Friday, July 29, 2011

On the debt-celing "debate" *sigh*

”Subtle details change characters’ lives in ways too complex for the conscious mind to grasp, though we nevertheless grasp them. Thus plot not only changes but creates character: By our actions we discover what we really believe and, simultaneously, reveal ourselves to others. And setting influences both character and plot: One cannot do in a thunderstorm what one does on a hot day in Jordan. (One’s camel slips, or, from homesickness, refuses to budge; so the assassin goes uncaught, the President is shot, the world is again plunged into war). As in the universe every atom has an an effect, however minuscule, on every other atom, so that to pinch the fabric of Time and Space at any point is to shake the whole length and breadth of it, so in fiction every element has effect on every other, so that to change a character’s name from Jane to Cynthia is to make the fictional ground shudder under her feet.”

— From “The Art Of Fiction” by John Gardner

Cynthia= Republican terms like “Cutting,” or “Budget”

Jane= The FACT that the debt-ceiling MUST be raised, as it always has before…

Remember: Cynthia is not Jane’s Siamese-Twin… They are unrelated!!!!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Poem 4

Once, I said "Hi"
Such a simple word
Possibilities endless.
Could it mean,
A new friend?
Or, more than that?
A new perspective?
A new life?
Is this the greatest day?
Once, she said "Goodbye"

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Harry Potter Critique, In A Minor

I haven't been a fan of the Harry Potter movies for a long time. The first two, directed by Chris Columbus, were the most accurate Book-To-Film retellings ... I am a big fan of those two movies. Though visually slow, they captured the most of the reading experience, which also, is slow and developing. The minor details, that could lead to a 4 hour movie, are out.

Okay, I get that.

When the franchise handed the reins to Cuaran, I originally thought, "devastation." When I saw Prisoner From Azkaban, I was at a loss for words.... at first, I screamed, "They left out so much!!!!" Seeing Azkaban later, I realized what Alfonso Cuaran was focusing on. As a film, it became Excellent (though, it worked off of about 10% of the book).
Azkaban was still based on a 350-400 page novel. To base a 2 hour film on 75 pages was ballsy.

Now, however, we get to the 650 page novel.

After Azkaban... the ignoring of plot-lines (laid down in the novels) became more overtly obtrusive. The Goblet of Fire, though the longest novel to that point, became a lame High-Light of particular scenes. What was left out.... with what was left in (and bastardized) made the film feel like a trailer, for the Order of the Phoenix. The problem? Well, the Order on film was a gargantuan waste of time! By then, the directors had learned to Omit.

A lot of the time spent at Grimmuald Place could have included, especially, the original handling of the locket-horcrux.

By the time of Deathly Hallows Part 1, so much had been left out, that making a list here would be more exhaustive than reading The Brothers Karamazov.

What I loved about Part 2, was how they compacted the stated. As a film, and with the understanding of what is removed, this finale becomes one of the best Potter films.
As I said, the first two are the most accurate. After that, you must be able to ride the wave (probably easier to do if you haven't read each book multiple times).
This film happens (somehow) to be excellent in covering over the the previous omissions. It can almost Stand Alone.

The idea of a stand-alone Potter film hasn't been around since Azkaban, and before, the Sorcerer's Stone.

Also,though I might be vastly biased... the sequence of Snape's memories was almost too awesome.


I'm disappointed because:

1) It isn't explained how Snape knew the location to put the sword.

2) The Final Battle happened outdoors, and, alone. In the novel, and in the Great Hall of Hogwarts, when "Tom Riddle's lifeless body falls," speaks volumes to who Voldemort thought he was, and in the end, wasn't. The film allows him to break to ashes, and float amidst the wind. It gives an appearance of Power, to Tom Riddle. Disgusting.

3) The end NEEDED to be in the Headmaster's office. Harry, talking to the portrait of Dumbledore, and, using the Elder Wand to fix his own wand... To see, "Dumbledore beaming," at Harry's decision to get rid of the Elder Wand... to get those final explanations from Dumbledore, himself....

4) Countless other things.

I'm proud to have witnessed, because:

1) With his paleness, and the wounds from the chains, depicted so well, the dragon of Gringotts was such a sad character.

2) The death of Severus Snape: Easily the best scene from a David Yates directed Potter film. Though, it was in no way related to the novel (location- those who witnessed). The utter violence. It's tenseness, with the banging wall and splatter. Terrible. It could have almost been a scene right out of the book (if it happened in the Shrieking Shack, with only Harry witnessing, while under his Cloak of Invisibility). Oh, Alan Rickman being great. The statement about the eyes.

In the future, it's probably simpler for me to re-read the novels. Other than Jaws, the movie is never better than the book. That aside, the Potter finale is worthy. It makes for great visuals to an entirely unique world (even if it leaves out half the book).

Unlike the other recent films, I give HPATDH1.5 a big Thumbs-Up.