The Lord Of The Rings

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archive Thru March 2002: Archive thru January 2002:The Lord Of The Rings
By Admin on Saturday, December 29, 2001 - 10:17 pm: Edit

this thread is closed, re-opening in new location

By Don_Walsh on Saturday, December 29, 2001 - 08:34 pm: Edit


I think petermarc was arguing that the Jackson film(s) are influenced by Star Wars, and I was arguing the negative of that.

As to Saruman, in the first book there were doubts and worries but Saruman did not really go down as an enemy for sure till TWO TOWERS -- the compression of this in the film (and the dropping of Radaghast the Brown) is just one of the small prices to be paid for distilling the trilogy into 9 hours of film. I'm told that the LOTR website indicates that another casualty is Tom Bombadil -- though how the forces of good can traffic with the Ents without Tom is unclear to me. I will have to consult my Palantir.

"Answer hazy, ask again later"

PS of course Arthur Machen influenced HPL as did Bierce and Poe and Burton. We don't have to deduce this; it's in his collected letters, in three volumes, from Arkham House, ed.Don Wandrei

By Perruche_Verte on Saturday, December 29, 2001 - 03:11 pm: Edit


Re Saruman and Sauron:

In the books, Saruman does appear to be raising an army for his own purposes, as Artemis says, and it is only later on that we learn of his using the Orthanc-stone - one of the Palantiri or Seeing-Stones - and coming under the control of Sauron that way. He appears to be acting in his own interests, and probably believes himself to be doing so, but in fact he's been trapped.

The movie just cuts to the chase; at Isengard, Saruman plainly tells Gandalf to ally with Sauron rather than be destroyed. This does remove some of the suspense that was present in the books, but it does make it more clear why Saruman chooses to imprison Gandalf, bring orcs into Isengard and begin transforming it into a kind of 19th-century industrial hell, quite shockingly depicted.

I loved the scenes of Gandalf's escape with the help of a little moth and the great eagle Gwaihir. Eagles don't fly by night, but I'll forgive that.

By Bjacques on Saturday, December 29, 2001 - 02:25 pm: Edit

There's a [Penguin] book from the late '50s called the St. Trinian's Story. It reprints most of the cartoons and has Ronald Searle and others talking about the pop cultural phenomenon the cartoons and the two or three movies spawned. It's great stuff.

By Verawench on Saturday, December 29, 2001 - 02:24 pm: Edit

Weir's "Fearless" is great. Except for the ending.

By Artemis on Saturday, December 29, 2001 - 02:14 pm: Edit


No, to my knowledge, I haven't seen any Weir movie other than "Picnic". But "The Last Wave" sounds fine - apparently it follows the same theme.

I agree that "Picnic" is scary - the horror is always lurking right there behind the ordinary, which is what makes it so delightful. You can cut the suspense, not to mention the sexual tension, with a knife.

I've read that the movie was SO effective, that for thirty years after "Picnic" was made the actress who played the finest of the young girls was plagued by stalkers and curiosity seekers who just couldn't let it go, in the same way that the boy in the film who watched the girls cross the creek forever couldn't let them go.

I assumed the movie was about a real event. Research by quite a few people has revealed that's unlikely. The author of the book apparently would never say one way or the other.

By Lordhobgoblin on Saturday, December 29, 2001 - 12:50 pm: Edit

Well done. I can see the warrior clad in ring-mail and a vendel-helm about to lead his men into bloody battle.

By Chrysippvs on Saturday, December 29, 2001 - 12:10 pm: Edit

"Whose heritage?"

When I think of heritage I think only in linguistic terms, hence I like the terms like Semite, Slovak, over terms like Jew and Russian. Thus anyone who speaks English, Russian, Urdu, etc (unless maybe if one learned it through forced naturalization i.e. slaves) as a first language should atleast have some working knowledge of the first literature of that language.

Anyhow if one were to learn old English, old Norse and old Icelandic are just a drop in the bucket. Take for instance the old norse"Vilt þu selja mer þin klæði min goðr maðr?" and the Old English "Wilt þu sellan me þin clæð, godman min?" Also you can read and write in runes properly.

Speaking of all this, here are my first poetic lines in old English (fate poem, like many others from the same period), of course these are baby steps but let me know what you think:

Mære Wyrd, beorna ende, ic hate Þe!
Þu, Þe bloweÞ freorig wind, ic hate Þe!
Hrædlice feall, ful wind, on ure feondum.
Þa Þe cumaÞ iscealdon norðan, atelic.
Gearo ic beo, to-gædre, feohtan.
Gearo ic beo, mid iren, forðferan.


Valiant Fate, end of men, I call to you!
You, who blow the frozen wind, I call to you!
Swiftly fall, foul wind, onto our enemies.
Those that come from the ice-cold north, dreadful.
Ready, we are, together to fight.
Ready, we are, with swords, to die!

