor), Sandro Kopp discussed his drawings and sketches (Sandro is in fact a talented artist, watch some of his work on www.Sandro-Kopp.com!), John Howe and Alan Lee discussed their work and had people lining up all the way throughout the hall for their autographs, Lawrence Makoare and Jed Brophy (and every now and then the occasional convention-visitor) did a highly amusing stunt demonstration and of course there was WETA's Gino Acevedo who turned one lucky visitor into an Orc each day during a 2+ hour makeup-session.

And as if that wasn't enough to fill up a large room for an entire weekend there were vendors and companies that filled up the hall with stands. EA Games went all out promoting various new games, the Games Workshop-area never seemed to be empty and companies like Cards Inc. and Comminvent (a company officially licensed to produce and sell beautiful LOTR-inspired jewelry in most European countries) had plenty of space to promote their goods. Smaller spaces were reserved for, amongst others, Red Carpet Tours, Discover Middle-earth, Stansborough Fibres Ltd (the officially licensed company that made the fibre for the Elven cloaks, beautiful stuff!) and Blades Inc.

The other half of the Festival took place in the impressively large (and possibly too large) 'Hall of Fire' where a pretty much non-stop program of q&a's and other forms of entertainment kept visitors entertained throughout the weekend. The organisers were smart in pairing up guests for panels which meant that Jarl and Jorn Benzon, Sandro Kopp and later Jed Brophy did theirs together as well as Bruce Hopkins, Sarah McLeod and Cameron Rhodes. Gino Acevedo and Lawrence Makoare teamed up for a talk about all of the makeup that was done for the films (with Gino admitting that the old-age Bilbo makeup was his favorite) and had a wonderful slideshow of pictures backing them up. Craig Parker and Mark Ferguson (who apart from MC-ing the event also did a few panels) did their stuff together as well, because it hardly seems possible to separate the two.

Moving on swiftly to the highlights, because they were many. Unfortunately you'll have to do without pictures as I was stupid enough to leave my digital camera at home and the ones I made with the disposable one are still being developed. Other people took pictures though; there are a bunch here and of course Ian Smith was there so keep an eye on IanSmith.co.uk for his report and pictures (no rush Ian, no rush...). If you have pictures you'd like to share, please email them my way!

Now I could write books about the many panel-highlights but I won't, partly because I'm hoping someone else will and partly because, well, this would get very long. So I'll summarize a bit. Bernard Hill talked about how he first auditioned for Gandalf but ended up with the part of Theoden, how he 'borrowed' some of the smaller dead Orcs and Uruk's that were used on the scaled down Helms Deep set and his run-in with merchandise like a bobble-head Theoden. In later panels he really got going talking about the makeup-trailer and the Christmas-decorations the cast and crew made for it.

All in all he seemed to have a good time despite admitting he didn't really know what to expect of his first ever convention. The only possible bad reaction he got from the weekend was one question from the audience that went along the lines of: "Is it true that noone on set wanted to do a scene with you because you smell bad?" Of course this question came from Karl Urban so we might need to take a grain of salt with it.

Karl Urban was another great addition to the Festival's lineup, and its a pity that he had to cancel the other convention-appearances he had planned for this year due to work commitments. And yes folks, don't worry he revealed what kind of commitments: he's been cast for a part in the upcoming movie adaptation of Doom (the videogame), you read it here first. Upcoming projects were a recurring theme this weekend, especially behind the scenes, and they should be, but more on that later.

The highlight of the day was the premiere of 'The Lord of the Rings 4: The Return of the Towering Fellowship', a radio play written by Mark Ferguson (and undoubtedly now available on eBay) and performed in front of a live audience by Mark (voicing Frodo), Cameron Rhodes (voicing Elrond, Sam, Gimli, Gandalf, Richard Taylor and those parts I have forgotten), Sarah McLeod (narrating and voicing Rosie Cotton and Arwen), Craig Parker (voicing various Elves, Legolas, Haldir, Peter Jackson, Gollum and Yoda) and Bruce Hopkins (responsible for the sound effects and travelling music). The story in a nutshell: Frodo got bored, reformed the Fellowship and they went on a quest to stop the evil reincarnated Haldir from killing everyone. No innuendo, possible slash-reference or 'open door' was left untouched in the play that kept audiences on the edge of their seats (or rolling around laughing on the floor) for nearly an hour. The second performance on Sunday reached near perfection despite Bruce still getting his sound effects mixed up. The Monday-premiere got rather silly but that was to be expeted and it was a remarkable performance that the actors managed to deliver their lines with straight faces for as long as they did.

