Go back to Special Reports Archives

September 02, 2001 - September 11, 2001

9-11-01 Latest News

Terrorist Attack News
Calisuri @ 9:45 am EST

Red Cross appeals for blood: 1-800-448-3543

9:41am PT

Hello everyone. I am in horror this morning. I realize that the news sites are all very slow at the moment so I'm going to provide this page which I'll try to update with the latest news. I will do this for as long as I can stand it. I am literally feeling ill at the horror of this event.

The United State Military has put the entire Atlantic Fleet - Threat Con Delta - Largest threat level. Its the level it goes to at times of war.

I'm done updating folks. I want to spend some time with family and friends. I think the news sites should be upadting pretty regularly and should be able to be accessed now. here is one link that I found which has the latest news. http://www.masslive.com/newsflash/index.ssf?/pages/terrorism.html

266 Confirmed Dead.

Official Announcement from American Airlines
Two Hijacked Planes
Flight 11 - 767 - Boston to LA 81 passengers, 2 pilots, 9 crew
Flight 77 - 757 - Dullus to LA 58 passengers, 2 pilots, 4 crew
Both have crashed and were used in these terrorist attacks.

United Airlines 93 - 757 - Newark to San Fran - Unknown passangers. Confirmed crashed south of Pittsburgh.

The Facts:
- 2 planes crashed into the world trade center.
- The first flight was a hijacked plane from Boston to LA, American Airlines Flight 11
- The second plane, which we watched hit the second tower on LIVE tv, proved that this was a terrorist attack
- Both towers are completed destroyed.
- Manhattan has been sealed off. No train or bus service.
- Fighter jets are circling Lower Manhattan and DC. 16 jets are in DC.
- President Bush has devoted ALL federal resources to finding out who did this.
- The White House and the Pentagon are being evacuated.
- A plane has crashed into the heliport at the Pentagon in Washington DC. 9:40 Flight, a 767. Was originally thought to be a USAir Flight, but USAir confirms it was not.
- American Airlines Flight 77 From Dullus to Los Angeles. 54 Passengers was hijacked. Might be the plane that went down near Pentagon.
- Plane crash 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. Somerset County near Route 30. United 93 757 Newark to San Fran

"A passanger onboard used cell phone to call 911 and got an operator in Somerset county and told the operator that this wasn't a hoax the plane had been hijacked and that they needed help. He kept the line open and reported an explosion in the plane and seeing white flame coming towards him....and the line went dead. This is being reported on local news here in Pitts."

- Sears Tower in Chicago is being evacuated.
- FAA Is shutting down all take offs. All airports are being closed.
- US borders have been closed.
- A first, military jets are patrolling over Washington DC.
- President of Palestine has condemned the attack.
- The Talaban, of Afghanistan, is denying any involvement.
- Los Angeles and San Fran on tactical alert.
- Arabic newspaper says Bin Laden warned 3 weeks ago he would attack American interests. He promised a very big one.
- Worldwide places of interest being evacuated.
- 22 International flight diverted to Canada (9:30am)
- 50 Flights still in the air trying to reach location. (9:30am)
- 2 International flights from Europe, in which they have no responded.(9:30am)

First time in US history that all flights are being grounded.

- The second flight was not a regular plane, but there were no windows on the side, which means it was not a passanger jet.
- Rumors have Osama Bin Laden responsible.
- Democratic front of the Libyian Palestinian Front is rumored to have been involved.
- Two more Hijacked flights might be on the way to LAX
- FAA getting numerous calls about possible hijackings.
- United Flight 175 is missing (Boston to LA)
- The Intelligence Dept says there was no advance warning. At all.

9-10-01 Latest News

Lincoln Center Reports
Xoanon @ 11:25 pm EST

Here we have an easy archive of all our reports from the Lincoln Center event.

Report 1

Report 2

Report 3

Reports 4 and 5

Report 6

Reports 7 and 8

Report 9

Report 10

9-09-01 Latest News

Harry and the Hobbit: Wizardry in the Timing
Xoanon @ 11:31 am EST


Of all the literary and cinematic genres, fantasy ought to come closest to plumbing the depths of the human mind. Its rules are the rules of dreams, its monsters the stuff of nightmares. But with rare exceptions — the 1933 "King Kong" comes to mind — few live-action fantasy films have taken full advantage of the genre's possibilities. The release of two eagerly anticipated fantasy films, "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" and "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," may change all that, making this the winter of the wizard.

