The Lord of the Rings

'Rings' marathon whets fans' appetite

PUBLISHED : Monday, 22 December, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 22 December, 2003, 12:00am

One of the greatest fantasy adventure stories ever told - J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings - mesmerised local fans who sat through all three cinematic episodes in a one-off, 14-hour marathon at UA Pacific Place in Admiralty last week.

Participants in the 'marathon' won their seats in competitions organised by Commercial Radio and UA Cinemas last month.

Sponsors held lucky draws between and after the screening of the three films that included prizes worth a total of $100,000. One person won two air tickets to New Zealand where the films were made.

Celebrities including Edwin Siu and Yumiko Chan also took part in the marathon and many more famous names showed up to see the final chapter - The Return of the King - in a separate theatre at midnight.

The enchanting story of wizards, demons, hobbits, elves, sorcerers and orks - a monumental battle of good versus evil - kept the audience spellbound. But not enough for some to forget their appetite.

Food companies Citybest and Garden Co-operation provided lunch and dinner boxes for fans who remained in the theatre the whole time - except for when nature called, of course.

Before the show started, the audience was prepared. 'I've only bought a little bit of water with me ... I don't want to be going to the toilet too much,' said Cindy Kan Sze-yan, a student at the University of Hong Kong who won the marathon tickets after entering an essay competition.

'I wrote 300 words about how the visual difference between the Hobbiton village scenes and the battle scenes made the movie more exciting and fascinating,' said Cindy, 20. 'The special effects in the battle scenes are incredible. I've been a big fan ever since I saw the first film. I read the whole book after that and now watching the films is like an indulgence. I can't help myself. We had already bought tickets to see The Return of the King before I won this competition.'

The three films lasted a total of 611 minutes - more than 10 hours. But the stiff legs and a sore back and neck were worth it, said Cindy.

'These are excellent films because the relationship between the cast is so tight. That really comes across and the audience can feel it. The acting is great. Aragorn is the best. You can see his inner turmoil and intensity, and sense his fear and weight of responsibility.'