Get your tickets to Tolkien today!
Join us in our 24 Hour Chatroom!
Check out on Twitter!
Join us on Instagram

News Alerts

Get emailed with every new post!

Weekly Newsletter

Select a list:

Archive for the ‘Cannes 2001’ Category

Yesterday I dreamt I was in Middle-earth…

I dreamt last night I was in Middle-earth. I visited Bilbo in Bag End and watched as hobbits celebrated his 111th birthday. I stood before the bar in the town of Bree. I saw riding Nazgul and Orcs in full armour. I saw Men of Gondor standing guard to the gates of Minas Tirith. I walked through the Golden Hall and knelt before the thrown of Theoden. I WAS in Middle-earth. Or so it seems. When I wake from these kinds of dreams, I can usually only remember bits and pieces. For your sake, I will try and relate the events, people, and atmosphere of this dream for all to understand.

The dream begins…

Here I am walking up a cobblestone hill with three of my good friends, Amy, Leo, and Maurice. The sounds of music intermingle with the ear-piercing shrills of a Nazgul in the distance. Leo and Maurice run ahead to talk to some fellow Dutchman, as Amy and I continue up the hill lined with candles. In the haziness ahead, I can make out two giagantic horses with riders dressed in dark black robes. As we get closer, I realize that the Nazgul are approaching us. You haven’t really felt fear until you stare down the nose of a Nazgul’s black steed in full armour. Surpisingly, Amy reaches out and touches this foul beast. We continue on.

Ahead is a bluish light illuminating a gazebo, masterfully hand carved. Inside are two elves, dancing and singing merily to a haunting theme. The lights of the candles dance wildly with the movement of the elves.

Leo and Maurice catch up to us again as we near a gate. Nothing exceptionally special about this gate except the eight or ten strongmen surrounding it. Beyond the gate, we can see a horde of cameras and reporters that seem trapped behind a fence. As we pass through the gate, by benefit of our medallions, the magic really begins.

A red carpet, scattered with rose petals, is laid at our feet. On a hill to our left is a castle. At its gates are two Men of Gondor with pikes double their size. They are dressed in full armour with an emblem of a white tree on their chest. Their helms have plumes of white sprouting out from boths sides of their head. As we look closer, the same emblem seen on the warriors, adorns the castle wall.

To our right is a sea of reporters and tv crews. One by one they pull Samwise and Boromir and others into their web of questions. Behind the sea are a few hobbit holes with rather unique signs on the doors. One looks like a universal symbol for a man, the other, looks to be the universal symbol for woman. Indeed, these are the bathrooms!

As we walk over the carpet, we immediately are greeted by two hobbits inviting us into what looks to be Bag End. These hobbits, with rather realistic looking hairy feet and traditional old english dress, request we duck down as we enter this subterreanian home.

But right before we enter through the round door of the Baggin’s household, guess who comes out the front door! Gandalf himeself! Gandalf was very well dressed, not in his typical costume, and rather happy to be at a party. He was kind enough to talk a few minutes with us and compliment I made doubly sure, that he knew, we ‘the fans’ loved what we saw of the screening.

We said our pleasant goodbyes and entered Bag End. As I look up and around, I see the same hobbit hole that I had seen days earlier in movie footage. Here is the chandelier where Gandalf bumps his head. Oh, look, there is the map from the Hobbit! And yes, of course there are pipes and presents and many other hobbit like things in this hole. This is definitely Bilbo Baggins’ home, but where is he? I was quite surprised when Aragorn walked down the hall with as much interest as I had for this place. We all followed him out the back entrance and were immediately greeted by…

A Troll! It was one of the Trolls that had been turned to stone by the sun so many years ago after attempting to eat Bilbo and company. This hideous creature had one arm resting while the other seemed to be reaching out towards us. Two more hobbits where camping in front of this aboinmation, as if they were tempting fate. It also could have been a result of the fully stocked bar that just so happened to be right next to them.

After escaping the view of the Troll, we walked through a small hobbit market with food and wares for all to enjoy. At the end of this market were stairs to what looked like a hazy pond. The blue glow and the haze made it hard to see what was below, so we decided to descend the staircase and have a look for ourselves.

Behold! Elves were singing and dancing around another gazebo. An arcade of simliar hand crafted construction was on one side of a pool that stretches the entire area. In this pool, you could see the Lady Galadriel’s swan ship floating softly on the water. While Galadriel was not there herself, the ten or so elves more then covered the required atmosphere. At the far end of the pool was a cookery where roast pig, salmon and fish were cooked for all to have. And of course, another bar.

