Tag Archives: Martin Freeman

The Dressmaker Wraps Production (incl Hugo Weaving set photos); BOFA Promo Material; #TheMuleLive

Apologies for the gap between entries… as you know, this is a very busy time of year.

The Battle of the Five Armies

I did attend a marathon screening of all three Hobbit films on 15 December but will withhold my full review until the end of the moth, as there are still a few regions whee The Battle of the Five Armies hasn’t opened (including Australia), and many reviewers have already been too loose with the spoilers. I will say that yes, these films don’t hold a candle to Lord of The Rings. But I had a fun time seeing tis trilogy and– some early technical difficulties aside– it was an effortlessly fun way to spend a day. I was never bored. And I’ll dare say that these three films go down easier seen at at once than with a year in between. (Peter Jackson’s reliance on cliffhangers this time around is legitimate grounds for criticism; the Lord of the Rings films each ended on a decisive note with one story element completed as the overall arc continued.) Interestingly, An Unexpected Journey improves with a second viewng while The Desolation of Smaug deteriorates a bit– not only due to the distinct lack of Hugo Weaving in the second film.)

Yes, the material probably would’ve fit just fine in two films rather than three. But I’m reminded of the Beatles’ White Album conundrum: most fans say it could have easily been edited down to one great album instead of two “merely” good ones, but I’ve yet to see two Beatles fans agree completely on WHAT they’d cut. Similarly, reviews critical of BOFA (and The Hobbit trilogy in general) seem divided on whether the extravagant action sequences are in need of trimming or the plotting nuances between. I’m in the former camp. In fact, I’d have enjoyed a longer BOFA if the some character-based material was added to make the transitions between action setpieces a bit less jarring. My favorite parts of the film– and the trilogy– are the small character moments. And the immense talent of most of the actors on hand makes even the underwritten material (and too-swift transitions) work.

Hugo Weaving and Peter Jackson prep for the Dol Guldur rescue scene in BOFA. HD version of this photo here.

If you’re only watching these films to see Hugo Weaving (or Cate Blanchett, or Christopher Lee) you might be disappointed. Their sequence battling Nazgul at Dol Guldur (to resolve the Gandalf’s capture cliffhanger in DOS) comes early in the film and is over within minutes. Much of Hugo’s footage appears to be a stunt double or CG, and he only has about three lines. He has little to do- less than the other White Council members– once he makes the grand entrance seen in all the trailers and TV ads. I would argue the scene is necessary and gives the titular battle greater stakes than the novel as originally written, as it ties this conflict to the larger one in LOTR. While Tolkien might not have staged this specific scene per se, he did explicitly attempt to link The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings through supplemental material, and at one point toyed with the notion of rewriting The Hobbit as a darker tale more in tune with LOTR. While his work is more lyrical and less action-driven than Peter Jackson’s take, I would argue no great liberties are taken. Jackson fills in gaps left undefined rather than violating the spirit of Tolkien’s work. I’m not an overly devout fan of either the director or the writer– both have provided great entertainment at various times in my life, and both have flaws.

I’ll say no more about plot specifics until the film is open everywhere, as I can’t get too far into describing what worked (or didn’t) about the film without spoilers.  As far as recommending the film, I would wholeheartedly to anyone who likes what they’ve seen so far. If you hated the first two parts, though, or simply aren’t into these sorts of films, BOFA won’t magically change your mind. It’s completely of a piece with the first two. I actually understand (and in some cases, agree with) various criticism of the film and trilogy. But I have enough affection for the films and characters that even glaring flaws don’t matter as much as they might in films featuring less talented actors and filmmakers.

Here are some of the promo videos for The Battle of the Five Armies that have appeared since my last entry:

The Hobbit trilogy B-Roll footage (Hugo at 1.50) ; Screen Slam via YouTube

Memories of Middle Earth behind-the-scenes featurette w/actor interviews; Hugo Weaving interview snippet at 1.22 Warner Bros via YouTube

Completing Middle Earth (six film overview) featurette; Warner Bros via YouTube

17 Years in the Making Hobbit/LOTR overview; Hugo footage at 1.39, 2.00, 2.49, and 5.40; Warner Bros via YouTube

I’m not even going to attempt to compile all the reviews of the film; many are very cynical. But some of the more balanced, well-written ones appear at Empire Online, Entertainment Focus, Victoria Advocate, The Radio Times, Flickering Myth (1), The Boston Globe, The Scotsman, TIME, Flickering Myth (2), ABS/CBN, Examiner.com, The Daily News Online and MoviePilot.

Additional feature stories about Battle of the Five Armies and The Hobbit trilogy have appeared at The Guardian, Films on Wax (Howard Shore interview about the film’s score), Digital Spy, The New York Daily News,

You can watch Evangeline Lilly’s gonzo promo interview on Conan at TeamCoco.com and see a behind-the-scenes glimpse of uber-fan Stephen Colbert having the ultimate cosplay fun prepping for his Entertainment Weekly Hobbit cover story at EW Online. (Yes, I have the print magazine (Bilbo cover) and will try to have scans up at Flickr soon.) There’s an Ian McKellen photo quiz at TwitchFilm.  And a Cate Blanchett interview which notes The Hobbit in passing at The Daily Telegraph.

…And I’ve added three Hobbit-themed print articles from The Independent, The Daily Telegraph and The Daily Express to my Flickr Archive. No Hugo Weaving interviews per se in these, but a two feature images of him.