For readers, actually, it's been wizard time for three years or five decades, depending on when you start counting — from the publication of the first of J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter books, in 1998, or from the early 1950's, when their ancestor J. R. R. Tolkien's trilogy, "The Lord of the Rings," appeared. Both cycles set an epic struggle between good and evil among magicians and mythological creatures. They share not only a genre and a central theme but the fanatical devotion of hordes of readers whose fervent attention to every detail of the fictional world hovers between longing and faith. The film versions of the two sagas promise to challenge and expand those obsessions.

"The Fellowship of the Ring," which opens on Dec. 19, is only the first serving of the director Peter Jackson's interpretation of the epic, with two more films to follow. With the producers Barrie M. Osborne and Tim Sanders, Mr. Jackson and his wife and co-writer, Fran Walsh, set in motion a project of extraordinary scope. All three films were shot simultaneously in Mr. Jackson's native New Zealand. That meant actors like Elijah Wood, who plays the hobbit Frodo Baggins, the story's diminutive, furry-footed hero; Ian McKellen, who plays the wizard Gandalf; and assorted elves (Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Liv Tyler), dwarves (John Rhys-Davies) and human warriors (Viggo Mortensen, Sean Bean) lived for up to a year in Mr. Jackson's antipodean Middle Earth.

Sir Ian says he was originally "somewhat apprehensive about spending an entire year away from home, but it ended up being the most fulfilling and enjoyable job that I've had in 40 years of professional acting." Filming all three movies at once offered the filmmakers consistency and economies of scale, but at a reported $270 million ($90 million per installment), it was a huge commitment on the part of the studio, New Line Cinema.

Eventually, the Harry Potter saga will be even longer than "The Lord of the Rings." Ms. Rowling has planned seven books set at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, although only four are written so far. Since her main characters begin the series as 11-year-olds and age one year per book, making several books into films simultaneously would not be practical, says the director of the first one, Chris Columbus. "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," the opening segment, is scheduled for release on Nov. 16; Warner Brothers also has plans to film the next book, "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets."

Warner Brothers chose Mr. Columbus, the director of "Home Alone," for the first Harry Potter film after negotiations with Steven Spielberg fell through. Part of Mr. Columbus's appeal was his skill and experience working with child actors, says the producer, David Heyman. Finding the right Harry was harder. "We began looking in November of 1999," Mr. Heyman says. "By July of 2000 we still hadn't found our Harry." Mr. Columbus had seen the young British actor Daniel Radcliffe in a BBC adaptation of "David Copperfield," but he was said to be unavailable. Then Mr. Heyman, who is British, went to the theater in London with Steve Kloves, the screenwriter, and spotted a potential Harry in the audience.

"I saw this boy who combined a wonderful sense of curiosity, openness and generosity with a warmth that wasn't sentimental or too cute," Mr. Heyman says. "He seemed accessible — an Everyboy. While I was staring at him, I heard my name, and next to him was a man I knew, Alan Radcliffe. He introduced me to his wife, Marcia, and his son, Daniel. The play was a blur — I kept looking behind me at Daniel. I called the next day and said, `Alan, your son! Would you allow him to audition?' " Mr. Heyman persuaded the parents to let Daniel become Harry Potter.

Most of the other child actors were newcomers to film, Mr. Columbus says. "We were looking at a real sense of freshness."

Adults include Fiona Shaw as Harry's horrid Aunt Petunia; Maggie Smith as the stern but fair deputy headmistress, Minerva McGonagall; and Alan Rickman as the sinister potions professor, Severus Snape.

Bringing freshness to "The Fellowship of the Ring" is a much harder task, given the 50 years of influence it has exerted on the genre.

When J. R .R. Tolkien wrote "The Lord of the Rings" in the years after the Second World War, he meant to create a pre-medieval mythology for the English people, believing that their linguistic and narrative heritage had been ravaged by the Norman Conquest nine centuries earlier. An outspoken enemy of technology, Tolkien longed for an England before the invention of engines, especially engines of war. Still, the smoldering incantatory fire that his story lighted in readers' imaginations had by the 1970's exploded, scattering dwarves, elves and — most of all — wizards across story lines and media that would surely have made the tradition-minded scholar cringe. Blame Tolkien for resin figurines of bearded elders carrying crystal-headed staffs and for armies of elven horsemen charging across a computer screen at the flick of a joystick.