Anyone reading list for those interested:

Old English Grammar and Reader
Robert E. Diamond

Beowulf : A Dual-Language Edition
Howell. D. Chickering (Translator)

Njal's Saga
Magnus Magnusson (Translator)


By Horuseye on Saturday, December 29, 2001 - 11:07 am: Edit


I saw "Picnic at Hanging Rock" first when I was
about twelve or thirteen.
It scared - thank you, Don - the dogpiss out of
me. I believed it to be a true story. It was
a perfect kind of "you-don´t-see-the-monster-
behind-the-door"-horror movie.

Did you see Peter Weir`s "The last wave" from
1977 ? Young Richard Chamberlain plays a law-
yer in Sydney, who - by defending a few aboriginals in a murder case - enters their my-
thological universe deeper and deeper and finally
finds himself caught in visions of a coming ar-
mageddon - a last,great flood all over Australia,
an old aboriginals prophecy - an he himself is
the harbinger.
A movie with a strange, disturbing atmosphere.
If I remember it correcctly, Peter Weir made
this film directly after "Picnic...".


By Admin on Saturday, December 29, 2001 - 10:01 am: Edit

How did you know I have a thing for school girls? Does it show?

The ultimate in school girl worship: "The Belles of St. Trinian's" by Ronald Searle ... the movie w/ Alistair Sim is also one of the finest.

Little girls as they ought to be, as I was; drinking, smoking, ornery.

By Artemis on Saturday, December 29, 2001 - 08:03 am: Edit

"Picnic at Hanging Rock" is one of my favorites. Brilliant."

Girls in a girls school, lined up in a daisy chain, tightening each others' corsets!! On St. Valentine's Day. With Pan calling to them, and they don't even know what's calling them.
Speaking of which, how about Arthur Machen, Don? Obviously he influenced Lovecraft. The heavy foreboding atmosphere in "Picnic" is dead on with that in Machen's stories. It's like a Machen work come to life.

By Artemis on Saturday, December 29, 2001 - 07:58 am: Edit

And the movie takes it a step farther by bringing Tolkien's books to those not even inclined to read. That's okay, too.

Anatomist is right, if I remember correctly: in the books, Saruman built his own army for his own reasons, not at Sauron's bald-faced request as the movie had it. I told Don in an earlier post, the corruption of Saruman was a done deal in the first *movie*, not in the first *book*, because I don't remember it being so in the book. I suppose the movie took some liberties with the plot to give the audience the sense of what was going on in the time alloted, but I saw no reason for that particular twist.

I'm with Peter in that I don't see any way Star Wars could NOT be influenced by LOTR, but I'm with Don in that Star Wars pales by comparison.

By Artemis on Saturday, December 29, 2001 - 07:49 am: Edit

I recall an episode of "Northern Exposure" wherein Ruth Ann Miller, the old lady storekeep, was struggling to learn Italian so she could read Dante the way it was meant to be read. Eventually she gave up and let someone who could speak Italian read it to her, and as far as I'm concerned, was better off, not because it was less work (although that's good enough reason; as Don pointed out, some of us grow old and simply don't have the time or energy to be learning everything we would *like* to learn just for the fun of it) but because she got the benefit of accurate rhythm and cadence ... every bit like hearing the bard tell of Cuchulainn vs. reading the scribbling of monks, as Perruche said. And I am (or was) a linguist, trained as such by the U.S. Government. It's a lot easier to learn a language when someone is MAKING you go to language class 40 hours a week, and paying you for it, to boot.

Tolkien has done the work for those masses not inclined to the study of "real" sagas, or not capable of such study. He came back and showed us what that world is like, and then some. Nothing wrong with that.

By Don_Walsh on Saturday, December 29, 2001 - 03:22 am: Edit

Whose heritage? If you mean me then old Norse would be one, Gaelic and Welsh another (Cambro-Norman), Latin, Greek, and probably Arabic yet another (poor trampled Sicily.) Throw in German and we're back to Latin and Norse I guess.

If you mean Marc I suppose that's going to be complex as well.

By Don_Walsh on Saturday, December 29, 2001 - 03:15 am: Edit

I wish I had the luxury of time and the intellectual energy to learn a dead language just so I could access the literature recorded in it.

J.Robert Oppenheimer learned Sanskrit so he could read the Bha'givad Gita in the original.

But most of us aren't Oppie. Justin's a linguist with an energy appropriate to his age, And obviously, a very find mind. But very few are going to learn to read the old Norse sagas in the original; few enough read the translations. Hell, I read Dante in the Ciardi translation because I didn't want to bother with the medieval Italian. So I missed some of the best jokes.

Most fans of Tolkien never bothered to learn Elvish, but that had little impact on his accessibility to millions. Literature in a vacuum of readership is dead.

I am hoping that Peter Jackson's films will interest many more millions to actually read the books. That will be his real tribute to Tolkien.

Maybe I'll try to read The Silmarilion again.

By Chrysippvs on Saturday, December 29, 2001 - 03:12 am: Edit

They languish in obscurity because nobody can understand the stuff."