The Mule

I hope some of you were able to participate in #TheMuleLive event back on December 7. (I know several of my Twitter pals were along for the ride).  I rented a copy of the film and tweeted along, and found it an indecent amount of fun.  Though it would be impossible to share everything contributed by the fans, filmmakers (Angus Sampson, Leigh Whannell and several film crew members) and actors (John Noble, Sampson and Whannell, Georgina Haig, Ewen Leslie and Chris Pang), here are some highlights, including wonderful behind-the-scenes images and script pages:

Hugo Weaving, Angus Sampson, Leigh Whannell, Ewen Leslie during pre-production   Photo: Stefan Duscio (The Mule’s cinematographer) via Twitter

The cast at an early table-read of the script (Hugo is far down on the left)   Photo: Stefan Duscio (The Mule’s cinematographer) via Twitter

Angus Sampson. Hugo Weaving, Ewen Leslie,   on set   Photo: Stefan Duscio (The Mule’s cinematographer) via Twitter

Hugo Weaving on set Photo: Stefan Duscio (The Mule’s cinematographer) via Twitter

Here are script pages from some of Hugo’s (Det Croft’s) funniest scenes, as shared by Angus Sampson. Original screenplay by Angus Sampson, Leigh Whannell and Jaime Browne.

“There are tongs for that!” (Croft vs Ziggy)

THAT scene…

“Bit more choke and that would’ve started”

The Infamous Balloon Scene

The Perils of Australian Lamb

Some other great production images:

Fiona Rees-Jones’ make-up kit for the #HugoWeaving #TheMuleLive” The Mule Movie via Twitter

The film’s storyboards  Photo: Stefan Duscio via Twitter

Assembling scenes in the editing room   Photo: Stefan Duscio via Twitter

You can read interviews with Angus Sampson and info about the Live Tweet event at The Sydney Morning Herald, Subculture Entertainment, The West Australian, FilmInk, Quickflix (places The Mule in the Top 10 Australian Films of 2014),

The latest reviews of The Mule (which remain largey positive) can be read at Better Than IMDb, How To Win Game Shows, International Syndicate of Cult Film Critics, Eureka Street, Thy Reviewer, Broadsheet

And if you missed any earlier promo videos or video interviews for The Mule, Angus Sampson has assembled a Playlist (which includes a few of his and Hugo Weaving’s press interviews) on YouTube.

The Dressmaker

Of course, Hugo Weaving was unable to participate in #TheMuleLive and in most of the Battle of the Five Armies promotion because he’s been busy filming The Dressmaker for director Jocelyn Moorhouse at locations in Victoria. Production formally wrapped a few days ago (December 14), but not before several more photos of Hugo Weaving and other cast members (Kate Winslet and Liam Hemsworth chief among them) appeared online via Instagram and several online papers in the Wimmera area, where the last block of filming took place.

The production team announced filming completion via producer Sue Maslin’s second eNews announcement. Click on the link for the full text; here are a few highlights:

“On Friday the 17th of October 2014, we rolled cameras on The Dressmaker at Docklands Studios Melbourne. Eight weeks later we called “Cut!” for the very last time finishing up in Horsham, Victoria. ..

Kate Winslet has been our ideal ‘Tilly’: beautiful, strong, quick-witted, and even quicker with her period Singer sewing machine. The mother-daughter relationship between our ‘Molly’, Judy Davis, and Tilly is authentic, moving and a joy to watch. To see these two great actresses working together on the screen has been electric and often hilarious… Liam Hemsworth brings loads of natural charm and warmth to ‘Teddy’ and it’s no wonder Tilly falls for this likeable and devastatingly handsome rogue. And Hugo Weaving is perfect as our debonair ‘Sergeant Farrat’. Add to this Sacha Horler as the formidable ‘Una’ who attempts to rival Tilly and Sarah Snook, a revelation as ‘Gertrude’ who bowls everyone over in her exquisite gowns designed by Marion Boyce. We are indebted to our entire cast, of which there are so many, who have added such depth and character to the townspeople of Dungatar.”

The Wimmera Mail-Times featured several great photos of cast members (including Hugo) enjoying down-time at local haunt The Exchange Hotel , posing with fans. (Captions are from original news article).

“Nathalie Henry and Sharon McDonald meet stars Gyton Grantley and Hugo Weaving at the Exchange Hotel in Horsham on Tuesday night [9 December].”

“Annie Brack meets Hugo Weaving on Tuesday night.”

“Katherine Coorey and friends get to meet some of The Dressmaker stars at the Exchange.”

“The Dressmaker extra Paige Schmidt, left, and Horsham’s Loucas Vettos, right, with Caroline Goodall, Hugo Weaving, Kerry Fox, Sarah Snook and Shane Jacobson outside The Exchange on Wednesday night.”

All four above photos: The Wimmera Mail-Times; they have additional photos of the set and other cast members in their online gallery.

