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Friday 14 September 2001
Inspired by Session 9 and The Others, Mary McNamara offers "The Rules that Horror Films Live and Die By", such as,
- The ordinariness of the character's real lives must be established convincingly and immediately
- Children are spookier than adults
- No more animate toys
- The writer and/or director must know what is going on
Sunday's Los Angeles Times offered sneak peeks at Fall films, including
- An excerpt from William Goldman's script from Stephen King's novel for the Scott Hicks-directed film Hearts in Atlantis
- A profile of Alan Moore, whose graphic novel From Hell, about Jack the Ripper, is being adapted into film by Allen and Albert Hughes and starring Johnny Depp
Also last weekend, the New York Times's film preview pages included a long article by Polly Shulman on Harry and the Hobbits. LOTR director Peter Jackson began his project before Rowling's first book was published, but
Is the timing [of the films] just a coincidence, then? Or is some more magical power at work — does some sorcerer have the zeitgeist in thrall? It's not magic, says Mr. Jackson, but the very force that Tolkien so loathed — technology. "About five years ago, I developed a couple of movies using computer effects, and I began thinking about what projects could make use of this groundbreaking effects technology," he says. "I wanted not just special-effects-driven films but films that actually had stories. `Lord of the Rings' came immediately into my mind. Previously only a cartoon version was made, because the technology didn't yet exist to make a realistic live-action film."
Rowling plays with cliches, while Jackson strives to avoid them.
"People somehow think that because it's fantasy, it doesn't have to be real, and I think that's a huge mistake," he said. "If it looks too stylized or fake, the audience isn't going to buy into it." ... The quest for realism extends to the acting. Mr. Jackson wanted people, not archetypes. "I hate the idea of guys with pointy hats who can fire lightning out of their fingers," he says.
August Media Refractions