What is difficult?...I am reading them fine and have no prior knowledge of similar literature and no knowledge of old Norse and old English prior to two weeks ago...

Pick up a saga, Njal's saga for instance and read it, I am sure you will find it both readable and very pleasing considering that it is your heritage, not Virgil or Homer, rather Egil and such personalities.

By Don_Walsh on Saturday, December 29, 2001 - 03:03 am: Edit

Petermarc: "I'm not saying that one is better than the other (viz: LOTR vs SW)"

Well, if someone tries to compare the two it is like comparing the Osmonds with Mozart. One is pedestrian, the other is transcendental. One is Thnderipple and a grilled cheese sandwich; other is Chateau Latour of a particularly good vintage that hasn't corked and is served with a particularly fine meal.

I'm picky about writers. I really like L.Durrell, some DH Lawrence, Roger Zelazny, Philip Atlee, HP Lovecraft, and Tolkien. Those are the ones I RE-read. A whole lot more get a single reading, some don't get finished at all. Oh, you can add some Douglas Adams to the good list. Maybe that's eclectic and idiosyncratic but there you are.

By Marccampbell on Saturday, December 29, 2001 - 02:27 am: Edit

they languish in obscurity because nobody can understand the stuff.

By Chrysippvs on Saturday, December 29, 2001 - 02:21 am: Edit


It is a shame in many ways that more people can read tenqwar and sindaran than read old Norse or old English. The Eddas and the Sagas are some of the finest literature ever produced, Njal's saga deeply influenced my respect for the northmen, and with learning old English rereading Beowulf is a joy atop a joy...

I don't understand the hype of Tolkien when such great pieces of literature languish in almost total obscurity...

By Marccampbell on Saturday, December 29, 2001 - 12:02 am: Edit

I never liked the Star Wars movies. They lack all the elements that make THE LORD OF THE RINGS so wonderful: character development, atmosphere, depth, scariness and passion.

By Don_Walsh on Friday, December 28, 2001 - 08:31 pm: Edit

Tolkien's wimmin are better looking; Wagner's were fat sopranos best remembered for cinematically scaring the dogpiss out of Viet Cong.

Anyway, no one owns Norse mythology. If they did, the estate of the author of Beowulf would be sueing Michael Crichton..

And seriously, all comparisons to 'The Ring of the Niebelung' are one dimensional superficialities.

By Mr_Carfax on Friday, December 28, 2001 - 07:06 pm: Edit

The actual "Hanging Rock" is about 70km from Melbourne in the Macedon Ranges and was a site used by the Wurundjeri aboriginal people- I am unsure whether it was sacred or just a campsite.

It is easily accessible and I'm sure it is a good place to drink absinthe.

By Admin on Friday, December 28, 2001 - 02:58 pm: Edit

"Picnic at Hanging Rock" is one of my favorites. Brilliant. It makes a good double feature with "Walkabout" ...

By Petermarc on Friday, December 28, 2001 - 01:00 pm: Edit

i didn't see the NYT review, but stick with my comparison...just look at it with an open mind...i'm not trying to say that one was better than the other, just that there are real story line or maybe moreso, stylistic similarities...i can't believe that star wars was written without lifting from these stories...i am pleased that this movie could be made without everyone screaming 'rip off! rip off!' when it was the original or at least existed, before the other...

By Perruche_Verte on Friday, December 28, 2001 - 12:34 pm: Edit

And you're right about the wraiths. The scenes at the ferry, and later where they break through the gate into Bree were extremely effective but way over the top -- in the book they don't resort to that much violence until later in the story.

By Perruche_Verte on Friday, December 28, 2001 - 12:31 pm: Edit

Well, SOMEBODY needs a slapping for letting that slip (unless we can assume that everyone here has seen the movie by now).

There are other little foreshortenings and emendations that Jackson puts the story through, and I think they are all just for the purpose of making it a good movie as opposed to a good novel.

The books make good use of the uncertainty amongst the White Council as to Saruman's intent and motivations. The movie doesn't have as much time to make its point, and it needs to make its point in a big way or, to be brutal about it, people will start to yawn and the rest of the project may never be completed.

(Remember the Ralph Bakshi version? That was supposed to be the first of at least two parts -- it ended with the defense of Helm's Deep, IIRC. The rest never happened.)

But this is such a triumph that I'm sure we'll see the rest. I can't think of anything they really got wrong. It differs from the book in the way I imagine the tales of Cuchulainn would be different if heard from a traditional storyteller rather than read from the scratchings of monks.

By Anatomist on Friday, December 28, 2001 - 11:59 am: Edit

I was very pleased, even amazed, with the movie overall.

***spoiler alert***

One thing that puzzles me though - does anyone have any idea why they revealed the Sauron-Saruman connection and brought in the orb two movies early? In the books, it is indicated that Saruman wants the ring and all the power for himself. He even has a separate army with distincitve logos which is not ostensibly allied with the forces of Mordor.

The other quibble I had was that I thought the encounters with the wraiths were too close, and the impression was given that their power came somewhat from physical force, rather than predominantly through pure fear.


