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Showing posts from November, 2022

Tolkien Blues

I’ve been watching The Rings of Power on Amazon, and I’m afraid it’s done nothing to shake my firm belief that Tolkien is unfilmable. The stuff of Middle-earth can be put on screen - the battles, the cities, the monsters - but the budget required to do so means the resulting film or show has to be a mass-market, all-action fantasy, in which all the quieter, odder, and more profound aspects of Tolkien’s work are sidelined or left out entirely. But at least the Lord of the Rings films were made by people who knew and loved the books. The Rings of Power has clearly been designed and art-directed by people who know their stuff - the layers of detail in the sets and costumes of the Númenor sequences alone are quite extraordinary. But the storylines which have been invented to try and breathe some Lord of the Rings -ish life into the rather dry history of the ‘Second Age’ as told in the book’s appendices seldom rise above the level of bog-standard sword and sorcery. You might as well be


The original Star Wars film knocked my socks off back in '77 when I was eleven, but I've never had much interest in the various prequels and reboots, although I've sat through a lot of them happily enough for the sake of all the excellent production design. The Mandalorian was fun when it started, but gradually more and characters we recognise (or are clearly expected to recognise) from other SW things started making cameos, until the galaxy far, far away seemed to shrink to the size of a small town where you're constantly bumping into the same people. I’m sure it still thrills its target demographic, it’s just not for me. So I wasn’t planning to watch Andor, and   only stuck it on as background noise while I was working on some of the props for my own little movie . But after an episode or two I noticed the background noise was taking the form of some rather good dialogue, and I started watching it properly. It turns out to be a very intelligent, rather old fashion

Gwenevere: It’s A Wrap

Well, almost. We spent last Friday and Saturday shooting a few last scenes for our Arthurian mini-epic : long days, but luckily the weather stayed dry again, and I think we got good stuff. Even if it something goes horribly wrong in the edit and we never get it finished, the shoot has been huge fun. It’s certainly more enjoyable and better exercise for mind and body than writing books - if only there were some way it could be monetised. Laura Frances Martin came back to be Gwenevere, and Rosanna Lambert joined us to play a mystical maiden who pops up with advice for her at a low point in her story - she’s exactly the sort of character you’re not supposed to put in the last act of films as she’s a bit of a Deus Ex Machina etc, but she’s exactly the sort of character medieval poets and storytellers did put in their Arthurian Romances, which is very much the mood we’re going for. Rosanna is studying theatre at Chichester Conservatoire and we were very glad she was able to fit us in duri