Here are some additional fan photos (with original captions) that have appeared on Instagram:

So I met Hugo Weaving on the set of ‘The Dressmaker’ the other day. You always think that whenever or if-ever you’ll meet your absolute idol then you’ll have an intelligent conversation, but take it from me, you end up looking like a bumbling idiot asking for an autograph when the opportunity arises. #hugoweaving #agentsmith #lordelrond #thedressmaker #onset #metgodtoday”
Photo: Charles Thompson via Instagram

My beautiful mum met Hugo Weaving, @gytongrantley and other cast members of The Dressmaker on Wednesday night! So lucky. After spending the arvo on set and then meeting these guys that evening – I certainly am jealous! #thedressmaker #hugoweaving #horsham”  Photo: Schmenz via Instagram

“Got to meet one of the best Australian actors ever!! #HugoWeaving” Ella Schorback via Instagram

JustJared posted a number of photos of cast members between scenes on set; most are of Kate Winslet, Liam Hemsworth and Winslet’s husband Ned Rocknroll, but there was one great pic of Hugo with Kate Winslet. (Featuring his infamous fire-carbonized glasses– yes, apparently Hugo needs bifocals now. Guess we’re all gettin’ old together.) 😉

Hugo Weaving, Kate Winslet and a Dressmaker crew member on the film’s Melbourne set   Photo: JustJared; no specific photographer credit given; enlargement here

An additional JustJared gallery doesn’t feature Hugo, but shares some amazing shots of Kate Winslet in a dazzling red dress and Liam Hemsworth in rugby gear.

The Wimmera Mail-Times posted several related stories (and loads of set pics featuring Winslet, Hemsworth and many costumes extras). You can find the links to all here. Hugo Weaving is mentioned but there are no interviews or photos in these pieces.

The film’s production-wrap announcement was covered by Variety, Screen Daily, The Courier-Mail, The Daily Mail, Inside Film, Weekly Times Now and Digital Spy. All featured the film’s first official stil, featuring Kate Winslet (below). Jocelyn Moorhouse is quoted as calling the film “’Unforgiven’ with a sewing machine” and adds “Working with Kate, Judy, Liam and Hugo was wonderful. A great crew, brilliant supporting cast and beautiful locations, costume and design helped make the shoot a delight.”  The Lowdown Under included a number of set photos, including some from the film’s Facebook page.

Kate Winslet as Tilly in The Dressmaker   Film still via Empire on Twitter

In Other Hugo Weaving News

You can now stream Mystery Road on Netflix (in the US) and Healing on QuickFlix (Australia.) Healing is also available on DVD in Australia (region 4) only as of December 3; a US release and European release are tentatively scheduled for next year, but no specifics have been announced, nor any info on whether this would be a cinema run or direct-to-video/streaming/DVD/Blu-Ray. I assume that Starz/Encore will eventually broadcast the film on cable in the US.

More New Promo Clips For The Mule; The Hobbit: BOFA To Premiere in London

Ideally this will be shorter than some of my recent entries because I haven't waited so long to post this time. 😉

The Mule's marketing strategy continues to impress me. They've put out several brief promo clips in the past week which let you know exactly what you're in for with the film, yet don't give too much plot detail away. Today saw the release of two short, establishing scenes from the film to different websites. Collider featured a clip depicting how Ray (Angus Sampson) and Gavin (Leigh Whannell) obtained the drugs which later land Ray in the predicament the film details; the second, from Twitch Film, shows Det Paris (Ewen Leslie) establishing the ground rules for Ray's detainment in the hotel, including the use of a colander I sincerely hope never finds its way back to the hotel kitchen. The second clip briefly shows Hugo Weaving's Tom Croft and includes his great line about the hotel wine list. (Also featured in the hilarious "Eat Drink Man Mule" clip from the film's website, which I'll embed below.

Note: I have mixed success at best embedding videos directly from websites, even those offering embed code. LJ used to be much more user-friendly in this respect but lately only readily takes YouTube, Vimeo and DailyMotion videos. But I'll do my best. If any embeds fail, do click on the website links. The Collider and Twitch clips are not yet up at the film website, but they probably will be soon.

Via Collider

Via TwitchFilm

Meanwhile The Mule's official website and Twitter feed showcased these new clips, which feature a bit more Hugo Weaving content:

Eat Drink Man Mule

The expurgated version of the Sweary Supercut (though the unedited version should neatly separate out people not up to the film itself) 😉

This Is Ziggy

I'll effusively thank The Mule's marketing team for featuring these clips via Vimeo, which my blog sites don't choke on. Not sure why LJ had no problem whatsoever with embeds from other sites until last year (non-Youtube/vimeo embeds in my older entries still work, too)  but now only embeds from a tiny handful of sites. I'm not trying to breach anyone's copyrights and I'm crediting my sources lavishly. These videos are MEANT to be promotional and are offered with embed code. Thus they should freakin' EMBED ON MY BLOG SITES. If anyone can give me a plausible explanation as to why LJ and WordPress are so obstinate and unhelpful on this score, I'd love to hear it. (Or, more than that, I'd love to know how to simply make the codes WORK on the two sites…)

(Via The Mule's Tumblr/Official Website)

Angus Sampson continues performing the bulk of early promotional duties; his latest interview is with Time Out Sydney. While I respect the rationale for the film's direct-to-VOD distribution strategy, I really hope the film has more than two Australian cinema screenings. In the US, most indie films are released simultaneously to arthouses (where the market exists) AND On Demand/streaming. The four month wait period no longer really exists. I hope this becomes the model for Australian film marketing at home, too, because it would be a pity if only SFX-driven escapist fare received a proper cinema showing. I have driven into NYC to see Hugo's Australian films before (Last Ride, Little Fish) and would certainly do so again for this one. Have a feeling The Mule won't play MoMA, but would love to be wrong on that score. Sampson also sat in for a Halloween-themed radio interview at Triple J.

