Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Hunt for Gollum

A 40-minute independent film, entitled The Hunt for Gollum, is now available online. The film takes place in the time after Gandalf discovers that the One Ring is in the Shire and tells the tale of Aragorn's attempt to find Gollum before the servants of Sauron can do so. The story is an original one, but it draws on the appendices of The Lord of the Rings for many of its ideas.

I'll have to watch it again to form a considered opinion of the project. My initial impression is that it's extraordinarily well-done for what is effectively a fan film. There's a bit too much homage to the Peter Jackson films, with all their weaknesses, though. Given that the film didn't have the blessing of either Jackson or New Line Cinema (not to mention the Tolkien estate), I'd have preferred it went its own way stylistically, if only to better distinguish what is without a doubt one of the best amateur films I've seen distributed for free on the Internet.

The story, script, and acting aren't quite on the same level of excellence as the production values, but that's no crime, I suppose. It's definitely worth a look, if only as a reminder that technology is now advancing to the point where it's quite feasible for a small number of people to produce movies of all sorts of stories that might otherwise not be filmed. One day they might even be good ones.

8 comments:

  1. Impressive. They even managed to find a guy who resembles Viggo Mortensen.!

    ReplyDelete
  2. If I were making this movie I would have made Gollum look like the version from the old Hobbit cartoon, that was really freaky: some grotesque little weirdo living deep underground that doesn't look as sympathetic as the later incarnations, including the Bakshi Gollum.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Something occurred to me recently. I'm beginning to reach the conclusion PJ's Lord of the Rings film series was intended as a fundamentally different product from that of the book, specifically that of an action film rather than (as you have previously described Tolkien's) an elegy. It may be for this reason that I am shy of criticism of the films, because considering their differing role (and thinking of them without thinking in terms of the book) they seem to succeed brilliantly. Much like my opinion of The Dark Knight, the LOTR trilogy are fine movies, but less-than-ideal adaptations.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The Gollum fan film is getting a ton of coverage all over the net, and I'm not surprised as I've been writing about them on my daily fan film blog, fancinematoday.com for months. For what it's worth, if you want to find out more about fan films in general, I wrote the first book about the history and future of 'em, Homemade Hollywood, which just came out.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Well, well, first you had FAN-zines, FAN-fiction, and now FAN-cinema. Bring it ON!!!!! I'd love to see Planescape:TORMENT fan film, by far, the best CRPG game and the best thing to come out of the AD&D Second ED.

    Rach, agreed. PJs LOTR is fundamentally different from Tolkien's LOTR, espcially in its protrayal of Orcs and the Dwarves. Also, Tolkien had a period/colonial/racist feel to it, while Jackson keeps it non-racist. Also, after readuing the trilogy, I got the distinct feeling that Orcs were based on ancient Roman Legionnaires - studded sandals, and a few other descriptive details. Anyway, Sauron's Orcs also were Red Eyes on their foreheads and came from the EAST, much like a bunch of certain others at the time wore Red Stars and came from the East. Tolkien goes as far as mention the "mongoloid slant eyes" on the Orcs who tried invading the Shire at the end of Book-3. Jackson doesn't even go to the saruman taking over the Shire and industrializing it. All in all, the extended and deluxed version of the Jackson Trilogy fizzled out in the end.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I thought it looked good for a fan effort. The scenario they chose seemed a bit thin, even for a 40 minute film.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Brooze, the Persian-esque soldiers of Sauron in the films are slightly dubious given the whiteness of the rest of the cast. But maybe that's just me. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  8. The Haradrim in the film? You are right about that! I forgot about them. I thought them to be soldiers from ancient India. The Elephants and the eyeliner.

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.