The Lord of the Rings - Cannes Coverage


Last Update: 15 May 2001


Empire
14 May 2001

Welcome To Middle-earth

For many at Cannes this year,
the most anticipated moment is not the
bestowing of awards, nor is it the
premiere of any of the top films making
their debut at the festival. No, for
hordes of anxious journalists and fans alike, the true reason
for their pilgrimage to the south of France
was realised on Friday night (11 May) and
it only lasted 20 minutes.

An entire sequence from The Lord Of The
Rings was graciously bestowed upon the
salivating throng; the first to see this
work-in-progress, all present sat back
and prepared to be amazed. They
weren’t disappointed.

The clip followed the stalwart band of
adventurers in a chase sequence through
the Mines of Moria. Frodo and friends
valiantly do battle with Orcish hordes, a
truly awe-inspiring CG cave troll (Mummy
Returns eat your heart out) and the huge
fire demon Balrog who caused more than
a few present to mutter expletives in
stunned disbelief.

While only 14 minutes in length, the
mines sequence took tension to the limit
as the band of heroes fought for their
lives, and when the ride was over, the
thought of waiting another six months for
more was a torture of utmost cruelty.

The sequence was accompanied by
introductory clips to introduce the
characters including scenes of Bag End
and Gandalf paying a visit to Ian Holmes’
Bilbo, along with shots of many other
pint-sized hobbits. Lastly, a montage
from the entire trilogy was included to
give an idea of scope, ending with Frodo
donning the ring and shouting, “I will not
destroy it! The Ring is mine!”

And if the footage wasn’t glorious
enough, the Cannes Lord of The Rings
party was the icing on this Middle-earth
cake. Taking place at the Chateau de
Castellaras, the event saw whole
sections of the trilogy’s sets rebuilt for
revellers to immerse themselves in the
Rings experience. Attended by the whole
cast, the replica of Hobbiton featured
gargoyles and statues from the films,
hobbit houses to be explored and even a
giant bar, where would-be little-folk were
forced to stand on tip-toe to order their
drinks.

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