As we climbed out, of what was Rivendell and Lothlorien at the same time, we ran smack into Saruman himself. The man was intimidating and had a large group of people around him. We tried to sneak into the conversation, but failed miserably, as the crowd was too big. The tone and demenor of this man was too attractive for anyone to resist. He managed to demand your gaze and attention with much ease, and we could see how a multi-colored wizard could cause some problems. Thanks to Amy, who wanted to look around more, we managed to pull away and continue on.

We walked passed a live band playing Frank Sinatra and proceeded to near the original entrance. We must have missed these fellows before, but now, standing directly on the side of the castle, were 3 fully garbed orcs. They were VERY ugly. The armour they wore looked extremely disorganized and disheveled, but definitely functional. I approached one and asked if I could touch his shirt. He obliged. I was happy to see that this armour was in fact rubbery to the touch and probably could not withstand a blow from a Gondorian pike.

The orcs were standing next to two sets of pillars. The first set had four sides, each with a vulture skeleton at the top, hideous claws in the middle, and deep gauges at the base. The second set was much more intimidating, with an evil creature’s foul face protruding from the front. The chin jutted out with an wicked gotee, and horns adorned its head. We quickly moved away from this area.

Now it was time to enter Minas Tirith and see what treasures were held inside. As we passed by the two Gondorian guards, I could swear one of them grunted something in French, but I wasn’t sure.

In the main hall were two large cases and a series of chairs, each with a framed image above. As it looked, everyone from Lord of the Rings was pictured above these chairs in beautifully photographed poses. The cases held treasures of middle-earth that anybody would love to get their hands on. There was a Wraith’s blade, Galadriel’s vial, Haldir’s sword, and Gandalf’s staff, just to name a few. Many people crowded around these cases staring at the craftmanship and detail these objects displayed.

Four very well armoured men guarded the next room. To our surprise, we were standing in the Golden Hall! You ask, How can we tell? Intricately designed and decorated horses adorned everything, from horse framed paintings to horse heads atop the room’s pillars. Even the armour of the men in this room had the horse image on it. Our eyes were immediately drawn to the front of the hall where shields and swords surrounded an imposing throne. While Theoden was not seated in the thrown himself, there were two long haired bearded men standing guard at its sides. This time, when I asked to feel the armour, it was real. The chain metal skirt that they wore undearneath the breastplate would be useful in battle. The orcs don’t have a chance.

We exited the great hall and found ourselves in a small courtyard. This area was also decorated with colorful banners and flags, but from what looked to be places all over middle-earth. We stopped at the bar here to get some wine, and moved on down a very unstable cobbelstone walkway that wrapped around the back of the castle. And voila, we were back near the band.

It was at this point, that we finally decided to get something to eat. The roast pig, fish, fresh side dishes, and drink were just too much to resist. To avoid the lines, we travelled back down to Rivendell and Lothlorien to join the shorter lines. I feasted on skewered lamb shesh-ka-bob , scalloped potatoes, and some bread, while Amy ate salmon shese-ka-bob. We both drank some fine wine. Leo and Maurice also shared in the food and we all sat near the arcade of Rivendell.

What happened next is unclear. All at once, I was overcome by a sense that something great was near us. Something that could control the vision and style of middle-earth with a stroke of his hand, and there he was, John Howe. Leo had interviewd Mr. Howe at a conference in the Netherlends, but nothing had prepared us for meeting one of the great Tolkien artists ever, here, in Middle-earth. Equipped with an ‘eye of sauron’ pin and his sketchpad, we politely called out his name and said Hello. John was a great person and very fun to talk to. He loved the footage we had seen as much as we did, and couldn’t wait to see the rest. I mentioned how the Balrog seemed to be similar to the one he drew for the recent board game, and he nodded. He expressed his honor in seeing his creations on paper come to life on the big screen. After talking with John, and finishing our meals, we decided to head back to the castle to look around more.

Just as we walked through the front gates of Minas Tirith again, guess who we saw! Bilbo Baggins and his daughter! Bilbo was much shorter then I had imagined, but seemed genuinely happy to be at this occasion. After all, there was a huge sign hanging on a wall outside wishing him Happy Birthday! He was very pleasant, but had never seen His daughter had, however, and we talked briefly about how wonderful his work was in the footage, and how we can’t wait to see the final product.