The 'topping' for the night was Karl Urban who turned out to be another one of these highly amusing and extremely friendly Kiwi-actors that make most conventions as fun as they are. But with that the evening did not end. Not at all. Every night featured a special event; a karaoke sing-along on Saturday, Galadriel's Ball on Sunday and a quiz on Monday. Unfortunately I haven't been able to attend those, but from what I hear they were great fun but ended too early. This was, or so I have been told, because of location guidelines.

The exception to that rule was the highly exclusive Fellowship Feast that was held every night. People who didn't object to the high ticketprices for the feast (the 200 pounds might have been a bit steep seeing as how people also paid a lot of money for convention-tickets and autographs) were treated to a luxurious four course meal, all the wine you can drink and to top it off some great vocal performances by cast and crew. It is really depressing to see how all the talent can go to one person while some (like me) are stuck with none. Gino Acevedo for instance has a great voice, as has Sarah McLeod. And the family Howe for instance; John in an excellent artist whereas his wife has a gorgeous voice.

Oh well, moving on swiftly again! Sillyness and run roamed the last two days of the Festival. With the Radio Play of course, but other little highlights included the Charity Auction in which Craig, Mark and Karl with a little help from other cast (Lawrence Makoare's intimidation-techniques helped raise the prize on some items and Craig Parker helped raise money but eventually came out on the wrong end of the auction when he was talked into buying a GameCube) auctioned of a wide range of items to help raise money for 'Beat Bullying', a charity that helps develop anti-bullying strategies (soon the running joke became that bullying was wrong but battling was okay).

Craig Parker amused crowds with his sign-language retelling of The Lord of the Rings, John Noble was (proudly) overheard sharing the story of how his two daughters rejected the charms of Orlando Bloom and Viggo Mortensen and Bruce Hopkins, Sarah McLeod and Cameron Rhodes decided to turn things around for their Sunday panel, inviting all the visitors up on stage while taking place in the hall themselves to ask them questions. On Monday their panel turned into a Cameron Rhodes directed scene from Macbeth featuring a forest of convention-visitors, a young lady whose name escaped me playing a character whose name escaped me and a hopeless Bruce Hopkins as the titlecharacter. And these were just some of the highlights...

The Monday ended with the closing ceremony and the announcements of the various contestwinners. The Fellowship Festival ran a bunch; a poetry competition (entries had been read aloud by the actors on the main stage all day, which is a very nice way of getting them out to the general public), and art-competition (judged by Alan Lee and John Howe), a filmcompetition and the almost obligatory costumecompetition. I guess I'll never be a fan of competitions so I won't expand too much on them.

Which brings us to the not so obligatory and slightly more interesting bit of the report, the bit where I tell you all (or; the ones that made it this far) my two cents on the weekend. And I've said it before but I'll say it again: I loved it. In all honesty I have to say that I actually wasn't planning on attending this event, but this was largely due to real life commitments. I am glad I did however. In the jungle of conventions that people can attend nowadays it is nice to see one that we can file under 'quality' instead of 'quantity'.

Too many conventions are too much of the same, and it was refreshing to see one that went the extra distance so that visitors had more then just the usual q&a's and autographsessions. And I think the guests; the cast and crew, enjoyed it too. Some of these guys attend up to or over 10 conventions a year so for them it must be much of the same too.

(This is also why it is nice to see and hear that most of them are looking for other things to do with their time. Bruce Hopkins is making some good progress on his Operation Read and the documentairy he is trying to make about it, Cameron Rhodes I don't think is ever without a job and other actors were heard saying that it was time to stop doing conventions for a while and find 'a real job'. I can only applaud this, as much as I like running into them at events like these, I'd hate for one of them to turn out as some kind of convention-dinosaur, an actor that never really found an another acting job after a memorable performance and spends his days soing conventions and writing autobiographies about his day-and-a-half on the set of Star Wars/Star Trek/Etc Etc Etc (circle as applicable). Also, I think the LOTR-convention-circuit is rapidly 'satisfying' itself. There is an unhealthy amount on conventions out there nowadays and at the rate we are going right now within three months every LOTR-fan that is interested in getting an autograph will have it which undoubtedly will mean that attendance numbers will be dwindling or that the actors won't be able to sell themselves anymore because there are no buyers. My guess is everyone is trying to jump on the bandwagon of LOTR-conventions and that we'll be spreading our own butter too thin. A handful of LOTR-only conventions a year would be a much better situation and by making yourself unique in that way and by offering features and events other conventions haven't got you can possibly draw larger audiences and 'bigger' guests. But hey, I'm a doomthinker so I could be very wrong...)

