Sunday 12th February the British Academy of Film and Television Arts held their annual film awards. Our favourite citizen of Lake-town Luke Evans was there as a presenter; and even more excitingly for Middle-earth fans, Viggo Mortensen was nominated in the Leading Actor category, for Captain Fantastic. (The award went to Casey Affleck, for Manchester by the Sea.)
Mortensen was of course on the red carpet, where he was interviewed by Zoe Ball. Many of you will have seen the fabulous picture (right) of Mortensen hanging out with an elf and some hobbits, the day after the Screen Actors Guild awards. In the Bafta interview, he explained how that came about. Take a look:
It’s heartwarming to know that the bonds forged amongst the cast of The Lord of the Rings are still as strong today – just as the friendships and connections we fans have made are unbreakable. I’m told that in Finland they celebrate friendships on Valentine’s Day – seems a good time to raise a glass to Fellowship! Cheers!
Elijah Wood’s film “I don’t feel at home in this world anymore,” won the Sundance Grand Jury prize in the U.S. Dramatic competition at the just concluded 2017 festival.
It was one of 16 films in the category that included “Crown Hights” that won the Audience Award.
The film is summarized like this:
Ruth, a depressed nursing assistant, returns from work to find dog shit on her lawn and her house burglarized, the thief having made off with her silverware and laptop. Losing faith in the police (and possibly humanity as a whole), Ruth starts her own investigation, joining forces with her erratic neighbor–and dog shit culprit–Tony. Upon locating the laptop, they trace it back to a consignment store, leading them to a gang of degenerate criminals and a dangerous, bizarre underworld where they’re way out of their depth.
Macon Blair’s outstanding debut feature has an exuberant storytelling style that’s full of personality, visual inventiveness, idiosyncratic characters, and wildly unpredictable turns. Its dark tone, deadpan humor, and increasingly blood-soaked foray into a twisted moral universe evoke the Coen brothers, but most captivating is the deeply unsettling journey it takes Ruth on, through human vulnerability and escalating violence. Once brought to tears by the notion of an infinite universe, her quest isn’t for her laptop, but for a way of processing a world that no longer makes sense to her.
On the same night, last year’s big Middle-earth alumni film of Sundance 2016, “Captain Fantastic” featured Viggo Mortensen and the cast appeared at the screen actor’s guild where it was nominated but didn’t win. For that film TheOneRing was able to talk with Mortensen about the film, but despite repeated efforts, had no luck speaking with Wood for his film.
But, Wood wasn’t the only Middle-earth actor to show up in a film at this year’s Sundance. Actor Stephen Hunter, who played Bombur in the three films based on “The Hobbit,” appeared in Australian thriller “The Killing Ground.” The film received a warm reception and has a good chance to be seen in theaters. I saw it and think it’s a gripping thriller that handles its violence well. It deserves to be seen but will disturb some because of its violence.
Hunter plays a key supporting role that the Sundance festival described like this:
When young couple Sam and Ian escape the confines of urban living for a weekend getaway at a remote campsite, they arrive to find a neighboring tent set up with its inhabitants nowhere in sight. As day turns to night and then to day again, the young couple becomes increasingly concerned about the whereabouts of their unknown fellow campers. When they discover a toddler wandering alone on the campground, things go from bad to worse, thrusting them into a harrowing fight for survival in a place miles from civilization, where no one can hear them scream.
Teeming with dread and unnerving tension, the debut feature of writer/director Damien Power draws heavy inspiration from Michael Haneke’s Funny Games and Sam Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs, utilizing the film’s sparse locations to considerable effect. As jagged pieces of the puzzle are carefully revealed one by one, Killing Ground evolves into a brutally violent thriller that will force you to think twice the next time you dare venture beyond the city’s bright lights
Wood also appears in another film, this one a documentary about the classic Alfred Hitchcock “Psycho.” The film, called “78/52,” breaks down the historic and absolutely groundbreaking shower scene in the film that is credited with launching the horror genre of film in a new way. He is seated with other actors sharing his perspective, especially insightful when examining the performance of Anthony Perkins. Guillermo del Toro also is featured and is a delight.
The film has been purchased and will likely get a new or extended title and will be released in major film markets. The festival title refers to the number of set ups and film cuts the master of suspense used in the scene. For anybody interested in film, I absolutely recommend it. Actually, I recommend it for anybody who has ever watched a film.
The festival describes it:
“In 78 setups and 52 cuts, the deliriously choreographed two-minute shower sequence in Psycho ripped apart cinema’s definition of horror. With a shocking combination of exploitation and high art, Alfred Hitchcock upended his own acclaimed narrative structure by violently killing off a heroine a third of the way through his film, without explanation, justification, or higher purpose. Psycho played out like a horrific prank, forcing audiences to recognize that even the most banal domestic spaces were now fair game for unspeakable mayhem.