Hugo Weaving as Tom Croft (via The Mule's Facebook page) Dig that abysmal hotel room art! 😉

One encouraging tidbit: the film made the New York Times' Holiday Releases insert. Funny how they go out of their way to avoid any hint of what the film  is actually about. 😉 Though this doesn't mention cinema vs VOD specifics, most of Hugo's recent indie films (even a few that did receive NY-area cinema screenings) failed to make this list at all. The film also made LA Times' equivalent rundown… so there's hope of at least a few US cinema screenings beyond the festival circuit.

Photo of that NY Times Holiday Movies mention. Love how coy they are about the film's actual content. 😉

I'll re-post the links for the Sydney and Melbourne preview screenings to be attended by Hugo Weaving, Angus Sampson and other cast/crew to be named: Cinema Nova (Melbourne 18 Nov), Dendy Cinemas (Sydney 19 Nov). Both events begin at 6.30pm and tickets are still available.

Other Mule previews are available at Movie Pilot, Horror Movies Uncut, and Shockya.com.

You can pre-order the iTunes version here.

(My screencap from the EatDrinkManMule clip. More here.)

The Dressmaker

Things have been fairly quiet from The Dressmaker's Victoria set since production began, with no major cast sightings or new photos since my previous entry. Hugo Weaving hasn't been on set the full time, but has been spotted in both Melbourne and Sydney since production began, indicating that as a supporting player, his presence isn't always required. (This is nothing new; his role in Oranges and Sunshine only required about six days of filming, his role in Mystery Road about two weeks, and he more than made an impression in each.)  Author Rosalie Ham did update her Production Blog a few days ago with a description of costume fittings and extras selection.. She hints that she may be a featured player in the film herself.

The Hobbit

As most fans are already aware, the final installment in Peter Jackson's Hobbit trilogy will have its World premiere in London on December 1. It's unknown if Hugo Weaving will be on hand; ordinarily I'd say it depends completely on his availability pending The Dressmaker's shooting schedule, but Warner Bros has stirred up a hornet's nest by playing cheap with some supporting cast members, ie not paying to fly the New Zealand-based actors to London, even though some play characters crucial to the plot (TORN has the sorry details.). It's hard to know how essential they would find Hugo's presence given this controversy. They must know he's a fan favorite, but he's appeared minimally in the film's promotion (whereas Cate Blanchett, who presumably has a similar amount of screentime, is all over the posters and teaser.) So there are those two factors plus Hugo's well-known reluctance to attend big Hollywood-style premieres. He said he enjoyed events like An Unexpected Journey's Welington premiere in 2012 because it was as much a celebration of the films' location and of local fans as it was a promotional event. Many cast members are London/UK based, but this event wouldn't quite be the same, though obviously the fans in London/Europe are as fervent and eager to see the actors as anyone.  

We can be pretty certain the actors featured in the announcement video have been invited, though. 😉

Warner Bros UK, via YouTube

Peter Jackson dropped some hints about the final film's themes, tone and plot in an interview with The Los Angeles Times.  Interestingly, he says it should be the "shortest" of his six Tolkien-inspired films. So… no dozen false endings as in Return of the King? I can't imagine they won't do the obvious bookend with Elijah Wood and Ian Holm.  There are rumors that we'll finally see the film's official trailer in a few days, and you can view the latest banner and poster at Comic Book Movie (emphasizing Thorin, Fili and Kili… which to people who've read the book may seem a bit… obvious in the foreshadowing department.) 😉

Mystery Road

Ivan Sen's film will screen at the Vancouver International Film Festival on 23 November. Though it's now out on DVD/VOD in most markets, I urge fans who have a chance to see Mystery Road on the big screen to do so. The latest rave reviews are available at Nerve Reviews, The Independent and The Upcoming.

Year-End Update: Post-Release Hobbit Coverage, Best-Of Lists, New Videos

Note: this is an archived entry. Some links might not still work, but I have tried to ensure scan and video embeds are still in place. If any linked material is unavailable, please let me know and I’ll attempt to find a copy in my personal archives.

I know I’m very overdue to update here… the holidays are always challenging, and I’ve had to take on a lot of extra work hours to pay off various bills. I do hope to update my personal LJ soon with details of what I’ve been up to/going through lately, but for now, posting Hugo News is much easier. I did have a nice enough Christmas, thouh, and hope all of you did as well.

So let’s get right down to posting all of the new Hugo Weaving material that’s turned up since the last entry. Several websites have posted this 10 minute “generic interview” featuring Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett, and Elijah Wood discussing The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. I’ve joked that it’s a same this interview is actually longer than any of their appearances in the film. 😉 At any rate, it’s probably the best of the Hobbit promo interviews apart from the Zealandia/Today piece– and you hear a lot more from Hugo in this one.