By Artemis on Friday, December 28, 2001 - 11:25 am: Edit

"plagarizing Wagner"

On what planet do these people live? I'm sure all that was hashed out in the 50s, when Tolkien's books came out. I avoid reading ANY of that "critic" crap. The only words I've read about that movie are right here, and that's good enough for me.

On the other hand, the other night on IFC Channel, I saw "Picnic at Hanging Rock" from start to finish for the first time. It's an Australian movie, it's fiction, but it so captivates people, they get PISSED OFF when they find out it's fiction (so I found out from scrounging the Internet for info about it). Basically, it's about young virgins who succumb to the call of the Great God Pan. That is one fine, freaky, movie.

By Admin on Friday, December 28, 2001 - 10:57 am: Edit

Don, the comparison that keeps freaking *me* out is critics keep saying he's plagarizing Wagner.


Tolkein & Wagner were inspired by the same source material, namely the norse mythology you mentioned.

So much for educated critics.


By Joalco on Friday, December 28, 2001 - 09:16 am: Edit


Without uttering those-which-shall-not-be-named, I think the biggest comparison is this, like a certain other movie that was released in 1977, may end up being one of those generationally-defining bits of culture...

In fact, I don't remember the last time I've seen a movie as many times in the theatre (six and counting) since the days of the original SW trilogy...

Anywho, a much-deserved hurrah to Peter Jackson, and to those willing to take a chance on a crazy kiwi whose previous films where noted for their buckets of gore and naughty, naughty puppets...


counting the days until the Two Towers....

By Don_Walsh on Friday, December 28, 2001 - 08:25 am: Edit

I just read a stupid NYT review that, like one of the posts below, alludes to a supposed resemblance between LOTR and Star Wars.

Look: LOTR is classic fantasy written by an Oxbridge don expert in Norse mythology in the 1930s and 40s.

Star Wars, at least the original three films, is space opera written by Leigh Brackett just before she died during making of the first film. I have heard the bit about the Kurosawa connection; but haven't seen THE HIDDEN FORTRESS so can't much comment. The Japanese armor-like styler of Vader's helmet and the laser swordplay and the semimoronic level of pop psuedo-Japanese gobbledeegook philosophy do speak of some ersatz Asian influence, but it's distant and lobotomized.

Don't speak of these films in the same post. Star Wars was entertaining fluff.

LOTR is something better than that.

Lucas has run out os steam if PHANTOM MENACE is anything to gauge him by.

And there's a great chasm deeper than Khazad-Dum between the quality of the casts -- Harrison Ford and Alec Guiness nothwithstanding. Show me anything else by Mark Hamill and whatshername the dope-saturated Hollywood brat? Not counting the movies they made about her rehabs...

Trust me, Sauron isn't going to turn on the Nazgul at the last moment then pull off his helmet and say "Frodo, I'm your father!"

And Gollum isn't C3PO.

By Bjacques on Friday, December 28, 2001 - 07:13 am: Edit

17.75 guilders ($7) in Amsterdam on a big curved screen. I'm continually surprised how the Dutch can find room for somthing like a big movie screen, but they've had 7 centuries of practice. All the Dutch role-playing geeks went on the first weekend.

I went with a control subject, who hadn't read any of the books. She thought it was ok, but dragged after the Mines of Moria. Also, we were sitting in the orcs' section, judging by all the coughing and b.o.

By Don_Walsh on Friday, December 28, 2001 - 05:51 am: Edit

We saw the first showing on opening day in Bkk, although it is showing at multiple venues here, I can only vouch for this 1 PM screening today being the first at this cineplex.

The sound was magnificent, no complaints.

A magnificent piece of work, is about all I can say. I saw things I never thought I'd see save in my mind's eye as I have done since the early 60s. A tour de force! I can't wait for THE TWO TOWERS.

My Thai wife and son and his girlfriend all thoroughly enjoyed the film, by the way, despite having no prior knowledge of the Tolkien world. What we saw was in English with Thai subtitles (and also English subtitles when Elvish or other M.E. tongues are being used.)

In a few days I will take three of my staff and my 11 year old niece to see it.

By Verawench on Thursday, December 27, 2001 - 12:20 pm: Edit

Steers - horny!
Queers - love'em
Beers - Shiner Bock, baby.

By Mr_Rabid on Thursday, December 27, 2001 - 11:58 am: Edit

Beers, steers, and queers.

And oh yeah, cheap movie tickets...

By Verawench on Thursday, December 27, 2001 - 11:31 am: Edit

$2 Matinee down at the local mall. In some respects, Texas rocks.

By Admin on Thursday, December 27, 2001 - 09:17 am: Edit

try $9.50 in downtown San Francisco. yikes!

By _Blackjack on Thursday, December 27, 2001 - 09:17 am: Edit

I wouldn't relly call LotR the basis for Star Wars, except in that they are both rooted in the whole Hero's Quest mythic thingamabob. Tolkein, of course, created his epic long before Jospeph Campbell came into vogue, but he was very conscious of European mythology and knew what went into mythmaking.