Blame him, too, for Harry Potter. Of course, the orphaned boy who develops his magical powers at Hogwarts has many ancestors. Ms. Rowling writes in a tradition of British children's fiction that embraces school stories like Geoffrey Willans's satirical Molesworth books, set at a school called St. Custards; and fantasy like the Narnia chronicles, by Tolkien's friend C. S. Lewis, which sent ordinary children through magical portals to fight evil in a world of witches and talking beasts. Nevertheless, "The Lord of the Rings" casts such a shadow over the genre it created that Harry Potter could hardly exist without it.

Since filmmakers have had nearly 50 years in which to tackle "The Lord of the Rings," the timing of this production seems striking. Is Tolkien flying from page to screen on Ms. Rowling's robe-tails? Unlikely, as an executive producer, Mark Ordesky, points out: Mr. Jackson had been working on "The Lord of the Rings" for two years when Ms. Rowling's first book was published. Still, he says, the two projects have complemented each other. Mr. Heyman, too, sees the films as companions in arms, not opposing forces. "I hope `The Lord of the Rings' is brilliant," he says. "It can only serve us well if it is."

Is the timing just a coincidence, then? Or is some more magical power at work — does some sorcerer have the zeitgeist in thrall? It's not magic, says Mr. Jackson, but the very force that Tolkien so loathed — technology. "About five years ago, I developed a couple of movies using computer effects, and I began thinking about what projects could make use of this groundbreaking effects technology," he says. "I wanted not just special-effects-driven films but films that actually had stories. `Lord of the Rings' came immediately into my mind. Previously only a cartoon version was made, because the technology didn't yet exist to make a realistic live-action film."

Mr. Jackson's explanation, practical as it is, goes only so far. After all, Willis O'Brien didn't need computers to make King Kong bat airplanes out of the sky when he created the special effects for that movie in 1933. Filmmakers have been representing imaginary elements from the medium's earliest days, developing their audience's expectations as they go. Someday the Balrog — a cave demon conjured from computer-generated lava and flame, in which Mr. Jackson and his collaborators take great pride — may seem as technologically crude as George Reeves, television's Superman, flying against a projected backdrop with his arms stretched out, his cape flapping in the wind of a fan.

The experience of Mr. Columbus goes a long way to explaining the timing of the two fantasies. Mr. Columbus credits his daughter Eleanor, then 10, with bringing him to the project by insisting that he read the book. Engrossing as they are, the Harry Potter books are not the first children's fantasy novels worthy of adult attention. Their crossover success probably has a lot to do with demographics — armies of Eleanors pestering their parents. Those passionate fans place an extra burden on both films.

Authors and readers as careful as Tolkien, Ms. Rowling and their fans require equally meticulous filmmakers. Tolkien, a philologist, invented entire languages, complete with grammar and writing systems, for his elves, dwarves and other races. "When we made an inscription, we couldn't just scratch out some writing," Mr. Ordesky says. "There are people out there who can read Dwarvish. We had to make sure it was correct."

IN "The Lord of the Rings," Frodo Baggins, a young hobbit — hobbits are a home-loving race fond of their gardens and cozy underground homes — is given a grave and dangerous responsibility. He must destroy the Master Ring that gives its wearer dominion over all the inhabitants of Middle Earth, before it falls into the hands of Sauron the Dark Lord, who forged it long ago and then lost it. As Sauron searches for the Ring with all the resources of a well- staffed inferno, Frodo sets out with a small retinue of dwarves, elves, men and hobbits under the guidance of Gandalf. Their goal: To carry the Ring into Mordor, the Dark Lord's own territory, and there destroy it by throwing it into the fires of Mount Doom, where it was forged.