This video from TheOneRing.net (still the best source for all things LOTR/Hobbit online) features comments from Hugo (and many other cast members) on the Wellington red carpet:

Clevver Movies has combined the Hugo Weaving on-set interview for The Hobbit (which you’ve probably seen or compulsively re-watched by now) with trailer and BTS footage from other sources:

I’ll apologize for the dodgy background music in this video and the previous one right here. 😉

Melissa DiMarco posted this clip of Hugo discussing Cloud Atlas (probably NOT The Hobbit, despite the description on YouTube) at this past October’s Toronto International Film Festival premiere of Cloud Atlas:

There isn’t any major Hugo content in Peter Jackson’s tenth and final Production Video for The Hobbit: AUJ, but it’s well worth seeing and impossibly entertaining nonetheless. (You can see brief glimpses of Hugo at 7.30, 10.41, 12.20 and 12.35.) It details post-production, premiere prep and the Wellington premiere. PJ promises that they’ll pick right up with The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug production videos next year.

I took a screencap of that bit at the end:

L to R: Peter Jackson (w/Cate Blanchett over his shoulder), Katie Jackson, Hugo Weaving, Aidan Turner and the top of Elijah Wood’s head.

Helpful fan linuxelf1 has reposted some One News NZ and Channel 3 clips to YouTube:

Press conference highlights:

Red Carpet interviews:

Interviews with other cast members can be viewed here and here.

Hugo has given a few brief solo interviews, though all are vague on contextual details (ie when and where they were conducted.) This one appeared in the American Airlines magazine American Way, of all places. Short but includes some priceless material both about elf ears and Hugo’s formative experiences as an actor. Full text under the cut:

Living a Fantasy

J. Rentilly
Playing an elf in this month’s The Hobbit is but the latest fanciful experience in actor HUGO WEAVING’s enviable career.

What is real and what is not was a key theme in The Matrix, the 1999 science-fiction epic that made a star of Hugo Weaving, who played the film’s nearly omniscient villain, Agent Smith. What is real now — more than a decade and roles in films like Lord of the Rings and Captain America later — is that the 52-year-old Weaving is the real deal: an actor of poise, presence and playfulness. Equally at home onstage performing Chekhov or battling evil as a lord of elves in this month’s Rings prequel, The Hobbit, Weaving chatted with American Way about the film’s secrecy, getting younger and those famous elf ears.

American Way: You’re no stranger to working in disguise, having worn a mask for the entirety of V for Vendetta and having played a woman twice (in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and this year’s Cloud Atlas). So how do you feel about the elf ears you’ve worn in the J.R.R. Tolkien films?

Hugo Weaving: To be honest, that’s one of the reasons I wanted to be in the films to begin with. We all wanted pointy ears. They’re very light and you forget you’re wearing them — until you’re at the pub after a day’s shooting.

AW: What can you tell us about The Hobbit?

HW: My knowledge of what the film will be is really almost as limited as yours. I’m in the dark. There was a great deal of secrecy around this project, even for the actors.

AW: We do know you’ll be playing Elrond, your Lord of the Rings character, but 60 years younger.

HW: Thank God Elrond is 3,500 years old because I’m, of course, 10 years older [than I was when I made Lord of the Rings]. The makeup artists did these little wire-based attachments that pulled my skin back tight and gave me a bit of a face-lift. They were attached to my hair and tended to work for about half an hour until I started sweating, and then I’d feel the little wires snapping and half of my face would just collapse again.

AW: What made you want to be an actor?

HW: When I was about 9, living in South Africa, my parents took me to see “Romeo & Juliet,” the ballet, and the thing that really amazed me was the music. It was just extraordinary. After the ­ballet, my mother and I began to read Shakespeare together at night, and it wasn’t long before I had recruited all of my friends to dress up and act out scenes from the play. I guess you could say that was my first acting job.

Donna Demaio chatted with Hugo, Andy Serkis and James Nesbitt in an audio interview recorded at the Wellington premiere for 3AW.com.au. Unfortunately I can’t embed this, but you should definitely check it out; Hugo displays his standard mixture of effortless charm and refreshing honesty (“I hate red carpets”.) There’s more silly speculation about Hugo’s beard by the hosts; Hugo finds an ingenious way to answer this question (which I’ll let you hear for yourselves), but anyone who’s paid attention to Hugo’s career beyond the occasional big-budget film in the past 20 years knows he simply prefers having one. While he might wear one to disguise his appearance (though the fact that he wears it on most red carpets would spoil that “disguise”), there are photos of him with a beard between projects dating back to the early 90s, and it’s safe to say he tends to only shave for roles rather than vice versa in recent years. I find it a bit baffling that some fans and reporters can’t seem to get their head around this. Also, the project Hugo mentions he’ll work with David Wenham is The Turning, a compendium of short films based on Tim Winton’s thematically linked collection of short stories. Weaving will act in “The Commission”, which Wenham will direct. Cate Blanchett will costar in and direct another segment for the film, which promises to be one of the more intriguing of next year. (It’s slated to debut at the Melbourne International Film Festival in July.) The fact that Hugo divulged his piece hasn’t been filmed yet but would be soon might be the reason he opted out of all but the first Hobbit premiere. Or maybe it’s the hating red carpets thing. Either of which I completely respect. 😉

Other Hobbit coverage/articles/interviews of note include a primer on things you might want to know before seeing the film at The Philly Post, articles discussing the pros and cons of 48 FPS at The New York Times and Gizmodo.com.au, notes about the film’s gonzo box office (meaning the overly snotty critics aren’t making much of an impact) at HitFix, Flickering Myth,  a rebuttal to said snotty critics at Flickering Myth. Watch the Daily posed a video about the film’s special effects to YouTube. The Hollywood Reporter speculates that Cloud Atlas and The Hobbit could be in the mix for special effects Oscars. Richard Armitage and Andy Serkis drop some tasty hints about the next installment (and the as-yet-unfilmed Battle Of Five Armies, which should require Hugo to appear on-set) at PanArmenian,net. There’s a lavish Italian-language TV preview at Sky Cinema (via YouTube) (Warning: Hugo is overdubbed, but this is the same interview footage from the WETA cast interviews, so one can follow along. Or learn Italian.) 😉 There’s another shameless plug for NZ tourism (with an interesting side-trip to the goldsmith who designed the jewelry for the films, including Hugo’s and That Other Ring 😉 at ioL Travel,  … And Flicks and Bits previews two For Your Consideration ads Warner’s has created for the film.

