Week 23 – Christopher Lee

For this week of #SiPgoes53, we’re starting the month of June with another movie celebrity, Christopher Lee.

The actor

Christopher Lee has a cinematic career spanning almost 7 decades. He is best known for his iconic roles as a villain. Most notably, Dracula for the oldest ones, Count Dooku and Saruman for the youngest ones. In addition, he’s also known for playing other villains such as the Creature of Frankenstein, Lord Summerisle, Sir Henry Baskerville or Francisco Scaramanga.

One key feature of Christopher Lee such was his iconic strong deep voice which led him to also to voice acting. I can only recommend listening to the beautiful original poem of the Nightmare Before Christmas he narrated.

Although limited by his age, Christopher Lee continued acting until passing away 4 years ago (on Friday) at the age of 93.

I always ask myself ‘well, what else could I do?’. Making films has never just been a job to me, it is my life. I have some interests outside of acting – I sing and I’ve written books, for instance – but acting is what keeps me going, it’s what I do, it gives life purpose.

Christopher Lee

The singer

To me, Christopher Lee is also of importance for his work as a music singer and narrator, and in particular as the oldest Heavy Metal singer. Having grown up with French dubs of Star Wars and the Lord of the Rings, I actually heard Christopher Lee’s true voice for the first time as a teenager while listening to Rhapsody’s Magic of the Wizard’s Dream.

Following this first collaboration with a Heavy Metal band, he continued to do narration work for Rhapsody. (I can only warmly recommend the wonderful 16-minute long “Mystic Prophecy of the Demon Knight” which ends with Lee’s beautiful narration.) Later he also replaced Orson Welles as the narrator of Manowar’s re-recording of their first album. His last musical appearance was as the narrator on the opening track of Hollywood Vampires, a rock band formed of Alice Cooper, Johnny Depp, and Joe Perry.

But next to these collaborations with existing bands, Christopher Lee also ended up with his own personal project and released two concept albums about Charlemagne. He even became the oldest person to enter the Billboard Hot 100 chart with his heavy metal version of Jingle Bell.

My Elven Charlemagne, inspired by the cheesy but never tiresome video clip of the Bloody Verdict of Verden.

Your image

What will you create for this week? Which aspect, or role, of Christopher’s Lee life will you reuse? Let us know and don’t forget to tag your photos on social media with #SiPgoes53 and #SiP_Christopher_Lee.

Confessions of an AFOL – Part 2

Now that I have confessed my feelings about the new licensed Lego themes, let’s take a look at the old ones, shall we?

Let’s start with Star Wars. Now we all know how great the films are and how revolutionary they were, especially the first three. I watched them for the first time in 2003 and I liked them but never had the opportunity or the desire to watch them again. But that doesn’t mean I don’t know everything about the films including memorizing the music and all the characters; I just played the Lego Star Wars video games instead. I played them on multiple platforms: PC, PSP, Mac or whatever I had whenever I could. Now I am the proud owner of four Yodas, three Han Solos and three Luke Skywalkers!

Other licensed themes I have enjoyed more through video games rather than the original movies include: Indiana Jones, Batman, and Harry Potter. I love the backgrounds and how they recreate the entire film using Lego. I am often sad when the game ends and can’t wait until the next one comes out.

If it is a movie I thought was ok, like Harry Potter, the games give me a chance to rediscover the movie in a different way. If it is a movie I already love it gives me such a joy to see all my favorite characters come to life once again in Lego form. The best examples of this are the Pirates of the Caribbean and the Lord of the Rings video games. I had enjoyed the movies and seen them several times, but when characters actually talked in the game, rather than gibberish, this made it possible to make jokes as well as re-live those films over and over again!

Now the newer games (Batman 2, Marvel, the Hobbit) have all gotten better and funnier because of all the speech included. So I have enjoyed the games for the games they are, even though the sole reason I played them originally was because of Lego.

So where does this lead us?

Lego video games helped me be interested in the films and I watched them again. As I watched, I thought about how certain scenes were integrated into the films. As I played, I learned more about the characters and liked them even more, which resulted in me wanting to get the mini figures (or the sets). If anyone told me that I would get an AT-AT set, the first thing I’d say (before playing the game) would have been “What’s an AT-AT?” Now it’s a bit different, to say the least.

Maybe this is marketing at its best: watch, play, get the set, play more, watch more, like more. It seems to be working well for the producers and the fans alike. After all, who wouldn’t want a Jack Sparrow she can carry with her all the time?

Maybe Lego needs to take a page from it’s own book and think about how they can cross promote these new licensed sets so I will become as big of a fan of Scooby Doo and The Simpsons as I am of Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and Pirates of the Caribbean. Although I can’t promise this about Simpsons… oh well, we’ll see!

Pinar

jack sparrow