In "Harry Potter," the young wizard takes on the Frodo role, with a bit of Gandalf thrown in. Like Frodo, Harry is a person of small stature and more or less ordinary gifts (for a wizard, anyway). What sets him apart from the other students at Hogwarts — aside from his skill at Quidditch, a sport that seems made for special effects, played on flying broomsticks with three kinds of magical balls — are his courage, called forth like Frodo's at moments of dire necessity, and his destiny, entangled like Frodo's with that of the saga's Dark Lord. When Harry was only a baby, his parents died fighting the evil wizard Voldemort. Harry escaped with his life, but Voldemort's misfired curse left a scar shaped like a lightning bolt across his forehead and tied the older wizard to the baby with bonds of fear and revenge. Harry lives with his unpleasant and decidedly unmagical aunt and uncle — portrayed by Fiona Shaw and Richard Griffiths — until the year he turns 11, when he's summoned to Hogwarts to prepare for his enchanted destiny.

Ms. Rowling's vision differs from Tolkien's at several key points. Where Tolkien invented an entire world separate from our own — or perhaps, as Mr. Jackson suggests, the ancestor of it — Ms. Rowling tucks her magical world into the interstices of the universe where "muggles," or nonmagical folks, go about their humdrum business. Much of the film was shot on location in the United Kingdom, including scenes at the King Cross railroad station in London as young wizards set out for school. Wizards dress in robes and pointy hats, write with quill pens and send messages by owl instead of post. They find muggle fashions and technology — sneakers, telephones — utterly mystifying.

Like the contrast in "Lord of the Rings" between the homely Shire, where hobbits live like villagers in a Thomas Hardy novel, and the exotic forests, mines, plains and mountains where the bulk of the adventure takes place, the distinction in the Harry Potter story between the muggle and wizardly dominions makes it easier for the audience to identify with the young hero.

LIKE Harry at the beginning of the story, we're confined to a muggle world despite the magic within us. Surely we, too, deserve to express our inner marvels and save the world while we're at it.

The contrast between the two domains also provides a vantage point from which Ms. Rowling towers over her predecessor: humor. In both the book and the movie, the hobbits are genial enough in their lighter moments. In the movie, the size difference between them and the wizards gives Sir Ian some fine opportunities for slapstick, as low-hanging chandeliers and ceilings menace Gandalf when he visits Hobbiton. Nevertheless, Tolkien does better with grand battles than repartee. Samples of the film's action sequences show perilous drops over yawning chasms or faceless, demonic horsemen in billowing cloaks barely missing the heroes; the audience is clearly meant to gasp, not giggle. Parallel scenes from "Harry Potter," although potentially just as scary, are infused with funny surprises. This is, after all, a film in which a nearly headless ghost — a small flap of skin keeps him out of the headless ghosts' club — is played by the comedian John Cleese.

Ms. Rowling helped shape the film from the beginning, says Mr. Columbus, a fact that he expects will be helpful in satisfying the fans. "She's probably the most useful collaborator you could have," he says. "Jo Rowling was always available, without ever being prohibitive," Mr. Heyman adds. "She can tell you the 12 uses of dragon blood, or the color of the tapestry in the Gryffindor common room. She had great ideas. It was her idea to cast Robbie Coltrane as Hagrid the groundskeeper."

With an older book and a more mature fan base, the Tolkien team faced a different challenge. In the master's absence, Mr. Jackson was free to make his own interpretation of the book, although he, too, claims to have stuck as closely as possible to what he understood of the author's intention. Mr. Jackson set about it by using technology and artifice to make technology and artifice seem to disappear. "People somehow think that because it's fantasy, it doesn't have to be real, and I think that's a huge mistake," he said. "If it looks too stylized or fake, the audience isn't going to buy into it. We built the set where the hobbits live a year before we started shooting, rather than the typical three weeks. During that year we planted the gardens. We put cabbages and carrots in, we put hedges in, we planted grass seed and weeds, so after a year the entire place had grown and looked completely real."

Rather like an ecologist reintroducing locally extinct bears and wildcats, Tolkien borrowed from the Scandinavian and other European myths and invented his own natural spirits, such as the treelike Ents, to repopulate England's imagination. He was passionately attached to his homeland. But to create an English Middle Earth, Mr. Jackson says, he had to move Tolkien's story around the world to his own native New Zealand, where he found a temperate, European-looking landscape not yet laced with roads and strung with telephone poles.

