I attended the screening of the Extended Editions of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy at The Aero Theater in Santa Monica on Saturday, September 12th. The event was a tribute to two LotR greats who we have recently lost – Christopher Lee and Andrew Lesnie.
Although there have been trilogy screenings before, this was the first time that I am aware of that “Return of The King” was screened as the extended edition. Previously, it had only been the first two films that were EEs.
Even though it required sitting for over twelve hours straight with only short breaks – the screening started at 1pm on Saturday and didn’t get out until 2:30am Sunday morning – I truly enjoyed seeing the films once again on the big screen. I always spot new or forgotten details that are missed when watching the films on a TV screen.
Before the films, we were treated with some video messages from Cate Blanchett, Andy Serkis and Sala Baker. Also between each film, there was a round of trivia with prizes hosted by TheOneRing.net’s Cliff Broadway, a raffle and some special guests. After “Fellowship of the Ring”, Mark Ordesky, producer of all three LotR films joined Cliff on-stage for some enlightening behind-the-scenes reminiscing. After “The Two Towers”, William Kircher – Bifur the Dwarf – joined us for a very animated interview.
The movies still hold immense power, and there were few dry eyes in the house at the end of the night. For 16 people, this was their first ever viewing of the films, and Peter Jackson’s work stands the test of time so that new initiates will still be blown away.
Here’s the Mark Ordesky interview. (Camera shake stops after a minute.)