Ringer fan Luthien had a chance of a lifetime to attend the New York City Premiere of The Two Towers. Here is her report!
My father read The Hobbit to me when I was six years old, and ever since then, I have grown up in Middle Earth. As a fifth-grader gobbling up Lotr for the very first time, I was a misplaced elf whod somehow (tragically!) gotten stuck in a human family in the American midwest. As a teenager it was to Rohan that I escaped, where I could be a shieldmaiden of the mark as opposed to an awkward tomboy. Peter Jacksons Fotr managed to put on screen a world Id visited so many times that I knew it instantly by sight, so you can imagine my excitement when I found out Id be viewing TTT in his companyat the TT world premiere in New York City!!
How can you describe standing on a red carpet when PJ steps out of his limousine, and everyone on the sidewalk starts screaming and pressing forward, and the bodyguards hold back the crowd, and meanwhile you’re five feet away, on the same red carpet, with your glossy ticket in your hand, and the bouncers let you IN??? There are no words for it.
Or, later, at the NYC Public library, which had been redone into a fully catered party, with DJ spread on the balcony, a statue of the White Rider in the lobby, Elvish and Gondorian armor lining the walls, and models dressed as elves holding lanterns on the steps? Again, not in my dictionary.
But I digress. Well start with the movie. I tend to avoid spoilers as a rule, so I was unprepared for what I saw last night. Peter Jackson warned us a few times that of all the movies, TTT deviates the most from the books, and with that Id wholly agree. If you’re a dyed-in-the-wool purist, you’ll have much to object to. If you’re a forgiving purist (which is what I’d call myself), there are a few heartbreaking moments in the film where stuff you’d expect to happen doesn’t. But then, other stuff that you’ve been waiting your entire life to see on a big screen DOES, and the overall effect is just incredible. I was in tears three times during the film. The loving care and attention to detail that was so breathtaking in FotR has been applied to entire armies of men and orcs! This film is powerful and wonderful in its own right, even if it doesn’t perfectly mirror the books.
And now, on to the party. This being my first ever world premiere, I had no idea what to expecta bunch of beautiful people eating chicken satay on sticks and drinking martinis? A bunch of groupies following stars around like a mobile nebula? As it turned out, it was neither. Stars and fans, famous folk and little folk alike, seemed to mingle seamlessly. In the course of one evening, I was able to speak to most of the cast of TTT, as well as Richard Taylor and Philippa Boyens, and in all cases, they were warm and approachable, and eager for feedback! I stood next to one of my friends while he told a rather long and complicated joke to Billy Boyd, and Billy actually laughed, and asked if he could use it! (way to go, John!) Both Orlando and Elijah let me take pictures with them, which was quite a thrill, and Andy Serkis has the most amazing hair (gravity-defying, really). But I should also add that the warmth and conviviality was not limited to the starsguests were striking up conversations with each other, smiling at strangers, opening doors for one anothera collective energy which is not often seen in the NY Public library, trust me.
(Spoiler ahead) The highlight of the evening for me (other than the shrimp hors-d’oeuvres, which were a smashing success), was talking with David Wenham and Philippa Boyens. He was sitting off in a corner looking a bit tired when I first approached. We ended up speaking for about twenty minutes about the changes theyd made to Faramir, and about movie adaptations in general. As Philippa later pointed out, Faramir is an unshakable pillar of bravery, wisdom and forebearance in the books, someone who wouldnt touch the Ring even if he saw it lying by the wayside. From a movie perspective, though, thats dull since his character is static, so they added a touch of doubt and conflict to his character in order to create more of a journey for him.
It goes without saying that discussing the wheres and why-fors of TTT with Philippa Boyens was quite a trip in and of itself. Unfortunately, it couldnt last. While in the middle of talking with David Wenham, Orlando Bloom rushed up and insisted that David join them at Flow (a bar in the wilds of the west village, apparently), and my companions and I realized that we were exhausted. How do the movie stars do it? After one evening of fighting crowds, snagging drinks off of little silver trays and conversing with so many peopleoof, I was drained. After one more swipe at the dessert table, and a brief stop to congratulate Brad Dourif on his incredible accent, we swept back outside into the cold and snow, where some elf-maidens got us our coats. What a night! I cant believe Ill have to wait another twelve days now before I can go back and visit again!
We will be posting some of the photos Luthien took tomorrow or Monday. Stay tuned!
Updated: And here they are! [More]