THE quest for realism extends to the acting. Mr. Jackson wanted people, not archetypes. "I hate the idea of guys with pointy hats who can fire lightning out of their fingers," he says. Although Tolkien described Gandalf as an immortal sent to Middle Earth in the body of an old man, Sir Ian emphasizes his human aspect. "What you'll see on screen is someone whose supernatural qualities are guiding his will and purpose but not his everyday existence," he says.

With Sir Ian playing the testy wizard, the film has as good a chance as any of avoiding a pointy-hatted cliché. The Harry Potter team has the advantage of hindsight here. Knowing all about the clichés, Ms. Rowling was able to play with them. She even built a hat into her story as a character. (It sorts incoming Hogwarts students into the school's four houses.) Designers have followed her subtly satirical lead, making robes and broomsticks, potions and wands seem as ordinary and kid-like as sneakers and basketballs.

Even so, there's nothing like an original — whether a fantasy, a wizard, or even a hat. "Ah, yes, the hat," Sir Ian says. "It was always useful for making me feel like Gandalf. It's such a potent image of a wizard, and there are many references in Tolkien to it. Gandalf loses his hat in the Mines of Moria when he takes on the Balrog. His character undergoes a transformation, and afterwards he doesn't wear it." Like the Ring itself, the hat is a powerful symbol, but it's also practical: "Without the hat," Sir Ian says, "you have a problem of what to do with all the hair."

9-07-01 Latest News

Confirmed: Upcoming LOTR DVD is widescreen!
Quickbeam @ 12:27 am EST

Greetings — Quickbeam here.

It’s all over. The fans prevail!

The new DVD of Ralph Bakshi’s 1978 The Lord of the Rings will truly be in it’s original aspect ratio [yes, the real anamorphic widescreen that we all want] and we will be able to see each and every hand-painted frame in its entirety. Nothing cropped. Nothing missing. That’s what DVD is all about.

It comes out next Tuesday, September 11, 2001, and we heartily recommend you grab a copy.

We all know the poor quality approach that Warner took with Willy Wonka 30th Anniversay Edition, releasing that film in butchered pan-and-scan. But the outcry from fans blew the doors off! Warner quickly turned tail and soon that title will be rereleased with a glorious new widescreen edition.

Since fans of Wonka have achieved a new consumer awareness, we Tolkien fans reap the benefit! Something has clicked at Warner and the LOTR film will be produced right the first time.

You know, it’s not everybody’s cup of tea. Many are critical of this adaptation complaining of the stylistic choices, the unusual psychedelic lighting effects, the script. I happen to be fond of this movie because it was wildly creative, risky, and ground-breaking for its time. But that is NOT really the point here.

1. Fans of fantasy want the same thing: to see their movies treated with due care, not just slopped together as a lame "family" product that serves only as a babysitter for the kids.

2. Fans of DVD want the same thing: movies in anamorphic widescreen so they can enjoy the full artistic integrity of a film.

Nobody does an angry mob better than Tolkien fans, that’s for sure!

We launched the petition only a few weeks ago, and the response was like a thunderclap booming through the mountains. Many people would not only sign their names, but they went further to offer stinging comments like:

"I'm a 31 year old mother of two and a die hard Tolkien Geek: screw with me and I'll never again buy ANY Warner titles, period."

"Take care of the fanbase Warner Bros., after all it's they who pay you!"

"What kind of company takes pride in doing something half-assed?"

But success is ours! Now we know the DVD will be true anamorphic widescreen and will also include the original theatrical trailer! So put down your mouse, pull out your $19.95, and show the studio how much you appreciate it when "fantasy" is treated with proper care.

This is a win/win situation for us, because now Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema will see how much we really care about Tolkien’s work.

Much too hasty,



P.S. Please keep in mind the Rankin/Bass T.V. versions of The Hobbit and The Return of the King will also be out on DVD. These two features would never be in anamorphic widescreen because they were originally produced for television. In their case, it is not pan-and-scan at all, it really is a full-frame presentation just as intended. If you really like that bizarre chorus of orcs singing "Where There’s a Whip, There’s a Way" then be sure to get these titles as well.

