How time flies! Exactly a year ago today, February 21st 2015, many of us gathered in Hollywood for The One Last Party. Fans and TheOneRing.net staffers were joined by movie cast and crew members, brought together by a love of Tolkien and of Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth trilogies. Many more fans around the world tuned in to watch TORn’s live stream coverage, led by staffers Quickbeam and Justin. Bruce Hopkins (Gamling) acted as MC for the night, PJ himself sent a special video greeting, and the Professor’s great-grandson Royd Tolkien came all the way from Britain for the celebration. Partygoers danced the night away to the music of Emerald Rose and William Kircher’s group The California Dreamers. It was indeed a night to remember!
Staffer Mithril posted recently about the beautiful Red Book she made, containing the names of all who contributed to the crowdfunding campaign to make The One Last Party happen; this lovely book was sent to Sir Peter as a ‘thank you’ from all of us to whom his movies have meant so much. In another look back to that wonderful night a year ago, here are just a few moments captured from that night, and put together by film maker and TORn friend Dan McBride. Let’s reminisce – and hope that it isn’t really the last such event. We may yet have an excuse, one day, for an unexpected party…
PARK CITY, UTAH — Viggo Mortensen is back to his ranging ways, living off the land and keeping an eye on trouble in his new film “Captain Fantastic.” TORn spoke with him on the red carpet at the film’s world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.
Mortensen plays a father who, along with his wife, decided to raise his children off the grid — way off. He wants to raise his six children to be self reliant in a way that LOTR character Aragorn would be proud of. His offspring can stalk and kill deer with knives, they climb mountains, harvest edible food, learn to make their own clothes and are self reliant in every way. And along the way read the best books.
They are, in short, philosopher kings.
So the actor did look back at that character and filming experience on “Lord of the Rings,” with Peter Jackson?
“I thought of it,” he said. “But I also thought of my time as a father in Idaho.”
He spent time with his son there and in the film he has more, but in both he said he was teaching to be aware of nature.
Viggo Mortensen in new film Captain Fantastic
“You are only as good as the team you are working with,” said Mortensen. “It is about a family. And made by a family.”
He said the cast spent time before filming getting to know each other and learning the skills needed to be authentic on screen. They camped and learned how to grow food and skin a deer and learned to play music together, all of which were important to the film.
The children’s performances are all excellent, as is Mortensen’s. The film captivated Sundance audiences and good news for Mortensen and film fans, it was also picked up for distribution by Bleeker Street. It specializing in specialty cinema and has this year’s “Trumbo” (Bryan Cranston of “Breaking Bad” fame as lead actor) and should hit audiences in July. UPDATE: The film is slowly rolling out in theaters across the U.S. in July.
The audience at its premiere at the Eccles Theater, the largest venue Sundance offers with over 1,300 seats, responded mightily the film’s opening night. Director and writer Matt Ross, who you might know as Alby Grant from HBO’s “Big Love,” received a standing ovation, as did the children. But it was Moretensen who received the hottest reception. He is a pillar of the film. His character is sympathetic and yet outside societal norms.
Mortensen is perfect for the part and it is difficult to imagine the film working as well without him.
“Good movies ask a lot of questions but don’t necessarily answer them,” Ross told TORn just before the premiere.
In “Captain Fantastic,” Mortensen’s family must leave its forest paradise and journey into the highly-populated world with all its social expectations and demands. They all must face traditional society and family bonds and the children’s unconventional education are tested — to the limit.
“I am a dad and there is no such thing as a perfect father and mother. This character is doing the best he can,” Mortensen said.
The film wasn’t rated at Sundance but the unconventional cast isn’t afraid to use unconventional language that may earn it an R rating. And, Mortensen having a cup of coffee in his birthday suit probably erases any chance of it being anything else. Yes, Mortensen gives the film everything he has to offer.
“Captain Fantastic” is full of ideas, exploring family and fatherhood. Some parents will leaving feeling horribly inadequate but audiences will be fulfilled by the intelligent ideas and questions the film asks.
Fans of Mortensen will not want to miss yet another fascinating role in a fascinating film.
We all love to love the male characters of the Lord of the Rings movies. Who’s heart doesn’t go out to Frodo and Sam? Who doesn’t cheer at Gandalf and Aragorn’s strength or cringe at the sheer evilness of Saruman and the Witch King? These and other male characters are front and center in terms of movie screen-time, and rightly so, but it also makes the appearance of the women of the movies that much more special.
