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LORD OF THE RINGS WILL LOOK RICH

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  • Joan Marie Verba
    LORD OF THE RINGS WILL LOOK RICH Ian McKellen, who plays Gandalf in Peter Jackson s upcoming film trilogy The Lord of the Rings, told fans on his official Web
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 30, 2000
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      LORD OF THE RINGS WILL LOOK RICH

      Ian McKellen, who plays Gandalf in Peter Jackson's upcoming film trilogy
      The
      Lord of the Rings, told fans on his official Web site that they will be
      impressed with the films' visual look. McKellen was particularly taken with
      artistic advisor Alan Lee's contributions. Lee produced illustrations for
      J.R.R. Tolkien's trilogy of novels on which the films are based.

      "When I first walked into [the] Rivendell [set], I gasped," McKellen wrote.
      "It was like being inside a huge, three-dimensional Lee painting; the sort
      of thrill that movie theme parks aim for. The largest of the Wellington
      [New
      Zealand] studios had grown an autumnal forest glade of large fiberglass
      trunks and tangled canvas roots; a Japanese-style bridge spanned the
      electrified waterfall splashing into a pool. ... The elves' headquarters
      grew out of the vegetation, slim wooden pillars supporting walkways above
      open spaces and shaded arcades. ... One upper-level gallery had four
      original Alan Lee landscapes that he had painted especially for his
      favorite
      set, and I wondered whose walls they would end up on."

      ***********************************************
      Joan Marie Verba verba001@...
      Mythopoeic Press Secretary, Mythopoeic Society
      List Administrator for DocEx, Mythsoc,
      MNSCBWI, and MNSCREENW lists
      ***********************************************
    • David S. Bratman
      ... I appreciate the encouraging sentiment, BUT ... I feel more worried than encouraged by this. The richness and delight of Tolkien s world is a fragile,
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 2, 2000
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        On Thu, 30 Nov 2000, Ian McKellen wrote:

        > "When I first walked into [the] Rivendell [set], I gasped," McKellen wrote.
        > "It was like being inside a huge, three-dimensional Lee painting; the sort
        > of thrill that movie theme parks aim for. The largest of the Wellington
        > [New
        > Zealand] studios had grown an autumnal forest glade of large fiberglass
        > trunks and tangled canvas roots; a Japanese-style bridge spanned the
        > electrified waterfall splashing into a pool. ... The elves' headquarters
        > grew out of the vegetation, slim wooden pillars supporting walkways above
        > open spaces and shaded arcades. ..."

        I appreciate the encouraging sentiment, BUT ... I feel more worried than
        encouraged by this.

        The richness and delight of Tolkien's world is a fragile, elven one: like
        fairy gold, it turns to dust when it is stolen away, as any number of
        Tolkien-imitation novelists have proven. Nor are good intentions enough,
        as Pat Murphy showed with her artificial homage _There and Back Again_.

        With this context in mind, my concern is that fiberglass trunks, even if
        they're visually indistinguishable from real trees, will give off the
        intangible air of Disneyland, where fiberglass is the natural species,
        and not that of Rivendell, where fiberglass is unknown.

        My fears are increased by McKellen's description of "the sort of thrill
        that movie theme parks aim for." I don't want the sort of thrill that
        movie theme parks aim for. I want the sort of thrill that Tolkien aimed
        for. They are entirely different, and it's a very bad sign when someone
        does not realize that difference.

        Call me a pessimist, but nobody will be happier than I to be proved wrong
        when the pudding is ready to be eaten a year from now. Better to be
        worried now and perhaps all the more delighted later, than to risk an
        even more crushing disappointment.

        David Bratman
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