As I've always heard it, Star Wars was originally based on Kurasawa's "The Hidden Fortress," tho I suspect Don knows the inside scoop.

By _Blackjack on Thursday, December 27, 2001 - 09:08 am: Edit

THey were $8.50 at the Uptown in DC, and worth every penny. The screen is immense (the first row of seats are INSIDE the curve of the screen) and the sound system is incredible. You could actually FEEL the Balrog. If you saw the movie in a small theater, take the time to find someplace with DTS or such and see it again.

The crowd when I saw it were all fans (some in costume...) I consoled my date that at least we knew all the people in front of us in line were bigger geeks than we were. Even so, several moments in the film left them awestruck and silent. One scene in particular (I am unsure if I should worry about spoiling a 50-year-old story, but you know the one I mean) had me so enthralled that, even tho I KNEW what was going to happen, I was shocked. That's good movie.

By Petermarc on Thursday, December 27, 2001 - 08:50 am: Edit

i saw it sunday in marseille-dubbed in french-and 3 hours of that was quite a work-out...
(it is easy to find movies subtitled, and in their original language in paris, but elsewhere in france, it is very difficult)i have not read the books(i started and got bored very quickly by the heavy details and also was put-off by the hysterical popularity of it during the late '70's) ...i thought it was very well done and will probably go again to see it in english(the fantasy languages were not dubbed, but subtitled in french)...this story seems to be the base for star wars and would have been even more incredible had it been released before those was nice to see actors really acting in this type of fantasy, especially after the last star wars...everything was very believable, costuming, sets and make-up well done(though the morphing of frodo's eyes was not consistent)...the french didn't seem very moved by it...lots of shuffling in the brother-in-law and his girlfriend didn't understand why it was so was, i felt, as marc originally remarked, a great 'escape' movie...

By Artemis on Thursday, December 27, 2001 - 07:46 am: Edit

" ... that single close-up on Frodo's face when he first glimpses Gandalf"

Angelic. A cherub for sure. What a beautiful face.

"What are tickets costing in the States these days?"

At the noon Saturday showing in a small town in Illinois, $5 a person. The place wasn't even half full.

" in Bangkok, theatre seats are 100 baht ($2.25 US). Luxury VIP seats are 20 baht/45 cents more."

Well, I didn't do do much worse than that, $15 for my wife, my daughter and me, but I would be willing to pay $20 a head for a seat walled off from morons come with a four-year old child to whom they proceed to "explain" the frigging movie for three hours, or who can't understand why they should immediately stop the little bastard from tap dancing when he gets bored.

"I can't see Legolas and Gimli together without thinking of Jay & Silent Bob..."

Legolas does bear a striking resemblance to Jay. I heard Sweden was a recruiting ground for the movie's elves - all those tall fair blondes. Did Luger put down his Luger and pick up a bow?

By Bjacques on Thursday, December 27, 2001 - 07:31 am: Edit

I was wondering when it would make it over there. NL gets BBC1 & 2, and a guy here at work runs Channel 4 from a satellite dish to his server, which he streams to his laptop at work.

I liked Gormenghast a lot, though I hadn't read the trilogy. I understand BBC's premium channel did an extra episode based on Titus Alone, I think.

Zoe Wanamaker, who was Madam Hooch in "Harry Potter," was one of the twin Princesses in "Gormenghast." Jonathan Rhys-Meyers you might remember from "Velvet Goldmine."

I can't see Legolas and Gimli together without thinking of Jay & Silent Bob...

Well, Kallisti, the scattered band of Mondoids still needs a few agents in place in these overly-earnest times. Glad you survived the cataclysm. In a vein similar to, but more playful than "Conceiving Ada," you might like Suzanne Treister's PC/Mac CD-ROM "No Other Symptoms."

She plays time-travelling Dr. Rosalind Brodsky, who goes into the past to be analyzed by Freud, Jung, Kristeva and others, and to find her ancestors who died in the Holocaust, and into the future to host a cooking show for aliens. with the money she made by inventing vibrators with the heads of famous postmodern precursors, she bought Ludwig II's castle. This actually works.

Suzanne Treister is loosely connected to the Australian group VNS matrix. They've done some fun and interesting graphic work and I try to collect their work when I can.

By Don_Walsh on Thursday, December 27, 2001 - 05:51 am: Edit

I'm taking my wife, my 19 yr old son and his girlfriend to see the opening of LOTR tomorrow, and even in the VIP section it will cost me <$10 for the quartet...not counting buttered popcorn.

THAT by itself almost makes 13 years in Thailand worthwhile. (THere's plenty of other things.)