9-06-01 Latest News

Weekly Cast Watch
Xoanon @ 9:10 pm EST

Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn)

28 Days (2000)
Walk on the Moon, A (1999) UK
Perfect Murder, A (1998) UK
Thin Red Line, The (1998) UK
Psycho (1998) UK
G.I. Jane (1997) UK
Passion of Darkly Noon, The (1995)
Prophecy, The (1995)
Crew, The (1994)
Ruby Cairo (1993)
Indian Runner, The (1991) UK
Young Guns II (1990) UK
Witness (1985)

Liv Tyler (Arwen)

Onegin (1999)
Plunkett & Macleane (1999)
Can't Hardly Wait (1998) UK
U Turn (1997) UK
That Thing You Do! (1996)
Heavy (1995)
Silent Fall (1994)

Ian Holm (Bilbo)

Last of the Blonde Bombshells, The (2000) (TV)
eXistenZ (1999) UK
Alice Through the Looking Glass (1999) (TV)
Fifth Element, The (1997) UK
Hamlet (1990) UK
Henry V (1989)
Dance with a Stranger (1985)
Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984)
All Quiet on the Western Front (1979) (TV)
Alien (1979) UK
Severed Head, A (1971) UK
Fixer, The (1968) UK

Sean Bean (Boromir)

Stormy Monday (1988)

Martyn Sanderson (Bree Gatekeeper)

Ned Kelly (1970)

John Noble (Denethor)

Airtight (1999) (TV) UK

Peter Mackenzie (Elendil)

Chill Factor (1999)
Major League: Back to the Minors (1998) UK
Nick of Time (1995)
Off Limits (1988)
Good Morning, Vietnam (1987) UK

Karl Urban (Eomer)

Heaven (1998)

Hugo Weaving (Elrond)

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

Miranda Otto (Eowyn)

What Lies Beneath (2000)
Jack Bull, The (1999) (TV)
Thin Red Line, The (1998) UK
Well, The (1997) UK
Love Serenade (1996)

David Wenham (Faramir)

Molokai: The Story of Father Damien (1999)
Dark City (1998) UK

Elijah Wood (Frodo)

Bumblebee Flies Anyway, The (2000)
Black and White (1999)
Faculty, The (1998) UK
Good Son, The (1993)
Forever Young (1992) UK
Paradise (1991)
Internal Affairs (1990)
Back to the Future Part II (1989)

Cate Blanchett (Galadriel)

Gift, The (2000)
Ideal Husband, An (1999) UK
Pushing Tin (1999) UK
Talented Mr. Ripley, The (1999) UK
Elizabeth (1998)

Ian McKellen (Gandalf)

X-Men (2000) UK
Apt Pupil (1998) UK
Gods and Monsters (1998) UK
Restoration (1995)
Six Degrees of Separation (1993)

John Rhys-Davies (Gimli)

Secret of the Andes (1998) UK
Cats Don't Dance (1997)
Bloodsport 3 (1996)
Cyborg Cop (1994)
Sunset Grill (1993)
Perry Mason: The Case of the Fatal Framing (1992) (TV)
Tusks (1990)
Gifted One, The (1989) (TV)

Andy Serkis (Gollum)

Topsy-Turvy (1999) UK
Tale of Sweety Barrett, The (1998) UK
Among Giants (1998) UK
Career Girls (1997)

Bruce Spence (Mouth of Sauron)

Dark City (1998) UK
Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995) UK
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)
Cars That Ate Paris, The (1974) UK

Sean Astin (Sam)

Icebreaker (1999)
Deterrence (1999)
Kimberly (1999)
Dish Dogs (1998)
Bulworth (1998) UK
Harrison Bergeron (1995) (TV)
Safe Passage (1994)
Teresa's Tattoo (1994)
Low Life, The (1994/I)
Where the Day Takes You (1992) UK
Encino Man (1992) UK
Toy Soldiers (1991) UK
War of the Roses, The (1989) UK
White Water Summer (1987) UK
Goonies, The (1985)

Christopher Lee (Saruman)

Sleepy Hollow (1999) UK
Tale of the Mummy (1998) UK
Safari 3000 (1982)
Nothing But the Night (1972)
Hannie Caulder (1971) UK
One More Time (1970)
Brides of Fu Manchu, The (1966)
Gorgon, The (1964) UK
Longest Day, The (1962) UK
City of the Dead, The (1960)
Traitor, The (1957)
Moulin Rouge (1952) UK
Scott of the Antarctic (1948)