Obviously the Festival had its minor glitches, but perfection cannot be reached in the first attempt. From an organising point of view some things can definitely be done better; the ticket-system was a bit of a mess and I would also recommend reviewing the prices again. A slightly higher entrance fee and free signatures forever might be more tangable for some visitors. When I am honest I would have to say that I wouldn't pay 20 to 30 pounds for an autograph either. But on the other hand; having your guests sign for free would mean huge waiting lines and that's not really a preferable situation either, so it's a delicate balance that organisers have to keep in mind.

Secondly I think the location could be reviewed as well. Alexandra Palace (a huge building with a gorgeous view over London and plenty of space) was home of this years Fellowship Festival, and it was very nice but a tadbit hard to reach for those depending on public transportation. Attendance numbers were unfortunately not that high, which meant that the Hall of Fire never really filled up (though given; it would be hard to get enough people in that space to make it look crammed). And again there's the opposite side of the coin; from a logistical point of view the location as it was set up now probably couldn't handle more visitors. The Talan (where the Tolkien Society did their panels) couldn't possibly hold more visitors, the passages to both halls would get really crammed if there would have been more visitors travelling from one hall to the other.

It was a pity to see that not a lot of people found their way to Alexandra Palace this time around. Maybe it was the price, maybe it was the fact that is close to other conventions or maybe it was because of reasons mentioned above. It did however give the event a lovely almost intimite feel, with actors wandering around every now and then instead of staying hidden in the green room and very few lines for signatures or food.

Nevertheless there have been some complaints, though a lot of the ones I have heard so far seem to come from people who've never really attended a convention before. Unfortunately this also seems to be the group of people that the Festival is anxious to reach so what do you do? I guess thats a question for the organisers to answer (though for the right fee, *wink* *wink*, *nudge* *nudge*, I'll do some advising) and we'll hopefully see it next year.

Because despite all the bad press they have been getting from certain corners of the internet there will be another Fellowship Festival (August 27th - 29th 2005, mark your calendars!), and rightly so. Because this year the organisers proved that they could deliver on their promises: they brought the guests, they brought the vendors, they have the contacts which means they have a tremendous potential, let's hope they can build on that. And if they make the neccesary changes I'm sure they'll be able to put up a show equal to this one, and probably even better.

So see you there!


8-31-04 Latest News

Detailed Fellowship Festival Reports
Xoanon @ 11:21 am EST

Marysia writes: I just spent three days at the Fellowship Festival in Alexandra Palace.

The Fellowship Festival is the first UK based attempt to run a more typical genre convention rather than a marketplace event for Lord of the Rings movie fans. It will be followed by similar (though "unofficial") events in Manchester in October (Master of the Rings - www.autographmania.co.uk) and Bristol in March 2005 (Return of the Convention - www.nadobra.com/conv) and possibly another Fellowship Festival next August. The question is, does it work?

The Fellowship Festival was both a success and a failure. Originally planned for a room that could hold up to 8000 it was scaled down before the event and even then didn't come near to filling the capacity of the hall used, with a guestimate of 600-900 people there on it's busiest day. This doesn't mean they failed, it just means they over-estimated their audience... 700 people is still a lot of people for this kind of event. However there was a slight element of not having fully pulled away from the marketplace event mould with seperate (and very high) charging for autographs rather than inclusion within the ticket price, and the autograph sessions being run in the noisy dealers/exhibitors room.

But there was a lot they got right, bringing in the sort of elements that make conventions fun. Competitions, workshops etc. Some highlights would be...

The spoof radio play written by Mark Ferguson (Gil-Galad) and performed by him, Craig Parker (Haldir), Sarah McLeod (Rosie Cotton), Cameron Hodges (Farmer Maggot) and sound effects by Bruce Hopkins (Gamling). A followup to RotK where Frodo gets bored of the Grey Havens and comes back to Middle-Earth to get back together with Sam (amid much suggestive implications), Legolas (hilariously played by Craig) and others to defeat the evil resurrected Haldir.

