Gollum

Andy Serkis Smeagol Hobbit

When the biggest movie of the calendar year is a nearly three-hour festival of noise starring automotive robots, it’s easy to fear that the human element of filmmaking is slowly being lost to digital effects and bottom line corporate interests. But the career of Andy Serkis provides a powerful demonstration as to how the human capacity for imagination and feeling can work with, not against, the utilities of motion picture technology towards groundbreaking ends. Serkis considers himself an actor first and foremost, but he occupies a unique and privileged place across so many film properties that could otherwise easily be bereft of inspiration, content to live in the uncanny valley of requisite CGI. Serkis’ work requires his presence during all levels of production, and in so doing he operates as a medium between a filmmaker’s vision and their collaboration with cast and crew both in front of and behind the camera. His body is, in summary, the place in which the material and immaterial aspects of 21st century filmmaking play out. So here is a bit of free film school (for fans and filmmakers alike) from the guy who only sometimes plays a human being.

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Gollum in the Wellington Airport

As we’ve learned from Flight of the Conchords, one of the only things that New Zealand is known for these days is Lord of the Rings. And they seem to be quite proud of it. As evidence in this new art installation by Weta at the Wellington, New Zealand airport. Opening this week, the massive statue of Gollum reaching out to catch a juicy sweet fish will now greet travelers as they enter the terminal. As you will see from the images below, it’s both awe-inspiring and terribly frightening.

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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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