Bernard Hill (Theoden)

True Crime (1999) UK
Loss of Sexual Innocence, The (1999) UK
Midsummer Night's Dream, A (1999) UK
Shirley Valentine (1989) UK
Gandhi (1982) UK

Brad Dourif (Wormtongue)

Ghost, The (2000)
Shadow Hours (2000)
Storytellers, The (1999) UK
Urban Legend (1998) UK
Death Machine (1995)
Color of Night (1994) UK
Body Parts (1991)
Jungle Fever (1991)
Hidden Agenda (1990)
Mississippi Burning (1988)

Jim Rygiel (SFX)

Anna and the King (1999)
Star Trek: Insurrection (1998)
Last of the Mohicans, The (1992)
Batman Returns (1992)
Alien³ (1992)
Ghost (1990)
Solar Crisis (1990)
2010 (1984)

Howard Shore (Composer)

High Fidelity (2000)
Analyze This (1999)
Dogma (1999)
eXistenZ (1999)
Game, The (1997)
Truth About Cats & Dogs, The (1996)
That Thing You Do! (1996)
Striptease (1996)
Se7en (1995)
White Man's Burden (1995)
Moonlight and Valentino (1995)
Ed Wood (1994)
Philadelphia (1993)
She-Devil (1989)
Innocent Man, An (1989)
Moving (1988)
Fire with Fire (1986)
Fly, The (1986)
Places in the Heart (1984)

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

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

1,000,000 in Print!
Xoanon @ 5:54 pm EST

One-volume Movie Tie-in Edition Hits One Million Mark

September 6, 2001 -- Houghton Mifflin has gone back to press for the seventh time on the one-volume paperback movie tie-in edition of J.R.R.

Tolkien's epic adventure, THE LORD OF THE RINGS, for a grand total of one million copies in print. The title is currently tracking at #23 on the New York Times extended adult paperback bestseller list.

New Line Cinema will release the first film in the trilogy, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring on December 19th. Says Clay Harper, Director of Tolkien Projects at Houghton Mifflin, "Readers are responding to J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings like never before. Not since Tolkien's The Silmarillion was published by Houghton Mifflin in 1977 (also a million-copy bestseller) have we seen such a resurgence in this author's wonderful work. Many, many people throughout the country have worked hard to encourage a new audience to join the adventures of Frodo Baggins and to invite them to take Tolkien's inspiring journey through Middle-earth for the first time. I envy them the experience."

The Lord of the Rings Movie Tie-in Edition

By J.R.R. Tolkien $20.00 trade paperback; also available in hardcover, $38.00

9-03-01 Latest News

Hobbits Still Charming Readers
Strider @ 4:51 pm EST

Em sent us in an article from the "local paper" (no name was given), a nice little tribute to J.R.R's legacy and literature the day after the 28th Anniversary of his death.

Hobbits still charming readers

By Mara D. Bellaby
Associated Press

LONDON - Before Harry Potter and wizards, there was Bilbo Baggins and Hobbits.

The hairy-footed, diminutive creatures charmed children and adults worldwide when British writer J.R.R Tolkien introduced them in his 1937 fantasy book “The Hobbit.”

Since then, “The Hobbit” has continually graced children’s recommended reading lists. Tolkien’s fantasy epic, “The Lord of the Rings,” was named the top novel of the 20th century in numerous surveys of British adults. And poet W.H. Auden once declared it “one of the best children’s stories of the century.”

Fan clubs have sprouted across Britain and the world, as die-hard Tolkienites seek each other out to converse in Elvish, read aloud parts of the novel and debate whether or not Balrogs have wings.

Now the first installment of the $273 million “The Lord of the Rings” film trilogy is due to hit theaters in December, not long after the first Harry Potter movie, putting Bilbo and Frodo in direct competition with the students of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. And HarperCollins, Tolkien’s publisher in Britain, is releasing a new edition to tie-in with the film. Houghton Mifflin is doing the same in the United States.

If Tolkien’s enduring popularity in his home country is anything to go on, the elves, orcs and wizards the inhabit Tolkien’s Middle-earth should hold their own against Harry Potter.

