by the movie correspondent
This column will collect film news from the press and Internet, together with the most important non-film Tolkien references. If you have missed a daily paper, try the public library for back issues. I will endeavour to check Internet references, but please note that items on sites may be removed after display for a few days. Neither I nor the webmaster nor the Tolkien Society take any responsibility for the accuracy of these items.
The Tolkien Society site already provides links to some useful Internet sites. Here are the ones I most often turn to: www.lordoftherings.net. Official site, wonderful for interviews with the actors, background briefings, miniature videos for which you need Quicktime. I haven't installed them on my computer, and find that most play quite soon after I've clicked to start. The newest one, Eowyn, takes some time to load, and the trailers take at least 4 minutes (I have broadband). Aragorn's Destiny is another good mini-video.
About the trailer. This was also shown on Jonathan Ross' Film 2003 a few weeks ago over the closing credits; and may now be seen on the big screen preceding such films as The League of XG and Matrix Revolutions. I hope it will also precede Master and Commander, which co-stars Billy Boyd!
Best fan site - www.theonering.net. International collection of information with links to fan and media sites, magazine articles, photos, interviews and upcoming events. There is so much now that a daily visit is desirable. After a week the items are archived. If I say - I got this from TORN - I will give the approx. date.
More sites: www.mckellen.com - his production diaries. www.aint-it-cool-news.com Hollywood news, including a review of RoTK plus a lot of postings about the trilogy. You could also use the search facilities at the Guardian newspaper site and the BBC for articles about Tolkien, some of which were online only. An American newspaper, the Chicago Sun-Times at www.suntimes.com carries the archived film reviews of Roger Ebert ; and there's a lot of topical news at www.nzherald.co.nz
Magazine issues: Now is the time for the monthly magazines devoted to film, SF and fantasy to produce their special RoTK issues. But first, Newsweek in the USA (1st December) put Aragorn on the cover and celebrated the film within. If you missed this, try TORN which provides a transcript of the main text, currently in the right-hand Big News box at the head of their site. It's also urgent to let you know about the Sunday Times special magazine issue on Sunday 30th November.
Current magazines with RoTK specials include: SFX 112, Empire with features in the main January magazine and a separate booklet, Starburst 305, Starburst Special 60, Film Review December, Total Film January, and Dreamwatch 112. Also Starlog has a special magazine called Fantasy Worlds no.3, which I found in my local newsagent for £3.95. Try branches of Forbidden Planet for American magazines. Also, TV Zone promises an article about the making of the Radio 4 series in its next, December issue.
TV special. This paragraph is speculative. I'll watch out for a "making of" documentary, because we had one for each of FOTR and TT shown around Christmas 2 and 1 years ago. Also, Jonathan Ross said that he would be doing one of his Film 2003 programmes from the after-premiere party, again, as done 2 and 1 years ago.
Internet features: No substitute for scrolling down theonering.net site. Here are a couple of fine articles I found on TORN linked to other sites: ALA's Teen Read Week initiative - from the American Library Association site, posted around 17 October. This year it was sponsored by New Line and the main poster featured Orlando Bloom holding LOTR. "Reading not only improves grades; it leads to a lifetime of learning and enjoyment."
And this one. On 8th November the Science Museum hosted a session with Brian Sibley and Jane Johnson, authors of books about the film trilogy. This was recorded and placed on a personal website a few days later - look it up on TORN.
TV programme : LOTR was featured on The Big Read on Saturday November 15th for its half-hour of fame, introduced by Ray Mears. The winner will be revealed on Saturday December 13th.
Press cuttings : I'm starting with the newest first. Daily Telegraph. Friday 28th November, Film on Friday p.21. "Should Lord of the Rings get the big prize?" (i.e. Oscars).2 journalists write - one for Yes, the other for No.
John Garth's book Tolkien and the Great War has been well reviewed, if not everywhere as yet. The Evening Standard review by A.N. Wilson (10.11.03.)has been transcribed on to the Internet, and our site and TORN carry a link to this. It was also reviewed in the Independent (11.11.03.) and the Daily Mail(14.11.03.); and the Sunday Times review by Humphrey Carpenter (23.11.03.), the lead review of the section, has been transcribed on to www.timesonline.co.uk. By the way, I am using British date styles with day first, then month and year, whereas TORN starts with the month.
The loss of the Saruman sequence from RoTK, to be reinstated in the DVD, generated a lot of news mid-November. TORN's big new box carries the first report from AICN, and there is a policy statement at TORN date 11-13-03 from Xoanon. There was also online news at the time if you typed Saruman into google search, but nearly all has disappeared now, from the first Saruman pages anyway. I also found two of Saruman's spoof diaries on the first google page, one from the series of secret diaries, the other, more scholarly, from the flyingmoose site.
Press coverage as follows: Lee's evil wizard does vanishing act, Daily Telegraph 13 Nov., Screen and heard, the Times, 13 Nov., Lee's anger, Metro 13 Nov., Lee's macabre new role, Daily Telegraph 15 Nov. Also, You ask the questions, Independent Review, 13 Nov., interview gone to press before the axing story broke.
Final press roundup of recent items: Times 20 Nov and TES 21 Nov report the launch of the British Library's spoken word CD Children's Writers, from their sound archives. Tolkien reads from The Hobbit. The extended DVD has had plenty of reviews in specialist film and SF magazines; here is a mainstream review from The Times weekend magazine The Eye, 15 Nov. The Eye also reviewed the RoTK computer game on 22 Nov. Guardian online reviewed The Hobbit game, 20 Nov. The Daily Telegraph picked up a story from the Newsweek article about the trilogy's actors asking for bonuses, 25 Nov. with illoes "Lord of the Rings rebels in bonus row".
I have tried to provide accurate information, and apologise for any inaccuracies, which I hope my contacts will inform me about, for next update.
Lady Sybil Ramkin