Thais tend to be superstitious, believing in animistic spirits, ghosts are very real to them, plus a host of evil spirits (loosely translatable as ghouls, etc.) There is a plethora of Thai Saturday morning children's programming on TV revolving around Buddhist and Brahministic/Hindu fantasy/mythology, and while the FX are at the Harry Harryhausen stage (40 years ago) my impression is that this will mean that Thais will easily accept the LOTR universe/mythos of Middle Earth and there will be little cultural barrier to their appreciation of it. The Thai translation of LOTR is roughly "The Ring that Rules the World" which is of course -- spot on, though not direct. And the Nazgul and Balrog ought to scare the dogpiss out of them.

And me.

Someone (Carfax?) mentioned being impressed by the Nazgul scream. Personally, I;ve never gotten over the Disney "Darby O'Gill" banshee and her wail which I saw when I was a wee lad of maybe 9-10. So I am glad I am not seeing LOTR at that age, I am seeing it a good 37 years on from first reading of the trilogy and The Hobbit amd so I have four decades of my imagination -- a science fiction and fantasy writer's imagination -- for this movie to live up to, or surpass, and by all accounts I shan't be disappointed.

By Admin on Wednesday, December 26, 2001 - 10:59 pm: Edit

Another one for Christopher Lee fans that came out on dvd a couple months ago is the BBC's "Gormenghast" based on the novels by Mervyn Peake, a contemporary of Tolkein. Also a fantasy with political-socio significant commentary, & plays at 5 hours. It played here in the states on Masterpiece Theater. Twas lovely ...

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, December 26, 2001 - 09:16 pm: Edit

K., thanks for the correction.

LOTR opens in Bangkok tomorrow (28th) and I am taking my family to see it. They will be running both Thai-dubbed and original soundtrack (with Thai subtitles) versions.

What are tickets costing in the States these days?

You will all hate this, but in Bangkok, theatre seats are 100 baht ($2.25 US). Luxury VIP seats are 20 baht/45 cents more.

By Mr_Rabid on Wednesday, December 26, 2001 - 07:33 pm: Edit

"You will not pass!"

By Verawench on Wednesday, December 26, 2001 - 06:34 pm: Edit

My vote for favourite movie moment:

In the beginning, that single close-up on Frodo's face when he first glimpses Gandalf. It was perfect.

By Etienne on Wednesday, December 26, 2001 - 06:28 pm: Edit

I think I must be the last one on the block.... I saw the film this afternoon. It was perfect. Like Artemis said, there was nothing that wasn't as it should be.

By Mr_Carfax on Wednesday, December 26, 2001 - 05:51 pm: Edit

Finally saw it last night...I can't think of a movie which has made me flip between tears of joy and sadness in the same space of time....the death of Boromir really got to me.

The Ringwraiths though.....the way they screamed, that's a sound to sit in your subconscious for life and make you jump should you ever hear something similar to it in the dead of night....

And the music.....I know you can get it on CD already, but apparently the entire soundtrack proper (all 3 hours) is going to be released soon as well.

By Artemis on Wednesday, December 26, 2001 - 02:07 pm: Edit

Saruman tempted and succumbed to Sauron is already a done deal in the first movie, but since The Two Towers is the second book, I guess we have much more to which to look forward from Saruman; the march of the Ents upon his tower for one thing.

Christoper Lee looks OLD in the movie, liver spots and everything, he looks even worse than a centuries-old wizard should. I love him, though.

I thought maybe the bed that BJacques mentioned was the Elvish bed in which Frodo recovers from the wound the Ringwraith gave him; I didn't even remember such a bed from the book, but my wife said that bed was exactly as she pictured it.

By Admin on Wednesday, December 26, 2001 - 01:43 pm: Edit

From what I understand, it took a full year in post production for FOTR ... and that the other two need the next two years of similar treatment still. Hence Mssr. Lee's last wish to see them completed.

Artemis! Woo, I was waiting to see what my curmudgeons would come back with (and I mean that in a *good* way, heh) ... I saw it again on Sunday, without the emotional hype, and it held up very well with my original impression.

Bjacques! Yes, that's me bed. There's a chair in it too that is mine. I loved the concept of the film, and Tilda, but I it was made by an art geek, and not a film maker. I still have a shelf of Mondo2000. But I worked for Wired ... and while we were underpaid, it was a bless'ed experience. Those first few years were remarkable, even from just an environment factor. Well, mainly from an environment factor, hehe. I still work in the industry tho. All the enthusiasm is bust, folks have had the wind knocked out of them. And rightly so from a financial perspective. Grateful I still have my job!

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, December 26, 2001 - 05:17 am: Edit

Well, my guess is that Chris has seen the other two parts, assuming that the post below is right and they have not only been filmed but edited etc and in the can. I THINK what he meant was he wants to live long enough to see them released -- because, for one thing that springs to mind, the Saruman character and part doesn't really come to the fore until the 2nd and esp the third books, hence films. Saruman the tragic. Saruman the tempted. Saruman the flawed. "One of the mighty has fallen this day."

It may be Lee's greatest role; remains to be, in more ways than one, seen.