A display recreating various fight scenes from the movies done by Lawrence Makoare (Lurtz/Witchking/Gothmog) and Jed Brophy (Snagu/Sharka/Ringwraith) with audience participation. Jed is a bundle of prat-falling energy and Lawrence has an easy drier humour, the end result was hilarious and included a recreation of the extended DVD version of the death of the Witch King with an 8 year old boy in Gimli costume and a girl dressed as Legolas assisting.

Sandro Kopp (Gildor) talked through a CD full of sketches he had done while on set, some of which can be seen on his website at www.sandrokopp.com. He is an accomplished artist exhibited worldwide and gave a nice view of what it was like to be in the background of the set. For instance 1/20th of the Army of the Dead are played by Sandro in a variety of different costumes.

The Tolkein Society provided a lot of extra content with hobbit dancing (assisted by Cameron Rhodes and Sarah McLeod) and talks on the languages of middle earth and costume making workshops.

Bruce Hopkins performed an impromptu scene from Macbeth under the direction of Cameron Rhodes with a lady from the audience rading for MacBeth and several other audience members playing trees.

John Noble (Denethor) did a particularly touching reading of the winning poetry entry at the closing ceremony.

The cast members present were mostly very relaxed and seemed to have a good time, even those that didn't do so well on the autograph front. They were often seen looking around the exhibition area or sitting in the main hall watching other talks and from what I hear all had a very enjoyable time, especially in the evenings.

This kind of event can work and I think it's a welcome break from cross genre marketplace events, but I hope future organisers look at this event and take note of where it did go wrong. Bigger isn't always better and there are limits to the amount of money fans will pay out. Get the mix right and hopefully events like this will continue in the UK for many years to come.



I visited the Fellowship Festival late on Sunday afternoon, after completing my morning's work and motoring like a fell beast on Pelennor Fields chased by the White One to London.

Once I found the Alexandra Palace, somewhere I'd heard of, and seen from the train, but not gone to by car before, it took a while to find the main entrance (there are two entrances, one to an Ice rink, the other to the Great Court, which led to where the Festival was. We had been greatly encouraged to pre-book our tickets, and were told the ONLY place to buy your tickets for autograph sessions was online. These autograph tickets entitled you to bask in 2 minutes of Star Power, and chat with The Star, and get up to 3 items of your own inscribed as well as 'one of his/hers'. A maximum of 300 tickets per person per day was to be sold.

At the 'Box Office' they had no clue who was still signing, it was 4pm-ish, and nothing big was listed until the Festival Feast took place a mere 3 hours later. The signing stations in the room were deserted. Bruce Hopkins at one end of the line, and Craig Parker at the other were battling with no queues between them. In the centre of the room were a group of folks, some in full dress (Rosy Gamgee, and a few uber-fans) doing a dressed up form of country dancing to a worn out tape, a large block where you could play the LOTR-related EA Games if you so desired, and around the perimeter was a collection of various stalls that helped remind me of school jumble sales and Speech Days. Apart from John Howe and Alan Lee, signing for free, discounted copies of their assorted books (including advanced copies of Alan's excellent revamped The Hobbit (I got 2), we had a pewter seller, a poster seller, a stall promoting New Zealand as a holiday destination, and a mini lecture theatre in the corner where lectures were being given on the intricacies of Elven weapon adornment.

In the middle of the room, next to the folk dancing, was Cards Inc, UK distributor of the Topps cards, and makers of their own lines of trading cards and memorabilia. Talking to some of the guys in the room, the show had so far been a bit of a disappointment. Stars had 'disappeared' when they were advertised to be still signing, and look bored when the flow quickly dried up. The Festival's PR exclaimed the Biggest companies in the World would be fighting to display their latest wares. OK EA Games are quite big, but Sideshow were notable in their absence. Besides Topps, or New Line itself, is there a bigger LOTR related Big Company out there?

