April 6, 2015

My Return to Middle Earth, Part 2: The Cinematography of The Two Towers

I have remained in Middle Earth! I continue the visual examination of the franchise, this time reviewing the lush and grand visual palette of The Two Towers.

The extended cut of The Two Towers is four hours long and while the story isn't as fast paced or as crisp as The Fellowship of the Ring (which might have to do with the fact that Fellowship boasts one storyline while The Two Towers has about seven (three main arcs, four subplots)), it expands the mythos. Peter Jackson wisely uses the camera to expand the mythos by exposing the grandeur of this imaginary world.

Andrew Lesnie was back again and while the CGI level increased a bit in many background shots, Jackson and Lesnie also seemed to up the ante with the on location shooting, starting with a breathtaking, and undoubtedly dangerous helicopter (or was it an Eagle?) ride through the snowy mountains of New Zealand.

The Two Towers doesn't feel quite as fantastical and magical as The Fellowship of the Ring in terms of setting due to the focus on the worlds of Man (as opposed to dwarves, elves, hobbits, etc), but it feels larger and more epic.

Below is a taste ... and I had to stop myself from just showing a video of the whole movie ... of The Two Tower's spellbinding cinematography.


The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Director: Peter Jackson
Cinematographer: Andrew Lesnie

*click on the images for a larger view; images courtesy of screencapped.net

^It should be noted that Andrew Lesnie did not win the 2002 Academy Award for Cinematography for this film nor was he even nominated, a fact that blows me away considering the cinematography here is far richer and expansive then the previous film for which he won the award.

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