Wednesday, March 26, 2008

McKellen ready to play Gandalf again in "Hobbit"

Sir Ian McKellen on The Hobbit Films
Source: Ian McKellen
March 26, 2008

Will Sir Ian McKellen reprise his Oscar-nominated role of Gandalf in "The Lord of the Rings" prequels The Hobbit and its sequel? McKellen says it's pretty likely on his latest official E-Post:

Q: So has it come to pass, good Sir McKellen? Shall the dreaming masses with their musty books and their blackened pipes at long last hear those immortal words issue from under that famous nose? "Yes, yes, my dear sir-and I know your name, Mr. Bilbo Baggins. And you do know my name, though you don't remember that I belong to it. I am Gandalf, and Gandalf means me! To think I should have lived to be good-morninged by Belladonna Took's son, as if I was selling buttons at the door!" Looking about, I find I share the same hopes as millions of others, so I ask, a single query in a chorus... Will you again be our Gandalf in "The Hobbit" now that the deal is settled?

A: Yes I will, if Peter Jackson and I have anything to do with it, he being the producer and me being, on the whole, a very lucky actor. I've just read your quote out loud - fabulous speech.

Q: Have you been approached yet by Peter Jackson or anyone else about reprising your wonderful role as Gandalf for the two upcoming "Hobbit" movies. I read that principal photography begins in 2009, and I can't imagine those movies without you!

A: Encouragingly, Peter and Fran Walsh have told me they couldn't imagine The Hobbit without their original Gandalf. Their confidence hasn't yet been confirmed by the director Guillermo del Toro but I am keeping my diary free for 2009!

Warner Bros.' New Line is planning 2010 and 2011 releases for the two films.

Additional news:

Director says discussions for Lord of the Rings "prequels" are ongoing.
by Josh Hurst posted 04/07/08

Guillermo del Toro, long rumored to be the director for The Hobbit, says the movie is moving forward in capable hands. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, del Toro says that everything is still in the talking phase: "There have been a lot of discussions of cast and crew, agreements on the direction the movies would go, and if and when I come on board. But other than that, frankly it's all immaterial until everything is signed and put on paper."

The Hellboy and Pan's Labyrinth director is quick to remind fans that patience will be needed; he hasn't officially signed a contract yet, and even if he does, it's a "huge endeavor"—at least a five-year commitment, he says. "It's two movies back-to-back that are massive. So a lot has to be sorted out. All I can say is, creatively we are all in sync and eager to commit and move forward."

Del Toro admits that the recent folding of New Line Cinema has delayed the project a bit, but he does have some encouraging news for fans of the original Lord of the Rings trilogy; though he declines to discuss specifics, he does confirm that he will be working with the original screenwriting team of Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens.

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

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Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday Meditations

A video I edited using clips from "The Passion of the Christ" and the music of Tourniquet's "If I Was There."

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Maundy Thursday Reflection

Rembrandt, Ich Habe Euch Ein Beispiel Gegeben, 1655
The title of this sparse yet dramatic sketch from Rembrandt is translated, "I Gave You an Example." As Peter watches his Master choose to partake in this most unexpected act, some of the other disciples gather to watch, and perhaps begin to understand what kind of life Christ is calling them to when he says, "Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them" (John 13:17). [Click here to see an art slideshow of the Last Supper]

Christian History Corner: The Other Holy Day
In the rush toward Good Friday and Easter, don't forget Maundy Thursday
Elesha Coffman posted 3/01/2002 12:00AM
Related articles and links 1 of 2

Amid the bustle of Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter, Maundy Thursday is easy to overlook. Few calendars label it, and some churches don't observe it at all, though it may be the oldest of the Holy Week observances. It's worth asking why, and how, generations of Christians have revered this day.

Maundy comes, possibly by way of one or more European languages, from the Latin mandatum, meaning command. The reference is John 13:34: "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." Jesus spoke those words at the Last Supper, which took place the Thursday before Easter.

Protestant churches that do observe Maundy Thursday may offer a dramatic re-enactment of the Last Supper or another special Communion service. Foot-washing services and adapted Passover Seders are also fairly popular, especially in Anglican, Lutheran, and other liturgical Protestant churches. Not surprisingly, Protestants generally stick close to biblical texts when constructing a special service. Catholic and Orthodox traditions add a few other elements to the observance.