There are new reviews of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (positive or well-written/mixed) at Today Online, The MAD Challenge,   Movie Room Reviews, SantaBanta.com, Worlds Beyond, Rappler.com, Borg.com, Hall Twelve, Gone With The Twins, Jo Blo (JimmyO), Jo Blo (Chris Bumbray), City Press, SF Examiner, Adam Ryen Daniels, The Dispatch, Paste, The Movie Report, Movie Maniacs Man, AV Forums, PhilStar.com, Reel Life With Jane, Mr Film Reviewer, The Flick Chicks, Catoosa Times, The Review Judge, The Cinephile Diaries, Jason Watches Movies and The Fourth Wall.

…And Hugo’s projects have appeared in several year-end Best-Of lists, including The New York Times (STC’s Uncle Vanya), Female First (The Hobbit: AUJ), The Film Stage (Cloud Atlas), The New York Post (STC’s Uncle Vanya), Fox News (Cloud Atlas), The Age (STC’s Les Liaisons Dangereuses), Visalia Times-Delta (Cloud Atlas) and FirstShowing.net (Cloud Atlas).

Sydney Theatre Company included their recent production of Les Liaison Dangereuses, starring Hugo, Pamela Rabe and Justine Clarke in their year-end highlights.  Also, STC has added some very endearing new photos of Hugo Weaving and Richard Roxburgh to their Waiting For Godot 2013 page. Hope some of you out there are able to get tickets/travel to Australia to see it.

One oddball (but very encouraging) Hugo-related story making the rounds of late was the unexpected (and to some, shocking) airing of V for Vendetta on Chinese television, apparently unedited. You can read more about that at Variety, and France 24. More good reviews of Cloud Atlas continue to trickle in as the film is gradually released worldwide. Overseas audiences tend not to have the same pseudointellectual academic pretensions as some US critics, though the film continues to divide audiences. (IMO, the smart ones willing to put in an effort from the stupid or hopelessly PC/culture snob) Anyhow, you can read recent reviews at Souls on Travels, Enter Your Movie  The film will premiere in the UK and Australia soon.

The Matrix is among the films selected this year for historic preservation by The National Film Registry; this means that the film is “judged to be culturally, historically or aesthetically significant”, that “copies …are safeguarded and preserved for future generations ” and that they can no longer be shown in edited or altered forms. Maybe it also means we’ll be spared TNT’s chainsaw editing and hilarious language expurgations (ie Neo yelling “Jeepers Creepers! That thing’s real!?”) in future airings. 😉 More on the story at CBS Online, and of course The National Film Registry.

Finally, this lovely photo appeared on Graham McTavish’s Twitter feed:

“A rare shot of a dwarf and elf socializing”

If I’m not back before the New Year, hope all of you have a Happy New Year, and thanks for your patience and interest during another great year for Hugo Weaving fans. (Peevish fanboys and clueless critics aside… ) 😉

More Hugo Weaving Photos; Wellington Hobbit Premiere Coverage

Note: this is an archived entry. Some links might not still work, but I have tried to ensure scan and video embeds are still in place. If any linked material is unavailable, please let me know and I’ll attempt to find a copy in my personal archives.

Sorry about the absence… had to put in some serious time taking care of Real Life Issues (and sleep) after my overnight spent on the last post. Unfortunately I'm not finding as much uncut footage of the Wellington premiere and press conference as I'd hoped (though the NowLive broadcast was fine). 3 News NZ has a large assortment of clips mentioned in the previous post, including a brief red carpet interview with Hugo and Peter Jackson's full 15 minute cast introduction and speech from the end of the live broadcast. There are tons of lovely new photos to share, though, many from fans who attended, so I'll get right to work cross-posting those.

Andy Serkis, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving and Elijah Wood onstage at the end of the Hobbit World Premiere red carpet in Wellington, NZ, 28 November  (Photo: SuicideBlonde via Tumblr)

ForceDirected via Tumblr


Reuters/Mark Coote

Steampowered Hobbit via Tumblr

Hugo Weaving and Sylvester McCoy (Radagast) at the Wellington Press Conference (NineMSN NZ)

Wall Street Journal/Ross Stetford/AP
Yes, still finding more antics-with-Nesbitt photos! They really need to work together again… maybe a more actor-driven piece. Maybe he can understudy Roxburgh for Godot. (Except that a. Roxburgh is perfect for the role and b. is a certified, prolific workaholic who has probably never missed a jpob due to illness or anything else in his career.) 😉

Reuters via Straits Times (plus photo below)