Across the hallway, I was able to catch the end of Karl Urban's Q&A. He was able to disappoint many (cancelling his Collectormania appearance) and delight (suggesting his fave film was the Caine version of Get Carter , and dissing Stallone's version (Ok so fish, barrel and shooting comes to mind but...)) someone pointed out it wasn't him at the end of Two Towers riding beside Bernard Hill. Apparently he had to be away (attending his son's birth) that day. He wasn't happy about it. He felt that PJ should have digitally replaced his face on the face of the stand-in. Imagine that, digitally altering reality, in Lord of the Rings! This was followed by the School Nativity Play on Acid AKA Craig Parker and Ferguson's 'Radio Play'. For a family show, it was very much off limits. From what I saw and heard, it made Howard Stern look like Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and the worst sketch on Whose Line is it Anyway, look like Frasier. I think one comment I heard was, Tolkien, and PJ if he was dead, would be rolling in their graves like spinning tops..

With all the 'blowing our own trumpet' you could read on the website and in the mags, what you got for your 20 GBP (or more if you upgraded) really was a waste of money. Ok nice big venue, thousands of seats in the auditorium, and only just 650 tickets sold ALL Sunday.. unless you were stupid enough to buy tickets just for the feast..

If anyone thought Collectormania was bad, they had to be at Alexandra Palace this weekend. I mean, they didn't even have blokes selling 'ltd. ed' film cells!

Trilogy Screening at New York University
Xoanon @ 11:10 am EST

Andrew sends along this announcement: New York University's The Gallatin Film Series, The Tisch School of the Arts & Andrew Vannata present The Lord of the Rings:

FOTR: September 24, 2004 6:00 pm
TTT: October 1, 2004 6:00 pm
ROTK: October 8, 2004 6:00 pm

Cantor Film Center
36 East 8th Street
at University Place

Open to All
Free Admission
Seating First Come Basis

8-30-04 Latest News

LOTR Anime at Dragon Con 2004
Xoanon @ 9:25 pm EST

Kaiser Mike writes: At Dragoncon, there is going to be a showing of the fan-produced parody movie entitled "Inu Yasha: Lord of the Jewel". This film takes animation from the popular anime "Inu Yasha: A Feudal Fairytale" (as seen on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim lineup) and hijacks the plot of the Tolkien Trilogy to forge a comedy of epic epicness! Showing in the Vinings room Saturday night, it is currently scheduled to start around 9:00 pm. Catering to both Ringer and Otaku tastes, this is a must-see for any Dragoncon goer with a sense of humor and a half hour to kill! [www.neobattlepeasant.com]

Additional Notes: This is a "Fan-dub-parody" which is an anime culture custom. These are made by splicing clips of existing shows, and re-doing the dialogue and soundtrack. They are best viewed in group settings, and are made for one purpose: to make people laugh.

Were it to be rated it would probably have a PG-13 rating, mostly for language and suggestive dialogue.

The plot of "Inu Yasha" is very similar to the scenario of LotR. In it, a group of travelers are on a quest to neutralize the evil of a small mystical jewel.

Discover Middle-earth...in the UK
Xoanon @ 9:15 pm EST

Richard from DME Partnership writes:

DME Partnership DiscoverMiddleEarth.co.uk launches the UK's only Middle-Earth tour. A coach Tour from London will visit locations that inspired JRR Tolkien when writing Lord of the Rings including Sauron's Temple in Oxford and the original Two Towers and Shire in Birmingham.

It's nearly three year since the Lord of the Ring's movie trilogy hit our cinema screens and New Zealand became known as Middle-Earth.

Dozens of New Zealand companies of all different sizes jumped on the opportunity the film presented to them and created a huge boost the tourist industry with thousands of people from all over the world visiting the "Middle-Earth" of New Zealand.

While Peter Jackson's movie trilogy was shot in New Zealand, the trilogies author, JRR Tolkien never visited the country and spent most of his life in England. Tolkien drew inspiration from locations in English cities such as Birmingham and Oxford for parts of Middle-Earth including the Shire, The Two Towers and Saurons Temple. Realising little had been done by these cities to capitalise on the renewed interest in Tolkien, two brothers, Richard (24) and Tom Greenwood (22), both recent graduates, set up the DME Partnership to highlight the places in England that inspired Middle-Earth.

Originally the partnership set up a website called www.discovermiddleearth.co.uk which charts Tolkiens life in England and the locations that provided inspiration for The Lord of the Rings. Using original photography DME also produced a 2005 Wall Calendar entitled "Discover England's Two Towers". Following the success of this calendar in early sales online and at Lord of the Rings events, DME have now taken it a step further with the announcement of England's first Middle-Earth coach tour - Destination Middle-Earth.