Tolkien “is not ironic and modern and all-knowing, but he appeals to people,” said Ian Collier, a member of the British-based Tolkien Society, which welcomes fans from around the globe.

“It is a great story and like all great stories, it connects with people in some way,” said Collier, 35, who has read “The Lord of the Rings” 25 times.

Description of the trilogy
The trilogy describes the perilous journey by hobbit Frodo Baggins across Middle-earth to territory deep inside the control of Sauron, the Dark Lord. Baggins must reach the Cracks of Doom, a fiery chamber, and destroy a magical ring before Sauron can recapture it. If the ring falls into Sauron’s Hands, he will be able to dominate the world.

But it is the background scenery of the novel, rather than its plot, that seems to captivate most readers. Tolkien creates a new universe with its own fantasy creatures, language, genealogy, history, and geography. For many readers, Middle-earth becomes as vivid as the real world, though slightly more exciting.

“A lot of us lead fairly humdrum lives, so sitting on a commuter train and having something to read which takes you away from that is very attractive,” said Tolkien Society member Trevor Reynolds.

Plug Tolkien’s name into an Internet search engine, and hundreds of devoted Web sites appear. In Britain, the Tolkien Society boasts about 400 active, fee-paying members. Smaller clubs can be found in most British cities.

Britain’s Tolkien Society also has about 150 members in the United States, where smaller city or university-based fan clubs are equally as numerous. Tolkien groups sponsor Internet chats, meet to discuss their favorite author and attend Tolkien-related events across America.

Tolkien’s popularity also stretches far beyond English-speaking countries, “The Lord of the Rings” has sold more than 50 million copies worldwide, and fan clubs exist everywhere from Germany to Russia to Japan.

But academics and other writers have been reluctant to embrace Tolkien, who died in 1973. fantasy writer Michael Moorcock once said, “The Lord of the Rings.... is Winnie the Pooh posing as an epic.”

Tolkien’s literary popularity has perhaps been hurt by his enormous popularity, said Thomas Shippey, a former Oxford University fellow and Tolkien expert who now teaches at St. Louis University in Missouri.

“There is a deep philosophical and literary snobbery, a strong class element,” Shippey said. “There is a literary bourgeois the believes it shall decide what is literature and what is not, and they get very annoyed when they aren’t followed.

“I wouldn’t say academics have been cautious; they have been violently hostile for nearly 50 years,” said Shippey, who write “J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century.”

Even at Oxford University, where Tolkien taught, the press office concedes that the closest then can come to a Tolkien expert is a specialist in 20th-century English literature.

Shippey said that one of the reasons may simply be professional hostility between English literature and English language professors, who often must compete for jobs in the same department. Tolkien was the latter.

Tolkien’s fans said they aren’t sure what the author would make of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy being filmed by New Zealand’s Peter Jackson. His family reportedly dreads it. Lawyers acting on behalf of the Tolkien Estate did not return repeated telephone calls from The Associated Press.

The Tolkien Society has taken a wait-and-see approach, but individual members, such as Reynolds, said they are excited. Reynolds said the he expects the movie will introduce a new generation to the tales of Middle-earth.

But as most Tolkien fans agree, getting people to read the books has never been much of a challenge, despite a lack of critical approval.

9-02-01 Latest News

Timekillers: More Tolkien Music.
Tehanu @ 6:07 am EST

The recently-mentioned Tolkien Ensemble has 3 concerts coming up soon in Rundetaarn in Copenhagen, home of quite a few Ringer fans. The programme will be both old \"hits\" and brand new songs to be released on the next CD "At Dawn in Rivendell."


6 October, 8PM
11 October, 8PM
3 November, 8PM

Meanwhile, Adriana sent me an mpeg of Galadriel's Song of Lorien featuring original music composed by Pavel Fomitchov as well as the lovely voice of mezzo-soprano Evgenia Zamchalova, both Russian. You can download this and other songs here I complained that I could do without the synthesiser backing, so she responded by sending me an mpeg of the lament , "Namarie" which she says "is sung by a Finnish group (perfect Elvish pronunciation). While the style is quiet, they make use of real instruments."

This one wouldn't play for me. I'll let you know when I find out more about it.

Please don't send me any more mpegs, folks, they tie up my computer for hours. Though thanks for the generous impulse!

Go back to Special Reports Archives