We moved again into the courtyard…


Thus ends part one of my Middle-earth dream. The next installment involves meeting a bunch of people from Middle-earth, the visionary behind the entire process, and a wonderful time with the dwarf that the whole movie is based on. Gimli of course. (Or so he likes to say!)


Posted in Cannes 2001, Events, Film Screenings, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Old Cannes News, Premieres

Cali talks Cannes Party!

Calisuri called me a few times during the LOTR party, literally…I think he wanted to taunt me.

He called to tell us all about the experience of being there! He said that there was a full Hobbit hole set re-constructed! walk past that and there were Dark Riders! mounted! Actual horses and swords and everything! He also said there were massive pillars with bird-like skeletal features on them.

He mentioned that many many people were walking around in costune, hobbits and orcs and all types of men from different lands. He tried to make the Men of Gondor and a band of Orcs fight, but they weren’t into it (I do think the champagne was free and flowing quite a bit…if only you could hear his excitement).

He spoke with many LOTR cast and crew members, including Clair Raskind, Richard Taylor, PJ, and more. He said there were fireworks going off outside the castle and everyone was having a marvelous time!

He will have something up for you to read soon.

Posted in Cannes 2001, Events, Film Screenings, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Old Cannes News, Premieres

Operation Tolkien

From: Soren

“An exclusive group of affluent film-merchants got to see 20 minutes of very temporary and incoherent footage from Peter Jackson’s filming of Tolkien’s trilogy LOTR at last years filmfestival in Cannes. More hasn’t been leaked from the topsecret project until last thursday night, when New Line Cinema invited the world press and showed 25 incredible minutes from the coming 3 movies – each lasting 2-3 hours.

Here, my ladies and gentlemen, were the otherwise so blasé filmjournalists given such a treazt that you have to go back to Star Wars times for a parallel. Many even thought that George Lucas might as well sénd Han Solo, Anakin Skywalker, R2D2, and the rest on retirement, and forget everything about competing with LOTR – so much do the hobbits, elves, and dwarves kick ass!

The records do cling to this monster of a filmproduction. Roads have been constructed and demolished again, along with houses, cave systems, and castles. Adding to the production budget of 2,5 billion kroner, the company plans on spending 400 million kr. – or what equals the production of approximately 50 dogma-movies – to market the trilogy.

But much is also at stake. Even though Mark Ordesky from New Line, who also was involved in Lars von Triers “Dancer In The Dark”, claims that the 34 yr. old company will survive a flop, he looks very pale by the thought of it. Earlier this year New Line had to sack one fifth of their staff, and therefore many argues that the company’s very existence directly depends on the trilogy’s succes.

Peter Jackson: “Hollywood – in this case Miramax – would compress the trilogy into only one movie, but from the beginning I told them that it would be impossible. Surely, from a novel of 1000 pages you can’t bring everything on to the screen, but we really have tried to include all of the most important characters and events. you can say this is not solely a film FOR Tolkien-fans, it’s a film made BY Tolkien-fans,” says PJ, who has spent 7 yrs. of his life on the project.

Most of the starcast attend the several days lasting press offensive that almost can be compared to a military operation. Among others the Danish American Viggo Mortensen who plays Aragorn.

“Viggo was the last actor to be hired for the movie. We were lacking the perfect Aragorn, when a colleague asked me to re-watch some of the films he had done. And there he suddenly was as large as life in front of me. Viggo has during the shooting been completely synonymous with Aragorn, to such an extent that it’s hard to see him as Viggo again and not Aragorn. I have never ever witnessed an actor enter into the spirit of a role the way he did,” Peter Jackson says, and adds: “Even though the 3 movies first and foremost are the result of a supreme teamwork, I’m certain that Viggo Mortensen will be a world-famous star already from film no. 1. He has exactly what will make most people see him as the great hero.”

As for himself, Viggo Mortensen, who has a Danish father and who speaks a perfect Danish, says to Politiken:

“I don’t really know exactly what happened myself, but I lost myself completely in the role of Aragorn. I am a man who likes to withdraw myself into solitude, and walk long hikes in the woods and in the mountains. So is Aragorn. We just fit perfectly together.”

The Danish distributor is careful not to market the movie too massively in Denmark: “I don’t think we Danes are into that kind of overfeeding. I know from myself, if I hear and see too much of a certain thing in too short a time, I instinctively turn against it. We wouldn’t wnat that to happen in this case. Of course we will have a gala opening a week before the official release, where we will invite members of the royal family – as you know, Queen Margaret herself has illustrated Tolkien’s works – and I sincerely hope that we will get Viggo Mortensen to Denmark to promote each movie.”