With black-and-white film-geek reverence, director Alexandre O. Philippe breaks down this most notorious and essential scene shot for shot, enlisting the help of film buffs and filmmakers alike—including Guillermo del Toro, Bret Easton Ellis, Karyn Kusama, Eli Roth, and Peter Bogdanovich. 78/52 examines Janet Leigh’s terrified facial expressions and the blink-and-you-miss-it camera work, not just within the context of the film but also with an eye toward America’s changing social mores—revealing how one bloody, chaotic on-screen death killed off chaste cinema and eerily predicted a decade of unprecedented violence and upheaval.”
On December 18, 2001, TheOneRing.net introduced a new feature on our site: Ringer Reviews – “A database of reviews from Tolkien fans all over the world, whether you loved, liked or hated the film this is where you can express your feelings in words and celebrate with your fellow fans the release of the first installment in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.” Twenty-four hours later, fans had posted 3,000 reviews. By Christmas the count was up to 6,700 and on January 19, 2002, a month after FOTR opened, over 10,000 reviews had been submitted.
Today the count stands at 15,084 reviews. Unfortunately, the individual reviews reside on our old site and have been archived. But, we thought it might be fun to revisit some of the overall results, more of which can be found at the Ringer Reviews link above.
A number of other sites around the internet are also celebrating the 15th anniversary of the opening of The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring this week, and/or The Lord of the Rings movie franchise in general. For the convenience of our readers, we put together this one-stop shop for a stroll down memory lane. We’ll bring more to you during the week as we find them. Enjoy!
Staffers from TORn have started arriving in the Big Apple to set up our booth – that means New York ComicConis almost upon us! The fun kicks off at 10am tomorrow morning; here are some of the highlights for Tolkien fans:
First of all, TORn’s booth this year is number 3164. This is NOT our usual corner spot – we could only get an ‘inline’ booth this year. But look for the usual ‘tent’ and you’ll find us! As ever, we’ll have t-shirts and buttons for sale, and we have some fabulous items for our ‘lucky dip’ giveaways! It’s an election year even in Middle-earth; here are the t-shirts we’ll have on sale this year: (more…)
If it’s July it must be San Diego Comic Con, and with that biggest of popular culture events you can bet TheOneRing.net is right in the middle of it all. No, there are no new Tolkien films on the horizon, but there are new collectibles, in a variety of styles, coming to fans bookshelves soon. There are also fan gatherings, at SDCC and beyond, and plenty of other tidbits of Tolkien news just waiting to be shared with one and all. And there will be a few Middle-earth alums attending the con this year, chiefly Elijah Wood and Graham McTavish. So keep a wary eye on TheOneRing.net for any and all Middle-earth news, rumors and cosplay. Oh, and don’t forget our panel, which is listed after the cut. (more…)
It’s almost time to gather in the Big Apple and enjoy all that New York ComicCon has to offer. As ever, TheOneRing.net will be there! Here are a few details for you:
We’ll be at Booth 3040, which – to make life simple! – is the same location as last year! We’ll have all the usual goodies for sale – plus this year we’ll have hoodies from our friends at LotH Hoodies! Of course we’ll have many fabulous things you could win! And we’ll be ready just to chat and geek out with our fellow fans.
Talking of which – if you want to chat in a quieter location than the convention floor, this year we’re leading a ‘Fan Forum’ discussion group! Basically it’s a chance to join us to reminisce about the past seventeen years – since TheOneRing.net was founded and since Peter Jackson began pre-production in earnest on his Lord of the Rings trilogy. What a journey it’s been! Come and share memories with us – and maybe hear a bit about what we may see in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Extended Edition (which, as you know, screens in cinemas on October 13th!) Find the Forum in room 1E03, Friday 4pm. Click here for details!
And don’t forget about our PARTY! Thursday 8th October 8-11pm at The East Wing – a few tickets remain! Click here to buy. WETA will be co-hosting with us, and as usual your ticket includes the buffet, your first drink, a goody bag and two raffle tickets – all in a wonderful, private venue in Manhattan. Hope to see you there!
You’ll find our WETA friends at Booth 622. Middle-earth guests at the convention this year include Sean Bean, John Noble, John Rhys-Davies and Elijah Wood!
As ever, we have a host of folks supporting us to make it possible for us to be at New York ComicCon. Many thanks to them all:
ROW NYC – making sure hard-working TORn staffers have somewhere to sleep. A great place to stay in Manhattan!
San Diego Comic Con 2015 is now in the books, let’s do a little recap for any all things related to Tolkien fandom and TORn. The TORn panel, titled “What’s next for Tolkien Fans?” was on Friday afternoon, and directly after the panel we had our annual Tolkien themed Cosplay photo Op, as seen in the first photo.
The panel itself began at 4pm, but without the snazzy little visual presentation we normally have. The laptop that the presentation was on, and had been operating just 2 hours earlier, decided it was taking the afternoon off. Apparently it helped the panel move along at a quicker pace, leaving plenty of room for questions at the end. So, what was discussed in the panel, what IS next for Tolkien fans? (more…)
Here are some of the items we will have available for the silent auction and raffle, including something for the Non-Attending Supporters of our Indiegogo campaign. We have some rather big ticket prizes, numerous autographed items, and some original artwork for you, and at least one item offered for a Charity Auction. Everything on this list will be split fairly evenly between the silent auction and the raffle, giving everyone a chance to walk away with something very cool. This is not a complete list, things are still arriving, but it will give you an idea of what you will have a chance to either bid on or try and win in a Chinese style raffle drawing.