Jacqui/Dougal Mclovin via Twitter

Mark Mitchell/NZ Herald

Damian Bray via Twitter

Kaitlyn ‏@McSchnieders via Twitter

Andy Serkis, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving onstage at the end of the red carpet event (Mira Christine via Tumblr)

MakeSureNotToBlink via Tumblr

Kerry McCabe via Twitter

A great collage created from the Weaving/Nesbitt red carpet pics by Gizthegunslinger at World in My Eyes/Tumblr:

Note: fans interested in photos of the other actors in the film should click on the links below the photos, particularly those linked to news sites, because many of these images came from lengthy photo galleries. Fans of Hugo's acting collaborators often help find the best material (and in this case, some were on hand and took the pics themselves. Getting a lot of assists (intentional and accidental) from the Richard Armitage collective this time around, just as I have from the James D'Arcy, Jim Sturgess, Geoffrey Rush, Cate Blanchett, Richard Roxburgh and other actors' fans and fansites in the past. No one person could cover an event of this magnitude alone, so thanks to everyone else who's shared photos or passed along links. I hope some of these links help you guys find new stuff too.

Another note: I've tried my best to credit original photographers and websites in sharing photos, but in some cases I only have names/user IDs of other sharers, and can't be certain they actually took the photographs. I always try to make corrections as I go, and apologize for any inadvertent crediting mistakes. I wish all fans would provide source information and context for their material… I know from personal experience that you can get into trouble if you're not thorough… also, it's important to give full credit where credit is due. Tumblr is often a minefield of unsourced, uncredited photos shared with no contextual info. This drives the archivist in me me completely mad. 😉 I know in the case of the premiere, a lot of these are authentic fan photos shared by those who took them, and that's wonderful and very generous. But if you repost press photos without any credit or source info… GRRRR! 😉 You make my work an other fansite operators' work harder.

Other press reports on the Wellington premiere (many including photos of actors and fans) can be found at:
The New Zealand Herald (preparations and movie trivia),
Behind the Themes (photos),
Alt Film Guide,
CNN (video here),
Stuff.co.nz, 3 News NZ (initial reaction to the film),
Perth Now,
New York Daily News (Hugo Weaving: "It feels more like a national holiday today…Maybe you should have this as a national day every year."),
Associated Press (an event overview reposted on news sites worldwide),
Courier Mail (Hugo Weaving: "It feels like a country celebrating its own culture [in New Zealand tonight].", James Nesbitt: ""I was surprised there wasn't more dwarf sex, actually."),
The Huffington Post (photo gallery, interviews with Martin Freeman, Andy Serkis and Peter Jackson),
3 News NZ (red carpet interviews with Peter Jackson, Martin Freeman, Andy Serkis (yes, he does the Gollum voice), Barry Humphries; Hugo is quoted by the reporter but not interviewed on camera),
Stanthorpe Border Post (photo gallery),
Daily Mail Online (lots of great, large photos of the cast),
Premiere (French-language coverage),
Wall Street Journal,  MSN New Zealand (brief comments from Cate Blanchett, who jokingly threatened to "stalk" Peter Jackson if Galadriel wasn't in ther film, and Hugo, who says of Jackson, "[Working with him is liberating because] "He doesn't hold on to things either, he'll let them go if there's something better there,"Also: multiple photo galleries),
New Zealand Herald (red carpet coverage),
The Age (includes brief video overview) Hugo quote: "Peter [Jackson] has so embraced his own culture and put it up on the screen. This film is so much a part of this country … I don't think you could make The Hobbit anywhere else – you wouldn't want to….I think actually it's more like a national holiday rather than a celebration of a film – it's a celebration of a culture and a country."),
Coming Soon's Italian-language site featured interviews with Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving and Elijah Wood–likely translated from the Australian TV interviews. Hugo says, of the Elves, ""They have a strong self-awareness and are imbued with a profound melancholy, feel a sense of insecurity because they know that their presence in this world is almost over. [In The Hobbit, that feeling] The Hobbit is imperceptible, while the Lord of the Rings becomes apparent."),
The Straits Times (The AP article but with a different set of photos)

Coverage of the press conference preceding the premiere, which featured many cast members, can be read at the New Zealand Herald (which included the only lengthy video excerpt), 3 News NZ (another article quoting cast members here), Byron Shire News (includes video preview and photo gallery of the press conference), Sydney Morning Herald (brief video clip), and AAP/The West Australian.

Sites featuring new high-res images of previously-shared from the film: IGN, and Beyond Hollywood.

Here's a selection of embeddable video from the Hobbit premiere and related press interviews:

Sunrise 7 compiled clips from previously screen Channel 7 cast interviews with Hugo, Cate Blanchett, Elijah Wood, Richard Armitage, Martin Freeman and Andy Serkis and added behind the scenes footage:

NewZealandMedia coverage of the premiere features interviews with Jackson, Armitage, Nesbitt, Freeman, Wood, Serkis and Weaving, all enthusing about New Zealand:

…Also includes footage of Andy Serkis's attempt to break the world record for high-fiving, which so enlivened the premiere feed.

This is the only bit of Hugo's official red carpet interview (from the live broadcast) that's I've yet found, from Trailer Addict… a tiny 19 second snippet. Surely someone somewhere will post the whole thing. If they don't… heh heh… we'll have to see. 😉

Note: LJ has become increasingly anal about not allowing embeds from various sites. If you don't see the clip, click on the link in the description. Sorry about that!