“The first two movies end with a cliffhanger, followed by an appetizer for the next to come,” Peter Jackson explains.

As for the merchandise, Mark Ordesky says: “The actors have the right of veto against every single toy; if Elijah Wood doesn’t like a particular Frodo-figure, it just has to be made all over again. I think that’s the first time in movie history that such is the case”

Posted in Cannes 2001, Events, Film Screenings, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Old Cannes News, Premieres

Big Breakfast covers Cannes

From: Sean

BBC Breakfast news featured a small segment on the Cannes film festival, with their reporter showing off her visit to the LotR party. There were some elvish looking guards in the background and, even better, a Ringwraith on a horse! it looked excellent… there was a short interview with Christopher Lee (about how he always dreamed about playing in LotR) and a few clips from the teaser trailer. I think the reporter that was at Cannes also works for the BBC’s movie programme FILM 2001, so maybe there will be more on the LotR Cannes Extravaganza on thursday (BBC 1). She ended her piece by showing off her goodie bag from the party, and her pleasure at getting – instead of the usual keyrings and stuff- a copy of the LotR trilogy in a single volume!

Posted in Cannes 2001, Events, Film Screenings, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Old Cannes News, Premieres

RealVideo PJ Interview

Canal + has posted their RealVideo of the PJ interview they had this week-end. Check it out, they ask PJ only 1 question and show the trailer (in french, which is kinda neat). Get the streaming file and move the progress bar to about 20 minutes into the show. [More] (RealPlayer is needed)

Posted in Cannes 2001, Events, Film Screenings, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Old Cannes News, Peter Jackson, Premieres

Peter Jackson trains New Zealand’s military elite.

Well, not really. Auckland’s newspaper ‘The Herald’ had the usual stuff about LOTR and Cannes, but finished with this quote from Peter Jackson:

“..Since New Zealand is a small country, the Government was keen to help in whatever way.
The Prime Minister actually came to visit us early on and she said ‘What can we do to help?’ And we said ‘Have you got any spare soldier?’ and she immediately contacted the Minister of Defence who made a battalion of soldiers available.

“It was kind of fun with the soldiers – we got to train them in the use of swords and shields and spears, and with the defence cutbacks we have in New Zealand, it will be useful training for them.”

(Didn’t “Braveheart” use real soldiers for its army? Maybe we can still do military excercises with Scotland. – T )

Posted in Cannes 2001, Events, Film Screenings, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Old Cannes News, Other Cast, Premieres

The Party – TV One describes it.

You get a few more details of the atmosphere at the Chateau, and a nice pic of Gandalf in the mountains – not one I’ve seen, but then it’s getting hard to tell what’s new and what isn’t. [More]

Posted in Cannes 2001, Events, Film Screenings, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Old Cannes News, Premieres

One More Pic

Kryel sends along another great pic of the cast at Cannes. [More]

Posted in Billy Boyd, Cannes 2001, Elijah Wood, Events, Film Screenings, Ian McKellen, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Old Cannes News, Orlando Bloom, Premieres, Sean Astin, Sean Bean

Leo Talks LOTR Party

From: Leo our good buddy at

leo just called me to report from the party in Cannes:

There are Elves, Hobbits, Orcs, Men from Gondor and Rohirrim walking around at the party.

Outside of the castle they built the entire set of Bag End (real life size), the tents which they used at bilbo’s farewell party, and there was a pool in which Galadriels boat was floating.

Inside the castle there was some sort of exposition where you could see the phial of galadriel, some swords (including Narsil) and pictures of the cast.

Posted in Cannes 2001, Events, Film Screenings, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Old Cannes News, Premieres, Props


Hobbits go to Hollywood

Fantasy rules at Cannes

You Liked This Movie, Or Else

Posted in Cannes 2001, Events, Film Screenings, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Old Cannes News, Premieres

UK Sunday Times reviews the clip

This is an interesting report, apart from a few neekerbreekerisms – confusing Sauron and Saruman for instance. It does answer the concern about whether the film’s G13 rating will make the violence bloodless and cartoonish. [More[

Thanks to Phillip for this.

Posted in Cannes 2001, Events, Film Screenings, Lord of the Rings, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Old Cannes News, Premieres

More CANNES Links and Newspaper Clips

Lord of the Rings film trilogy

Ring spell cast at Cannes – hit looks likely

Posted in Cannes 2001, Events, Film Screenings, Lord of the Rings, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Old Cannes News, Peter Jackson, Premieres, Production