Author J.W. Braun will appear at The Book Cellar in downtown Waterford, Wisconsin Sunday, October 11, 2009 from 10AM to 1PM to sign copies of his new book, The Lord of the Films, which will be available for 20% off the cover price ($15.00).
About the book:
The Lord of the Films is a new book about all of the movie adaptations of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy, with the main focus on the recent Peter Jackson films. The critics agree: The Lord of the Films is a treasure trove for fans of wizards, hobbits, and elves.
“Author J.W. Braun, an eminently qualified aficionado of the movies, offers readers a dragon’s lair of information about the creation, production and marketing of the films as well as the cultural zeitgeists surrounding each theatrical release.” – Chris Morgan, Scene Magazine
“Braun did his homework and the result is page after page of ‘Wow, that’s cool, I didn’t know that’ info. Throw in lots of cast and crew photos and interviews, and you have the icing on the cake.” – M. W. Johnson, amazon.com
“It’s a brilliant book and fans will love it.” – Author Nikki Stafford
Braun breaks down each film into its major parts, and then for each of those parts he includes four different subsections: what some fans said out loud in theatres during the films (these range from the bizarre to the laugh-out-loud hilarious, like when one fan, shortly after the first film begins, shouts out, “Hey, you missed page 33!”); little details and important symbolism you may not have noticed in the films; nitpicks and bloopers; and behind-the-scenes stories of what was happening during filming and production. Complete with interviews with the cast and crew, illustrations, awesome photos of the actors, filming locations, and other fun LOTR-related Kodak moments, and early information about Jackson’s much-anticipated Hobbit films, this book is the perfect compendium for fans.
The Lord of the Films is one of those cases where the back-cover bumpf is actually true — after reading this book, you’ll go back and watch the trilogy again with a fresh pair of eyes, as if it’s the first time you’re watching it.
About the author:
J.W. Braun is a lifelong Tolkien fan who ran a popular Lord of the Rings website while the films became a cultural phenomenon. From corresponding with Ian McKellen (Gandalf) to interviewing other cast and crewmembers as they worked on the movies, Braun got the inside scoop and saw The Lord of the Rings films unfold from a unique perspective.
About the Publisher:
ECW Press (Entertainment, Culture, and Writing) is a Toronto based publisher that specializes in literary fiction, poetry, and mysteries, as well as books about entertainment. Its diverse range of authors include actress Susan Olsen (“Cindy Brady”), wrestling legend Larry Zbyszko, and pop culture writer Doc Arzt.
Foreword by Cliff Broadway
Cliff Broadway, who played a Gondorian soldier in The Lord of the Rings and hosted the Oscar parties where the cast, crew, and fans of the films celebrated their victories, is the coauthor of The People’s Guide to J.R.R. Tolkien, the cowriter/producer of the award winning documentary Ringers: Lord of the Fans (2005), and (under the pseudonym of “Quickbeam”) a frequent contributor to TheOneRing.net, a popular website devoted to all things LOTR.
For faithful readers and non-fans alike, the advent of Peter Jackson’s LOTR film trilogy was a watershed moment in the history of popular culture. It was the surprise worth waiting 30+ years for. The success of the Trilogy was also a slap in the face to very ingrained Hollywood attitudes. Above all, it was a point of nexus between Tolkien’s vast readership that had enjoyed his stories for years (typically embodied by the American counter-culture of the 1960’s) and the newly-sprung kids who had MTV attention spans and expectations of instant CGI gratification from their movies.
Who could have ever figured these two camps would join so easily under one tent of fandom? Who could foresee in their watery Elven mirror such disparate audiences coming together and melding en masse? Not me. And I was smack in the middle of it all when it happened, yet still I had to pinch myself. No one could have predicted the marriage of old-school Ringers and those novice younglings so eager for hobbity goodness. It was a synthesis of different people who did not always want the same thing from Peter Jackson. To be sure, the first group wanted – demanded – fidelity to the source. The second group was feeling so let down by George Lucas they just wanted to be entertained by a ripping good story. New Line Cinema just wanted to get their money back. Boy, did they ever.
There are few comparisons that fit what happened between 1999 and 2004 – the time between the first rumors of an LOTR film production moving forward, and the ultimate conclusion where “The Return of the King” smashed all those Oscar records with a clean sweep at the Academy Awards. There is nothing else in movie history to match this amazing thing.
A certain alchemy happened. Despite the counter-intuitive obstacles set against the project, despite Jackson being untested against such demands, it all came together in a wave of magic, confluence, and grand-scale luck. The intrepid Kiwi director showed considerable pluck in even approaching the whole damn thing. I would have given him credit just for trying it out. That he achieved mind-blowing financial and critical success, and satisfied the deepest desires of incongruent fans, is a testament to his skill. It makes me wonder sometimes.
In Jackson’s hands we see how The Lord of the Rings, such a sprawling and difficult book, was made imminently digestible to the popular taste of fin de siècle audiences. I think that’s the true key to his success: he made it all go down easy. Don’t you think he made quite a fun ride out of it?
Now along comes J.W. Braun; as clever a Ringer as you could hope to meet, with his new book “The Lord of the Films.” Here the same magic of synthesis and mass-appeal is at play. Here is another proof of how much fun we can have paring down a behemoth to the glorious nitty-gritty.
This is an almanac of all things relevant to the film adaptations, liberally sprinkled with gentle humor. It was not an enviable task. I can’t imagine the chore of combing through so many theatrical screenings, so much DVD content, so many fan events and slogging interviews, just to bring this stuff down to one wee volume. J.W. has taken a very large filmic experience and (here comes the foodie metaphor) reduced it down to a fine glaze. His knack for chasing down ephemera is marvelous. It’s a book overflowing with juicy bits. Here we can take it all in (once more) and gain a new perspective on the cinematic incarnations of Tolkien’s world.
As I said, making it all go down easy is the real trick. And J.W. did exactly that.
Having a wealth of information handy while I re-watch Jackson’s films, especially with friends who are experiencing LOTR for the first time, makes it all so much better. The Lord of the Films goes a long way toward giving newbies the best trivia injection ever.
Peter Jackson’s epic film trilogy stands on its own – to be adored and re-watched throughout our lifetimes. These are the films you share with your kids, explaining to them as you watch the intricate paths of who, what, and why; and further engaging their young minds in the greatest narrative of Life that the Professor could have given us.
And now we have the ideal guidebook to go along for the ride.
Much too hasty,
Cliff Broadway – Quickbeam
Ringers: Lord of the Fans
Ringers: Lord of the Fans is the best film you might not have heard about. In January 2002, Tolkien fans Cliff Broadway and Carlene Cordova met while standing in line to meet Sir Ian McKellen at a book signing. The two began working together, interviewing the stars of The Lord of the Rings for the TheOneRing.net, an online community where fans can meet, chat, and get the latest news. As the two watched The Lord of the Rings films become a phenomenon, Broadway and Cordova began to think about incorporating their footage into a larger project. After assembling a team, they put together a stunning 97 minute documentary, narrated by Dominic Monaghan, about the history of Tolkien fandom and its impact on popular culture. The film was not released theatrically, but at the 2005 Slamdance film festival, fans made history by camping out overnight to buy tickets to see it; something that had never happened before in the festival’s eleven year existence. Thankfully, you no longer need a sleeping bag. It is available at Netflix, or it can be purchased at www.ringerstore.com.