Reports from the USC Screening with Lenord Maltin last night (December 4th)
So a few seconds ago I was just a few feet away from where Return of the King was playing …. at the Norris theater at USC, as part of Lenny Maltin’s class.
Sean Astin, Billy Boyd and Andy Serkis are here. It’s the talk of the entire campus. Elijah Wood and Dominic Monaghan were supposed to be here as well, but cancelled at the last second.
I would kill to be inside that theater right now.
I hung around it for a little while. Talked to the guy at the front door.
Then I put my ear to the door and heard a few snatches of dialogue.
Someone saying “All of Gondor is mine!” in an evil voice …
Then I heard Pippin’s voice, then Gandalf’s – having a conversation.
i was present at the screening last night – the first ‘civilian’ screening in l.a., as maltin called it. i’m not a usc student, i was snuck in…but i am a filmmaker, so it was of tantamount importance that i see the film! i was spirited in past security and hidden until the film started. monitors kept sweeping the aisles with night-vision goggles to make sure nobody was filming the show or taking cell phone pictures!
suffice it to say that although this film is honestly not going to be for everyone – as last night’s audience was an excellent cross-section of generic film viewers – but it will alter the perceptions of those who do appreciate it. there are those who are going to be confused by the story, bored with the pacing, and laugh inappropriately at the most painful parts (as plenty of people last night did!).
i, however, was not one of those people. my opinions about what a film can be and how an artist with a vision can execute it were forever altered. sean astin (and billy boyd and andy serkis) spoke after the screening about how peter was unwavering in his knowledge of his vision, and that was inspiring as well. there aren’t a lot of things that you can see that actually change your ideas and desires and thoughts about your life, your career, your relationships, but – at the risk of sounding excessively trite – this film is one of those things.