By Bjacques on Wednesday, December 26, 2001 - 12:53 am: Edit

That was your bed? Kewl! I thought the movie was a bit static, but I'm glad they made it. I'd love to see bits of the Mondo2000 world return. It promised a bigger and more fun future than Wired did. "Conceiving Ada," "Wild Palms" and William Gibson's X-Files episode are survivals from that age. If Bush and random skyjackers have pushed us back to 1975, that means we get another go, right?

If Christopher Lee starts to decline, I hope Peter Jackson will fly over the last two parts for a personal viewing. Don, you lucky bastard!

By Artemis on Sunday, December 23, 2001 - 05:13 am: Edit

I saw the movie yesterday.

I'm not sure I could have told anybody what I "saw" in my head when I read the books, but I can say now about Mr. Jackson: WHAT HE SAID. That's it. I saw nothing in the movie that varied from what it should be. Wow.

By Don_Walsh on Saturday, December 22, 2001 - 06:56 am: Edit

Chris Lee (I can say that because I met him, and we have mutual friends) was in New Orleans for an early showing of THE WICKER MAN at the old Prytania on Magazine Street I attended (70s?). He spoke to the audience before hand, at some length, and took questions. I know from those mutual friends that he was a WWII SAS veteran, I bet most of his fans hadn't a clue about that.

I remember he fielded a question from that audience about the occult, black magic, and replied that he knew people who were into it -- but that he cautioned anyone to stay away from it, as he said it is very real and very (self) destructive, to the practitioner. He sounded most sincere on this point.

By Admin on Friday, December 21, 2001 - 08:51 am: Edit

Absinthedrinker ...

The Wicker Man Uncut (or recut) is available on the dvd boxed set, along with the documentary.

Its brilliant. I don't think I've seen it on the big screen tho.

Christopher Lee FOREVER!

btw - the most heartbreaking quote from C. Lee (who I will paraphrase) when talking about how much making LOTR meant to him, said that his biggest wish was to live long enough to see the last movie. I WEEP. I love him so.

Yeah Em, my review is in the ribbed stimula cup thread too. Thas' alright, ya'll know how much I loved it.

Marc, tell Stephanie that she is the shit **making wild thumbs up gesture** ... I always read her reviews first, she's always right on spot with my own opinions.

By Emmy on Friday, December 21, 2001 - 02:56 am: Edit

posted the following in the dose-marked cheesiness thread, but noticed morrigan's wondering what i thought in this thread. so cut and paste fingers do your work...


(posted wed 12/19)

went and saw a midnight showing last night. first time out of the house for non-medical reasons since thanksgiving thanks to my icky illness. but i wasn't going to miss this.

my verdict...

damn good movie. jackson did stay true to the books, and i have no qualms about anything in his adaptation. there were a couple things i was iffy with, but that may change after a few more viewings. i'll leave my final verdict until then. but my first impression was one of contentment at the job done, joy at seeing what's been in my head all my life (first read the books at age 7), and an aching at the movie's close that i have to wait a year to see the Two Towers...

at just over 3 hours long, it is a bit much for the uninitiated (in our group, two hadn't read the books... one of them fell asleep [then again, it was after 2am by then] and the other thought it was good but it was a bit much to take in), however there weren't any parts that dragged on (at least not for me), and when the film came to a close around 3:15am i was ready for another 3 hours. i didn't want it to end. that sounds like a good movie to me.

as for details, i'll wait until others have posted so as not to leak any spoilers... but i will say they did an amazing job on bringing middle earth to life... the fireworks at bilbo's eleventy-first bday party were amazing, i was in awe at the battle of the opening sequence telling the story of the ring and the fall of sauron, and the fucking balrog! man... and of course, every single landscape and structure looked perfect.

you know how you see a movie adaptation of a book and there are things that just don't fit... like you think to yourself "i always pictured the door on the east side" or "the lawn's a bit sparse" just little things like that... well, i didn't have a single one of those moments. everything fit with what's been running in my head all these years.

By Absinthedrinker on Friday, December 21, 2001 - 02:05 am: Edit

UK film fans are in for a treat this new year, Channel 4 is showing 'Burnt offerings - the cult of the Wicker Man' followed by a screening of the elusive 'directors cut' on New Year's eve.

By Marccampbell on Friday, December 21, 2001 - 12:56 am: Edit

I loved AMELIE.

My favorite films of 2001 (in no particular order):


I have not seen
these may be contenders.


Looking forward to:

By Admin on Friday, December 21, 2001 - 12:35 am: Edit


hear, hear!

This was one kick ass year, and it's catching on at the polls.

Just came back from seeing Amelie tonite after putting it off for so long ...

I didn't realize the french *could* be funny. Hehe. Oh lord. I am ENTHRALLED.

Can I marry that man?

By Admin on Friday, December 21, 2001 - 12:33 am: Edit


Conceiving Ada is the very film I was talking about. The bed that opens the film, and that's in all the modern scenes, is mine. My best friend did Art Direction on that film and borrowed some "props" from me ... heh.

By Marccampbell on Friday, December 21, 2001 - 12:33 am: Edit

Moulin Rouge received 6 Golden Globe nominations including best film.