In the Middle Ages, Maundy Thursday was sometimes called Shere Thursday, shere meaning pure or guilt-free. (Shere also had something to do with shearing, as it was customary for medieval men to cut their hair and beards on this day.) Medieval Christians achieved purity by performing penance throughout Lent. The Catholic Church recognized the achievement by formally reconciling penitents and, in some areas, giving them a green branch. New converts who had prepared their hearts, and memorized their creed, during Lent were purified through baptism at the Thursday service.

Because of the Maundy Thursday connection with baptism, it has long been Catholic custom to consecrate the year's supply of holy oils for baptism, anointing the sick, and Confirmation on this day. Orthodox clergy take time during the liturgy to prepare the Amnos, the Communion elements that will be given to the sick throughout the year.

A few European countries have added cultural observances to the list of church traditions. In Britain, the monarch distributes small purses of Maundy Money to elderly residents of the town selected for each year's service. The practice dates back to 1210, when King John gave garments, knives, food, and other gifts to poor men on Maundy Thursday in accordance with Christ's mandate to love others. Germans, who call the day Gründonnerstag ("Green Thursday"), eat green vegetables, especially spinach. The association with green may come from the gift of green branches to penitents or from a confusion of the old German words meaning "green" (grun) and "to weep" (greinen).

It's common to hear from the pulpit that no one can fully appreciate the joy of Easter Sunday without experiencing the darkness of Good Friday. But the disciples would have been bewildered by both without the lesson of Holy Thursday. The day they received the command to love, had their feet washed by a king, and first understood the link between the Passover sacrifice, Christ, and the bread of life, shouldn't be missed by any of us, even if the calendar shows a blank square.

Elesha Coffman is managing editor of Christian History magazine.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Las Vegas Vet Recreates Mustang as Barricade

For those of you who saw the Transformers movie last year, you may remember Barricade, the Decepticon police car, a Saleen Mustang. Well, a vet returned from Iraq and decided to make his Mustang to copy Barricade's design for his son, since he liked the movie so much. Cool.

Vegas Man Paints Car Like Police Cruiser
Wednesday, March 12, 2008 9:20:45 PM

Jessie Vigil's black-and-white car sports a red-and-blue emergency bar across the top and the word "police" painted on the doors. Vigil, however, isn't a cop. Law enforcement agencies say what he's done with his car isn't illegal as long as he doesn't act like a police officer.

He started decorating his 2007 Ford Mustang last summer to look like the police cruiser in the "Transformers" movie because his 7-year-old son, Thomas, was fond of the film.

"My intent was to re-create the movie car," said Vigil, a 35-year-old disabled veteran from the war in Iraq. "When I came back from Iraq, I tried to spoil him. I wasn't the best dad before."

He said he called the district attorney's office beforehand and spoke to Chief Deputy District Attorney Joe Ulibarri, who tried to discourage his decorating scheme but couldn't find anything in the law that would stop Vigil as long as he didn't impersonate an officer.

Ulibarri said a state law prevents people from mimicking state police cars, which are painted black and white. But he also said the state police sell their old cars to private citizens without changing the colors.

"Are we violating our own law by not repainting them?" he asked.

He called the state law vague, and noted that normal state police cars aren't Mustangs.

"I don't think this guy has any intent to mimic a state police officer," Ulibarri said. "I'm not hearing that he is causing a problem and arresting people."

A close look shows Vigil's car isn't a police cruiser. Instead of the familiar slogan "To protect and serve," it carries a motto: "To punish and enslave" on the side. Instead of telling people to dial 911 for emergencies, the Mustang advises them to "dial 411 for theater information."

He originally marked his car, "Transformers police" but later changed it to just "police." He also added what appears to be a bar of emergency lights, but said they're not actual lights.

Vigil acknowledged people have mixed feelings about his car.

State police Capt. Craig Martin said the agency is "concerned for the safety of people who think he is an officer and think they may get help from him.

"People around town know who he is, but not those people on the interstate."

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