Gollum Stained Glass Window – handmade
Prancing Pony Mug – handmade
Green Dragon Mug – handmade
Bilbo’s Teacups – handmade
Mallorn Leaf Serving Plate – handmade
Signed Items –
Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King “For Your Consideration” script – signed by numerous LOTR cast and crew
DOS Bilbo Poster – signed by numerous Hobbit cast and crew
DOS Cast Poster – signed by numerous Hobbit cast and crew
TOPPS Autograph Cards – One each for Cate Blanchett, Liv Tyler, Billy Boyd, Sean Astin and Elijah Wood.
Big Ticket Items –
Sideshow Artist Proof of Sauron statue
Sideshow Artis Proof of Galadriel
One note for those of you not attending the party, two of the Signed TOPPS cards, the Sam and Frodo cards, will be raffled off for the Non-Attending supporters during our Live Stream of the party.
We’re into the final week of The One Last Party Indiegogo campaign, and only 20% away from our goal! With a last push in these closing days we can get there – and hold a celebration of this journey of fandom we’ve been on together!
We’ve been eager, from the start, to provide ways for fans to be involved with this celebration, even if you can’t make it to Los Angeles. The campaign includes signed collectibles and stunning art work available as perks; an opportunity to get access to a live stream of the party; and a special ‘Thank You’ which we will send to Peter Jackson, with the names of all who pledge. There are also ‘Supporter of Special Magnificence’ tshirts available, which feature the words, ’17 years is far too short a time to party among such excellent and admirable fans’.
The One Last Party is about the Fellowship of Fandom, and we hope that everyone who enjoys TheOneRing.net will feel able to be a part of it in some way. Which leads us to the awesome GIVEAWAY we have to announce!
Thanks to one very generous supporter, who is keen to see the campaign reach its goal, we have got our hands on a Battle of the Five Armies poster, signed at San Diego ComicCon by:
Dwalin – Graham McTavish
Gollum – Andy Serkis
Tauriel – Evangeline Lilly
Thranduil – Lee Pace
Legolas – Orlando Bloom
Bard – Luke Evans
Smaug – Benedict Cumberbatch
Frodo – Elijah Wood
Galadriel – Cate Blanchett
This poster (measuring 13′ by 20′), together with the holographic wristband that was needed to get it at SDCC, will be given away to one lucky supporter, chosen at random from all the pledges of $10 and above that we receive THIS WEEK (Monday 12th to Sunday 18th January).
The poster will only be given away IF we reach our goal! If we get to $180k by (or before!) the deadline on Sunday 18th, one name will be chosen at random to receive this amazing poster and wristband. Each new pledge of $10 or higher during this final week will be a separate entry into the draw; the more times you pledge, the more chances you have to win!
(If you don’t want to run the risk of not winning, remember, you could pledge for the ‘Gimli, Son of Gloin’ perk and get a larger poster signed by 12 cast members!)
Help us reach our goal, be part of the celebration, and this fabulous signed poster could be on its way to you!
(Please note, the poster is displayed on a frame in the photographs; the frame is not included in the giveaway! Poster will be shipped carefully packaged in a tube.)
One Last Party fundraiser!
Our One Last Party fundraiser on Indiegogo is almost 80% funded and we’re pretty stoked!
If you’d like to join us as a Party of Special Magnificence in Hollywood in February — a toast to all SIX Middle-earth movies, then now is the time to throw in your support! Even if you can’t make it to Hollywood (or if you’ve already contributed), you can help out by retweeting or sharing our fundraiser across social media to get the word out.
HOLLYWOOD — Sir Peter Jackson received his star Monday on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, joining 2,500 others so honored from film, music, television and radio. The honor is another in the long list for the director who made it big by launching his career from Wellington, New Zealand.
Here is some media coverage of the day, starting with The New Zealand Herald who said:
“Peter Jackson has received his star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame – and he’s scored some prime real estate.
Stars from Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies watched on as Jackson received his star on Hollywood Boulevard, just days before the final film in his Hobbit trilogy premieres in New Zealand.”
The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has announced that the 2,538th Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame will go to Peter Jackson in a ceremony to be held on Monday, December 8 at 11:30am. The star will be located at 6801 Hollywood Blvd in front of the Dolby Theater, with the ceremony taking place in that same location. Andy Serkis will be the guest speaker with additional celebrities in the form of Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Richard Armitage and Elijah Wood. With all these folks in Hollywood that day, it now seems pretty clear that the previously supposed New York premiere on the same date is no longer happening.
Everyone at TheOneRing.net would like to issue Sir Peter Jackson a heartfelt congratulations, you will always be welcome at any and all of our fan events. After all, you helped create this thriving community of fans we foster on TORn.
The complete press release can be read below. (more…)
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