Over at Bustle, the women of The Lord of the Rings movies get the limelight in this article that ranks nine of The Lord of the Rings women in terms of character development. Rosie Cotton, Galadriel and even Shelob get a mention! Read more…
Those of you lucky enough to live in the L.A. area can catch an appearance by Sir Ian McKellen at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica on Tuesday, November 17th at 7:30 p.m. He will be appearing before a special showing of Mr Holmes, in which he portrays an aging Sherlock Holmes struggling to put closure on his last case from thirty years earlier. As we all know, our favorite wizard from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies is always entertaining and gracious to his fans, and may even discuss or take questions on his role as Gandalf, so get thee to the Aero on November 17th if you can! Tickets can be purchased here.
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!
It’s almost October already – and that means New York ComicConis almost upon us! As ever, TORn will be there.
You can find us at the convention at Booth 3040 – same spot as last year! We’ll have t-shirts, buttons, lanyards and more for sale, as well as the usual cool giveaways and fun stuff. We’re not giving a panel this year – instead, we’re hosting a ‘forum/discussion group’, on Friday 9th Oct 4-5pm. We’ll be chatting and reminiscing about the seventeen years which have flown by, since Peter Jackson got going on pre-production for his Lord of the Rings trilogy and TORn was founded. Come and share your memories of this unexpected journey! Venue TBA – we’ll let you know asap, and hope you can join us! (We very well may also include some gossip on just what might be in the Extended Edition of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies…)
We had a fantastic time at last weekend’s Wizard World San Jose. Thanks so much to everyone who made the effort to come out and join us!
Our panel, Happy Hobbit: The World Ahead, was a delight on Friday afternoon. In keeping with our theme, there was lots of laughter and learning. It’s always very rewarding to meet people who watch our show and fellow Tolkien-fans in general. In addition to geeky fun, several creatives also turned out, curious to hear about my experience with writing as K.M. Rice and to see Fili’s love of capturing the moment with Alexandra Rice Photography. We can only hope that Tolkien would’ve been proud to see just how much creativity and inspiration people have found in his Middle-earth, leading them to their own unique forms of self-expression. Like Bilbo, many of us artists just need a little nudge out the door onto our own roads! You can watch our panel in it’s entirety here:
The short film that we debuted, Wildling, which we made together as a sister team over the summer, can be watched here(in a bit better quality than what you can see in this panel footage!).
Following the panel, we had time to sweep through the showroom floor before heading over to the Hilton’s Affinity restaurant for some hobbity and dwarven hijinks that made our panel look like a calm and composed event. TORn staffter Garfeimao and her sister, Carynn Hobbit, were in attendance, along with several friends, some old and some we’d only met that day! The following afternoon was none other than Billy Boyd’s (Pippin in LOTR and lead vocals in the band beecake) hilarious Q & A panel.
As always with our show, our goal is to make episodes that help you feel like you were at these events, even if you were only present in spirit, so feel free to prop up your feet and enjoy Wizard World San Jose by watching the video below!
Not going to Dragon*Con? Live on the west coast? Need something Middle-earthy to do this weekend that includes two dwarves and a hobbit? Then look no further than the San Jose Wizard World!
The Tolkien festivities will kick off Friday with a Happy Hobbit panel, followed by a “moot,” or Entish get-together, across the street from the convention center at the Affinity Restaurant at the Hilton. Even if you’re not attending the con on Friday, be sure to join us at the moot for some Middle-earth madness, which is prone to happen whenever Fili and Kili are around.
Saturday is your opportunity to meet Billy Boyd (Pippin) and ask him anything at his panel, which will undoubtedly be comic gold and of course, very informative.
150 West San Carlos St., San Jose, California 95113
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4TH, 2015
6:00 – 6:45PMHAPPY HOBBIT: THE WORLD AHEAD (ROOM 211AB)
“Home is behind, the world ahead, and there are many paths to tread…” – J.R.R. Tolkien
Join sisters Kellie and Alex Rice (Kili and Fili of the webseries Happy Hobbit) as they go beyond the shire to explore how their geeky roots have blossomed into creative careers. Kellie is also known as K.M. Rice, an author and screenwriter who has worked for both Weta Workshop and Magic Leap, while Alex produces shows and shorts and has her own photography business. Both are excited to share tips on self-publishing, low-budget films, and engaging an online audience.
