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More Details from the 20-minute LOTR Preview.

February 13, 2001 at 8:33 pm by Tehanu  - 

A few months ago we heard from Ozscot, who was lucky enough to see a 20-minute preview that was being shown, if I remember rightly, to movie distributors and people like that to pique their interest. Ozscot sent a review immediately but now with less haste he’s since remembered more details that would be of interest to Tolkien fans. Here’s his report:

Aragorn

This has been a popular subject in the chat rooms and I for one was very impressed with Viggio (nothing I have read or heard since has caused me to doubt this).

A scene most vivid to me is a close sweeping aerial shot of Aragorn walking purposefully around a big rock and engaging about 20 orcs. What made this exciting to me was the mutual recognition between these bitter enemies and the way Aragorn removes Anduril from its sheath whilst walking , coolly without breaking step towards some very large and mean looking orcs. They walk towards him in a similar fashion and were ‘taking no prisoners’. There is no dawdling on close-ups and other cliches it’s just ‘down to business ‘ between mortal enemies.

This conveyed to me a number of things. One is that the visual treatment and understated aspect of the meeting is accurate to my interpretation of the book ( and there will be a number of fans who will see this as I do and some that don’t). I love the book and have high expections so hopefully that will reassure a number of you. Secondly , the expression on his face as he walks towards them is so appropriate ; a haunted , hunted look ,if you will. This is a good indication in one scene, of this actor’s ability to communicate the necessary breadth of emotions he will have to display during the movies. I like the understated treatment of this material when you consider the alternative. Thirdly , I think you will find the camera work very complimentry to the director’s interpretation of the book. It’s different but appropriate. By the way, just as he draws Anduril and walks towards them the scene cuts (much to my disappointment) , but what I saw gives me incredible hope for the films.

In several other scenes with Aragorn and the hobbits the tonalty and acting are great ; at Bree where Aragorn gently handles Sam’s challenge as a spy, the breaking of the fellowship with Frodo and an exchange with Borimir as they climb in the snow. I for one , look forward to the first movie with confidence.

Authenticity

As you have seen from all the released photos and published reports, I think you’ll agree it delivers the goods. The inn at Bree is terrific and includes a fleeting cameo from PJ. and a shot of Barliman. And from all the footage I saw the detail is impressive right down to family portraits on the wall at Bag End ( smoking relatives, I might add).

Orcs

The orcs I saw convey extreme danger and malice, especially the fighting U. They are as tall as men but built very stockily. There voices are gutteral and
very unpleasant on the ears. The newly hatched orc in Orthanic , the footage doesn’t indicate whether he is hatched or from a coccoon or whatever , is asked by Saruman ‘whom he serves?’, the answer to which is ” the White Hand of Saruman” , of course.

Lee has ‘nailed’ the part in my opinion. This the only scene shown with him in it.

The Black Riders

When they burst on to the screen , a lady next to me screamed with fright…enough said , what more can I add ?

Accents

All the hobbits have an english accent except Pip who is broad scots. Borimir has a broad Sheffield accent ( North of England) which is Sean Bean’s native tongue.

I know these are pretty trivial facts , but some people may be at least mildly interested. By the way , none of the footage I saw was shown in the trailer so I was delighted to see this extra 2 mins …making it a total of 22! Sorry to rub it in.”

Many thanks to Ozscot.

Posted in Old Spy Reports on February 13, 2001 by

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