The first full day coach tour is scheduled for Saturday September 25th and will depart from Central London before heading off to Oxford, the Barrow Downs in Warwickshire and Birmingham. Passengers will be kept amused and informed by Tolkien expert guides and video clips from each location. More dates are set to be announced soon. Booking can be made online at www.discovermiddleearth.co.uk/tour

The tour costs #35 for the full day tour which departs at 9.00am from Central London and returns at 8pm.

Before now there have been occasional small scale tours around individual key Tolkien sites but this will be the only tour to truly take passengers on a journey into England's Middle-Earth by combining many different locations in one tour. The tour will be suitable for people of all ages and is designed to be interesting to anyone who enjoyed the films, books or is simply looking for a day out with a difference.

8-28-04 Latest News

TORn trots out new shirt designs for Dragon Con
Celeborn @ 1:14 am EST

TheOneRing.net will offer four new shirt styles for the fall, three of which will be available to buy at Dragon Con in Atlanta September 3 - 6.

We don't want to give away everything at once but the three shirts available at the fantasy convention (with its own heavy-duty Tolkien tract of programming) will have new sayings and will be in colors slightly different from what TORn has offered previously.

One has a "pretty Elf-man" joke on the back for people who have never read Tolkien's books while another returns to TORn's name sake and has a reference about a ring, or at least something precious.

The final shirt, which features a full seven color front and the likeness of a top-notch idol of millions is a "Thank you" note to Peter Jackson.

The fourth shirt that will be available on the web site is a polo-style collared shirt with an embroidered TheOneRing.net logo. It will be available in four colors. This shirt, because of its extra cost on TORn's end will be ordered from the production company as it is ordered from TORn and will take longer to get to TORNados but will be well worth the wait.

The t-shirts each feature text from the recent fan-made "Aniron" font used by express permission from its creator. Restricted from commercial use, the font is available for fan use on his web site found here.

TORn still has a few of our old style shirts available but sizes and color choices are limited. Any shirts orders that cannot be filled will be refunded. We do still have a healthy stock of our "Return of the One Party" shirts available.

All our current merchandise and the new items are or will be available at our T-Shirt Store: [Click Here]

And of course buying our items not only gets you great stuff, it helps keep TheOneRing.net on line.

Images of the new shirts will be posted shortly.

8-27-04 Latest News

The Hall of Fire Focus: Samwise Gamgee
Jincey @ 9:00 pm EST

'Why, Sam,' [Frodo] said, 'to hear you somehow makes me as merry as if the story was already written. But you’ve left out one of the chief characters: Samwise the stouthearted.' "I want to hear more about Sam, dad. Why didn’t they put in more of his talk, dad? That’s what I like, it makes me laugh. And Frodo wouldn't have got far without Sam, would he, dad?"

One of the most beloved characters in Tolkien's trilogy is without question, Samwise Gamgee. That ordinary hobbit, representative of all that's sound and sane against a background of darkness and despair, who was able to do the extraordinary, even the impossible, and live to tell the tale.

Do you see Sam as a faithful friend and kind hearted companion, or the dim-witted klutz and comic-relief, sort of Sancho Panza to Frodo's Don Quixote? Or is he the "everyman" of Middle Earth, the character Tolkien himself said he most related to? Or is Sam the true, courageous hero of Lord of the Rings? Was Sam just an ordinary hobbit? Was he tempted by the Ring? Was he the cause of Gollum’s ultimate damnation? These questions and more will be explored as we look at this amusing, confusing and delightful character.

Come join us and our special guest moderator, SamGamgee7, this week in #thehalloffire as we discuss "Samwise Gamgee, Hobbit Hero".

Upcoming Topics:
Sept 4-5: The Hobbit: Chapter 13: Not At Home
Sept 11-12: Middle Earth's Greatest Hero
Sept 18-19: The Hobbit: Chapter 14: Fire and Water
Sept 25-26: The Downfall of Numenor
Oct 2-3: The Hobbit: Chapter 14: The Gathering of the Clouds

#thehalloffire on theonering.net IRC server. Need instructions? Go here: [here]

Chat Times:
Saturday Chat:
5:30pm EST (17:30)
[also 11:30pm (23:30) CET and 7:30am Sunday morning AEST]

Sunday Chat:
8:00 pm (20:00) CET
[also 2:00pm (14:00) EST and 4:00am Monday morning AEST]

EST = Eastern Time, USA's East Coast
CET = Central European Time, Central Europe
AEST = Australian East Coast

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