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BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)

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Phot 31 May 04 - 01:42 PM
The Villan 31 May 04 - 02:04 PM
Stilly River Sage 31 May 04 - 03:24 PM
The Villan 31 May 04 - 03:29 PM
Blackcatter 31 May 04 - 03:32 PM
GUEST,Shlio 31 May 04 - 04:09 PM
McGrath of Harlow 31 May 04 - 04:20 PM
Phot 31 May 04 - 04:38 PM
The Villan 31 May 04 - 04:49 PM
Stilly River Sage 31 May 04 - 07:23 PM
Naemanson 31 May 04 - 08:54 PM
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Ellenpoly 02 Jun 04 - 04:13 AM
Lin in Kansas 02 Jun 04 - 04:49 AM
C-flat 02 Jun 04 - 06:29 AM
GUEST 02 Jun 04 - 09:06 AM
clueless don 02 Jun 04 - 09:18 AM
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Subject: BS: New Harry Potter Film
From: Phot
Date: 31 May 04 - 01:42 PM

Just got back from seeing Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban, and its pretty damm good!
Good performances from the whole cast, and some great one liners for the older generation to appreciate, the talking head on the night bus had me in stiches, (I'm sure its played by Lenny Henry) and Ron gets more gormless every year! The CGI effects will blow your mind, all in all, a sure fire hit.

Wassail!!

Chris (Age 7......going on 39!)


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film
From: The Villan
Date: 31 May 04 - 02:04 PM

This is what my wife and daughter thought

Overall opinion - Not as good as the first

Best Actor/Actress - Timothy Spalding who played Peter Petigrew - AKA Scabbers the Rat

Best Scene - Professor Lupin turns into a wherewolf

Scary - A bit, its been over emphasised

Special effects - Great

Harry Potter - he was a bit wooden (bland)

Hermione - Brilliant

Ron - Brilliant

Worth watching 9/10

Value for money 9/10


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 31 May 04 - 03:24 PM

So we can assume that anyone reading this thread should have already read the book since you're discussing things that they should be surprised by and happen late in the story.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film
From: The Villan
Date: 31 May 04 - 03:29 PM

Not sure there.

I haven't read a Harry Potter book or seen the films.

I guess that my families comments would only be appreciated by people who are well into Harry Potter.

Overall by what they had to say, it was a film well worth seeing.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film
From: Blackcatter
Date: 31 May 04 - 03:32 PM

I heard he gets held back


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film
From: GUEST,Shlio
Date: 31 May 04 - 04:09 PM

I saw the "making of" the film - I'm hoping it'll be an improvement on the first two. Isn't Daniel Radcliffe always bland?


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 May 04 - 04:20 PM

That'd be Timothy Spall, not Spalding. Better known - till now - in the UK than the USA. Brilliant actor.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film
From: Phot
Date: 31 May 04 - 04:38 PM

Stilly River Sage.

Never assume.....Check.

Chris


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film
From: The Villan
Date: 31 May 04 - 04:49 PM

Thanks for the correction there M o H :-)

Good to see somebody spotted the deliberate error. LOL


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 31 May 04 - 07:23 PM

And how would you do that, Phot? This thread wasn't titled "Don't read if you haven't read the book." So you expect someone who hasn't read it to "check" the thread and OOOPS! they saw something they didn't want to see.

Duh. See the problem?

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film
From: Naemanson
Date: 31 May 04 - 08:54 PM

It's a good thing my girlfriend likes Harry Potter. In fact she is probably more excited over this film than I am.

And, don't worry about me, Sagey, I've read all the books.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 31 May 04 - 09:00 PM

Brett, I haven't read the last book yet, but they haven't caught up to me with the movies so I'm safe. I'll read it this summer. Any idea when the next book is coming out? And do you have first-run movies in Guam?
;-D

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film
From: Blackcatter
Date: 31 May 04 - 11:13 PM

I read the first book it was really over-rated.

I saw the first two movies - surprising that they could make movies that good from such hackneyed writing.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film
From: Ellenpoly
Date: 02 Jun 04 - 04:13 AM

Ahhhh Blackcatter, you disappoint me!

The third book is the best by far in my opinion. I'm on my way to see the film in an hour or so. The trailors have looked pretty good, I must say.

The next book doesn't have a due date. Don't hold your breath.

..xx..e


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film
From: Lin in Kansas
Date: 02 Jun 04 - 04:49 AM

My grandson extracted a promise from me months ago to take him to see the movie "as soon as it gets here," which for Wichita is this Friday. So I reckon I know where we'll be for part of this weekend. Personally, I wouldn't miss it for the world. (He's now read all five of the books at least twice, and I think he's read the fifth one [the b-i-g one] three. I read the first three to him the first time, then he took over and read the next one to me. Thank you, Ms. Rowling--his reading has greatly improved!

