Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Guy’s World: Premiere Night In Middle Earth


Peter Jackson's stature truly represented

It’s 12.01am, I’m in geek heaven and I’m loving it. It’s the first Australasian public screening of the Fellowship of the Ring. The hardcore fans are kitted out in their pointy ears and armour. All in the theatre sense several years of anticipation about to be well and truly satiated as Peter Jackson’s epic recreation of The Lord of the Rings’ first book unfolds onscreen.


“We’re a fellowship and we’re proud”


On the side of good

Most of these fans took their medieval regalia for a spin throughout town for the pre-stars-walking-down-the-red-carpet parade in the afternoon. Wellington is Middle Earth for a week, as decreed by the city council. There’s never been a better time and place to be truly immersed in fantasy.


The common people


My presssciouus!

The vibe on Courtenay Place is festive ahead of the appearance of the stars. Odd-ball diversions abound. and soon so many fans flood into the street for a glimpse of a hobbit that any hope of finding a place on the edge of the red carpet without media accreditation (doh!) fade.


A strange bird indeed,
and a gaggle of Mutton Birds sing on the Opera balcony


A living sado-masochistic water sculpture torments children

The young stars, hobbits Elijah Wood (Frodo), Billy Boyd (Pippin), Dominic Monaghan (Merry) and elf Orlando Bloom (Legolas) are manic live wires. What’s in the pipeweed boys? Folks walking down a long red carpet has never been so much fun and thanks to the big screen, the thousands in attendance could all share in it.

Female fans scream for unlikely sex symbol Elijah Wood, who is generous with his humour, his hugs and his signature.

But Wellington saves its biggest welcome for Mr Peter Jackson. He’s a true hobbit – absolutely overwhelmed by the occasion and a little bit uncomfortable with his place in the center of it. He signs countless autographs, delaying the premiere.

When he's ready, and only when he's ready, the stars enter the Embassy for, as Peter Jackson called it, the real premiere.


The hobbits goof off

And the movie? Its big, perhaps even a little unwieldy. A fantastic drama, a real emotional roller coaster – by turns tender and terrifying.

Later, after the stars have had their premiere and are getting Legolas at the after party, a television cameraman captures the stunned audience filing out of the public screening I've just attended. Some faces reveal tears just shed. With its cast of elves, hobbits, dwarves and wizards, The Fellowship of the Rings’ power lies in its humanity.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Reese Erlich: Foreign Correspondent: Trump Plays Both Sides Against The Middle

Is he a hawk? Is he a peacenik? The President keeps us guessing . By Reese Erlich President Donald Trump has convinced Republican isolationists and hawks that he supports their views. That’s a neat trick, since the two groups hold opposing positions. ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Waiting For The Old Bailey: Julian Assange And Britain’s Judicial Establishment

On September 7, Julian Assange will be facing another round of gruelling extradition proceedings, in the Old Bailey, part of a process that has become a form of gradual state-sanctioned torture. The US Department of Justice hungers for their man. The More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Sorry Plight Of The International Education Sector

Tourism and international education have been two of the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic. They’re both key export industries. Yet the government response to them has been strikingly different. There has been nothing beyond a few words of ministerial condolence and a $51.6 million package (details below) to get the sector through the pandemic...
More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Google’s Open Letter: Fighting Australia’s News Media Bargaining Code

Tech giants tend to cast thin veils over threats regarding government regulations. They are also particularly concerned by those more public spirited ones, the sort supposedly made for the broader interest. Google has given us an example of this ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Trump’s Current Chances Of Re-Election

By now it seems clear that National have no fresh ideas to offer for how New Zealand could avoid the Covid-19 economic crisis. As in the past, National has set an arbitrary 30% ratio of government debt to GDP that it aims to achieve “in a decade or so,” ... More>>

The Conversation: Rogue Poll Or Not, All The Signs Point To A Tectonic Shift In New Zealand Politics

Richard Shaw AAP(various)/NZ Greens (CC-BY-SA)/The Conversation Strong team. More jobs. Better economy. So say the National Party’s campaign hoardings. Only thing is, last Sunday’s Newshub-Reid Research poll – which had support for the Labour ... More>>

The Coronavirus Republic: Three Million Infections And Rising

The United States is famed for doing things, not to scale, but off it. Size is the be-all and end-all, and the coronavirus is now doing its bit to assure that the country remains unrivalled in the charts of infection . In time, other unfortunates may well ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Altars Of Hypocrisy: George Floyd, Protest And Black Face

Be wary what you protest about. The modern moral constabulary are out, and they are assisted by their Silicon Valley friends in the Social Media club. Should you dare take a stand on anything, especially in a dramatic way, you will be found out ... More>>