Here's an endearing, well-assembled fan report by Catiesaurus0 via YouTube; she's an Elijah Wood fan (and she got her money's worth on that front!) 😉  Hugo is briefly glimpsed:

Lo Res compilation of interviews from Turbinados Videos (Peter Jackson, Martin Freeman, Elijah Wood, Hugo Weaving, Richard Armitage, Andy Serkis)

(Yes, I'll keep looking for the full interview with Hugo that isn't abruptly cut off.) 😉

ComingSoon compiled live feed clips of most major cast members (Hugo is at 3.19 in) :

HitFix and Celebs.com posted identical footage.

Here's a photo montage, also featuring most of the cast (UKthebestone via YouTube)

Amazing fan video from Melmelmax via YouTube featuring strategic use of hairy feet (and a leg infection!?) to secure autographs from an astonishing number of actors (Freeman, Wood, Weaving, Armitage, WETA's Richard Taylor)… and a high-five from Andy Serkis:

Hobbit Wellington Premiere Pics, Video, Interviews

Note: this is an archived entry. Some links might not still work, but I have tried to ensure scan and video embeds are still in place. If any linked material is unavailable, please let me know and I’ll attempt to find a copy in my personal archives.

I've had a bit of an epic quest of my own getting my video software up and running again, but I think I have everything set for the Red Carpet Replay. 😉 I'm not going to try and test my system by recording the whole thing again, so I have a few minutes to look for new pics before it's Hugo's turn… I actually don't mind watching the whole thing again, or at least listening. 😉

Mark Tantrum/WireImage (plus next 2)

Mia Lossen via Twitter


Hobbit Press Conference pic; Alice Tynan via Twitter

Dominion Post (MAARTEN HOLL/Fairfax NZ)

Gaporter via Tumblr

Perth Now

Mark Tantrum/WireImage (plus next photo)

Closeup/enlargement of one of the Mark Tantrum Getty pics, via Newsday

"It feels more like a national holiday today," said Weaving. "Maybe you should have this as a national day every year."


Hagen Hopkins, Getty Images

TV One

PeopleofNZ via Twitter

Pure New Zealand via Twitter

Seanna Cronin/Stanthorpe Border Post

Some of the official press photos are starting to roll in, so I'll keep the post open a bit longer… I'm a bit more relaxed now that I have a copy of Hugo's red carpet interview from the live feed… I continue to hope that a high def version (or any official, embed-able version) will be posted eventually. I taped Jed Brophy (Nori)'s full interview as well because he went directly before Hugo and Hgo could be seen mulling around in the background. So, obviously, I'm a bit overzealous. (Anyhow, it's about time Jed Brophy got some media attention .. he almost certainly has a larger role in the films than Hugo does.) 😉  And would it kill NZ News 3 to post their clips in higher resolution? No matter what I do, they look blurry. (The live feed, by contrast, was good quality with only a few minor audio glitches.)

Anyhow, it's been a lot of fun and the whole cast seems to be in good spirits (and I'm not talking about the sort Hugo and James Nesbitt were getting into on their nights off… oh to have been a fly on the wall for that!) 😉 Hugo was more relaxed than I've sometimes seen him at these sorts of events. He sounded slightly hoarse, but he'd probably been giving interviews for a couple of days nonstop. I'll keep looking for anything I can embed and will share links here and on my Twitter feed. I'm hoping that press conference makes YouTube soon. You can watch News NZ's clips of Hugo Weaving red carpet interview (different from the live feed's), and they have Peter Jackson's speech and cast introductions from the premiere. (Hugo doesn't speak in the clip, but you can see him taking panorama photos of the crowd.)  Hugo's also briefly seen and quoted (though not interviewed) in this overview clip. Apologies for a mistake in an earlier version of this post: they do NOT have footage of the November 27 press conference, but of one from 2011 before filming began.

Collider (and some other sites) have posted high res versions of the new Hobbit stills that debuted earlier today (I posted the Elrond pics in an earlier entry) as well as the Gandalf/Bilbo preview scene.  The Sydney Morning Herald posted an excerpt from the press conference featuring Peter Jackson discussing filming challenges. (None of the actors' comments are featured.)

Hey… Look what just turned up at Zimbio!

(Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images– larger version here)
Heh heh… guess I should be careful what I wish for? (Thinks a minute…) No. More please. 😉

(And then, ten minutes later, THIS happened!)

(Ross Stetford/AP via Jakarta Post); XL version here

This is probably just the tip of the iceberg… more as soon as I get some rest. 😉

But first… here's some of the Channel 7 Morning Show interview footage (of Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett, Elijah Wood, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage and Andy Serkis) repackaged with behind the scenes footage and host tomfoolery:

My recording software died again when I tried to grab Peter Jackson's speech and cast intros from the rebroadcast (there is a third replay ongoing… but I'm beat) ;)… but Tolkien Brazil already has a copy on YouTube:

I wanted to get some sleep. Honestly. But more Hugo Weaving/James Nesbitt pics turned up!

(Rex Features, via Daily Mail Online)

Splash News via Daily Mail Online

Splash News via Daily Mail Online

AP Photo/SNPA, Ross Setford

Here's press conference footage, via New Zealand Herald… alas, embed code doesn't work in LJ. So go straight to the webpage… another one I hope makes it to YouTube soon. 😉