MOOT 7:30 PM
Affinity Restaurant at the San Jose Hilton.
Hilton San Jose, 300 S Almaden Blvd, San Jose, CA 95113
No reservation, we’ll just take over Dwarf-style!
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 5TH, 2015
12:30 – 1:15PM ADVENTURES IN MIDDLE EARTH WITH BILLY BOYD (ROOM 210)
“Lord of the Rings” fans rejoice! Billy Boyd (Peregrin ‘Pippin’ Took) has traveled far and wide to join us for this very special Wizard World Q&A! This is your opportunity to ask Billy about his life, career, and where his adventures will be taking him next! You don’t want to miss this awesome panel!
Billy is also a member of the band beecake, and anyone who has heard either Pippin singing in the LOTR films or “The Last Goodbye” as the credits rolled on Middle-earth with BoTFA this winter knows that he’s more than worth listening to.
Here’s to hoping we’ll see more than less than half of you as we’d expect, and that you all have more than half the fun that you deserve!
He made his debut at Comic-Con last year and after a decade wait to get him into our collections Faramir has arrived. This amazing statue is a spitting image of what we saw on screen during The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Faramir is one of my favorite The Lord of the Rings pieces and you can get him right now for $249 as he is in-stock with an edition size of just 1000 pieces world-wide.
As many of you already know, there is sad news in our community of fans today: Sir Christopher Lee passed away Sunday morning at the age of 93 due to respiratory problems and heart failure. Of course, we all came to know and love him for his role as the evil wizard, Saruman, in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies, a role that came at the end of a long, and very distinguished career as an actor in horror movies and other dramas. For many of us, it’s difficult to picture a better Count Dracula than Christopher Lee. But, for many more of us, it’s impossible to think of anyone else playing the role of Saruman. All of the professionalism, passion and dedication of his long career shone out in that role, making it perfection.
From the U.K. telegraph website, here is a nice obituary, and a short video of his career highlights. Námarië, Sir Christopher. You are dearly loved and will be dearly missed!
HobbitCon 3 took place just a couple weeks ago in Germany and our friends at Henneth-Annun were on-hand to get the low-down.
They’ve compiled an extensive English-language report on the three-day convention, as well as many quotes from Q&A panels featuring Luke Evans, Graham McTavish, Sylvester McCoy, Lawrence Makaore, John Bell and more.
Don’t forget to click the link at the bottom to read the complete report.
HobbitCon 3: third time’s a charm!
by Peter “TheHutt” Klassen
I do remember the very first HobbitCon. When FedCon GmbH, the organizing company, announced a new convention during the RingCon 2012 dedicated exclusively to “The Hobbit”, with the participation of 11 dwarves from Thorin’s Company (although two of them cancelled later), I didn’t know what to think about it. That was even before the first movie from PJ’s second trilogy was released, and the dwarf actors were only known to us from the director’s video blogs. And in fact, the first HobbitCon proved to be a commercial failure, though it had a very pleasant and homely atmosphere.
Luckily, the organizers didn’t give up, and the second HobbitCon fared much better than the first one. And now, after the third HobbitCon (christened by Mark Ferguson “HobbitCon DREI”, which is German for “three”) has passed, you can really tell that there was barely room to swing a cat. If the first HobbitCon had just 800 visitors during the weekend, the third one had 5500 guests from over 27 countries! The Maritim hotel in Bonn was bursting, and the amount of Fili & Kili cosplay couples was staggering.
Speaking objectively, the HobbitCon is a unique event in the whole world. International conventions usually work with several mixed genres, there are many different fandoms present at a convention, with each fandom represented by just one or two actors. These are giant commercial vehicles, with an airplane hangar-like atmosphere. The HobbitCon is very different. You do not need to stay in a line overnight to get into a Q&A panel hall. You can be partying in a bar and suddenly find yourself on the dance floor together with Graham McTavish, Jed Brophy or even Luke Evans. Of course it is not for free – but still, three days of positive emotions, homely atmosphere and the feeling that the movie actors have become your friends, are worth it.
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