May 20, 2001
Cannes' Hottest Ticket
What was hotter than a ticket to the Moulin Rouge premiere at Cannes? It's not a movie. It wasn't a party. And it's not even finished.
It was just 23 minutes of the first Lord of the Rings movie and it bedazzled the audience completely.
The producers of Lords started what's probably going to be a record-making publicity campaign at Cannes by showing the footage to a select group of reporters and buyers at a sneak preview.
Most of the stars also flew in for a cyclone of interviews and parties, at which they expounded on the enormously elaborate fantasy based on J.R.R. Tolkien's innovative series.
Veteran British actor Christopher Lee, who plays the villainous Dark Lord Saruman, said that, "This is the pinnacle of my career. I've never been involved in a film like this before. It is superb and unforgettable." Also starring in the fantasy are Sean Bean, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Sir Ian McKellen, and Liv Tyler.
Tolkien's trilogy was filmed back-to-back in New Zealand during 15 months of concentrated filming. The shoot finished last Christmas and director Peter Jackson (who wrote and directed Heavenly Creatures) is currently adding the thousands of special effects which are essential to bring to life Tolkien's world of hobbits, dwarves, elves, monsters, orcs, trolls, and wizards.
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