Its refreshing to see some good films get recognition by the powers that be.

By Marccampbell on Friday, December 21, 2001 - 12:30 am: Edit

Mullholland Drive was also selected by the National Society of Film Critics and The New York Film Critics Society as best film.
Will Oscar voters have the guts to vote for such
a radical film? We'll have to wait and see.

By Bjacques on Thursday, December 20, 2001 - 08:22 pm: Edit


No wait, that's...

By Bjacques on Thursday, December 20, 2001 - 07:37 pm: Edit

I like Tilda Swinton's movies (saw "Conceiving Ada" recently), but does she stare blankly in person like she does at the camera? ;-)

By Admin on Thursday, December 20, 2001 - 06:07 pm: Edit

And speaking of dwarves, that was one of the few real injustices. Poor gimli, he might as well have been a bag of sand. They cut one of his most defining moments ... it was one of the only cuts I really bristled at.

By Admin on Thursday, December 20, 2001 - 06:05 pm: Edit

Memento was nom'd for screenplay ... which makes sense.

Also was thriiiilled to see Tilda Swinton on there. She took a nap on my bed once, they both starred in a really bad movie together. Heh. I've loved her from afar for many years.

By Verawench on Thursday, December 20, 2001 - 04:54 pm: Edit

What happened to "Memento"?

By _Blackjack on Thursday, December 20, 2001 - 03:44 pm: Edit

"Nobody tosses a dwarf!"

By Admin on Thursday, December 20, 2001 - 02:37 pm: Edit

Ok, I'm going to post this here, since we be talkin' about movies ...

The Golden Globe nominations came in this morning, and while I think this was a DAMN fine year for film, I am kinda amazed that they realized it too:


Ok, so we knew LOTR would be nom'd best picture, but Mulholland Drive??? RAD.

hello. hedwig for best actor-comedy ... have we arrived OR WOT!?!?!

By Admin on Thursday, December 20, 2001 - 11:38 am: Edit

I'm moving this thread to the main absinthe section ... keep yer fingers crossed ... as I'm closing posting down on this one.


By Admin on Thursday, December 20, 2001 - 09:33 am: Edit

and I'd never thought I'd say this ...

but Frodo is hot.

By Marccampbell on Thursday, December 20, 2001 - 12:12 am: Edit

did I say something funny?

By Chrysippvs on Thursday, December 20, 2001 - 12:05 am: Edit

"Its the perfect escape from the harsh realities of the modern world."


By Verawench on Wednesday, December 19, 2001 - 11:09 pm: Edit

What struck me the most was the movie's balance and humility. Equal measure of fantastic landscapes, battle scenes, character development, relationships, stunning costumes. Not the slightest attempt to it into a special effects showcase. You simply believed everything you saw.

By Mr_Rabid on Wednesday, December 19, 2001 - 10:40 pm: Edit


I went with people from the bookstore my roomate works at (Borders.)

They all said "but it wasn't as good as the books..."

Fuck that action. It was a beautiful movie. You have to leave it in a seperate section of your brain from the books.

They did well, the actors, the director, the producers. All honour to them!

Legolas stabbed an orc in the eye with his arrow, THEN he shot it into another. Not in the books, but in the spirit of them.

Ano Ancalima! Ai! Elbereth Gilthoniel!

The spirit was in it. And the Rabbit is glad.

It will never be what the book was. And that's OK. It is what it is, and it is beautiful.

By Admin on Wednesday, December 19, 2001 - 10:16 pm: Edit

Heh, the friend I went with whispered to me after they entered Lothlorien ... "it's David Bowie-land!"

I almost peee'd!

By Tavarua on Wednesday, December 19, 2001 - 09:50 pm: Edit

At least he said, "They must be destroyed", with the same facial expression and tone as when he said it in the Matrix.

By Verawench on Wednesday, December 19, 2001 - 09:29 pm: Edit

Hugo Weaving as Elrond freaked me out. To me he will forever be Agent Smith from "The Matrix". I was waiting for him to shape shift into some sunglasses and a black suit.

By Tavarua on Wednesday, December 19, 2001 - 09:05 pm: Edit

And the winner of best line of the movie goes to:

"You will taste man flesh."

By Verawench on Wednesday, December 19, 2001 - 09:00 pm: Edit

Two words:

"Legolas... Mmmmmmm"

By Morriganlefey on Wednesday, December 19, 2001 - 10:20 am: Edit

I do believe our dear forum friend Melinelly also attended the midnight showing last night. He's been scarse lately, but perhaps he'll chime in??

- M

By Marccampbell on Wednesday, December 19, 2001 - 03:52 am: Edit

I just got home from a midnight showing of
THE LORD OF THE RINGS. Its late so I'll be brief.
The movie is genuinely marvelous. It takes you
to another world. Director Peter Jackson has created a fantasy masterpiece. Go see it. Its the perfect escape from the harsh realities of the modern world. Frodo lives!

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