Lin


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film
From: C-flat
Date: 02 Jun 04 - 06:29 AM

I agree Lin in Kansas, my 7 year-old would have been phased to tackle such large books prior to getting the Potter bug. I have read them all with her and she has gone on to re-read them all herself along with a range of other books that I doubt she would have picked up otherwise.
Whatever you think of the writing style of Rowling, she's lit a fire in many young minds.
As for the films, I've found them all quite enjoyable and look forward to seeing this latest offering although I get a good feeling when I hear my daughter say that she prefers the books!
C-flat.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Jun 04 - 09:06 AM

Complete and utter rubbish


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film
From: clueless don
Date: 02 Jun 04 - 09:18 AM

I just want to express one person's presumably minority opinion: I thought that Daniel Radcliffe (sp?) was excellent in the first two movies. Haven't seen the third one yet.

Don


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Jun 04 - 10:21 AM

Since the topic came up, and since I hadn't read the fifth book yet, nor has my youngest, we started reading it out loud last night while we sat huddled in the hall waiting for the storm and the tornado sirens to stop. Got several chapters in--quite exciting!

I've checked around and find that the Harry Potter movie is being shown in an IMAX format in Dallas. It's very expensive to go, but we're considering making the trip over.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 02 Jun 04 - 10:31 AM

I've enjoyed all the books. Great literature they are not - but they are a pleasant read - and they *do* capture the attention of many young readers.

I've thoroughly enjoyed the first two movies and am looking forward to seeing the third - though it won't be for a while as I refuse to go to theatres.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film
From: Ellenpoly
Date: 02 Jun 04 - 10:40 AM

Just got back from seeing it. Good stuff, and for me, definitely the best of the bunch. Radcliff is still trying to earn his acting chops, but he gets better in each film. Everyone else, including all the new faces, are excellent.

Sit back and enjoy the ride, folks.

Now back to impatiently waiting for Book 6!..xx..e


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Jun 04 - 10:46 AM

I'm already impatiently awaiting book seven.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film
From: C-flat
Date: 02 Jun 04 - 11:30 AM

Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Jun 04 - 09:06 AM

"Complete and utter rubbish "




Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Jun 04 - 10:46 AM

"I'm already impatiently awaiting book seven."



I wish Guest could be more consistant. :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film
From: GUEST,Blackcatter
Date: 02 Jun 04 - 03:45 PM

Sorry Ellen,

But I don't have a lot of time to read fun things. I've spent a great deal of time reading "literature" and prefer it to most fiction. That's just me. If it's getting kids to read other things, great, but how many of them are going to read anything real?

Reading other fantastic stuff, spurred on by HP, is like watching more sitcoms because you like Friends. Hardly mind expanding. Our church has a book reading program for our kids, which they can enroll in once they begin to read. While they are welcome to read HP, he ask them to read other things too - biorgraphy, history, historic fiction and other subjects. Things that the local public schools don't even bother with.

There is noting wrong with "fun" reading, but if kids are reading fun stuff nearly all the time that they are reading - just how different is that to playing videos or watching movies?

And do any of you (and please understand that I'm not indicting you) who are parents, sit down asn discuss the events in the books?

Do you have discussions of what exactly is magic and witchcraft?

How about the protrayal of muggles (since I have not read any of the books but the first, I'm no expert, but are there significant positive representations of muggles, or are your kids being taught that it's alright to stereotype)?

Do non-British kids understand the public/private school concept?

Is there any question why nearly all the main characters are white and middle to upper middle class?

Do you discuss the magical creatures and where in mythology/folklore the author got them?


That was how I was brought up. My father always sat me down after I finished a book (he had already read it) and we discussed it - what didn't I understand. What did I learn, etc. I will admit that even HP can teach kids (and adult) things, but one must examine the information before one truly understands it.


Sorry to go on.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Jun 04 - 04:21 PM

Blackcatter, you're attempting to throw a wet blanket over this category of book and film, and I think it's unnecessary. If you were talking about something like Dick, Jane, and Spot I'd have no argument. But Harry Potter is a success on many levels. First, they are well-written, well-conceived, and well-developed stories. They're exciting and entertaining to read and they touch on all sorts of topical and cultural issues. If you'd seen the movies (or read later books) then you'd know that they aren't all just white upper-middle-class participants in the stories.

I don't think you can support the Friends-to-other-sitcoms argument in relation to these books. Reading fantasy in Harry Potter then going to other types of fantasy is NOT a "Reading Lite" diet. There is lots of excellent quality fantasy (a young friend of mine was finally convinced that reading is fun when he got hooked on Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, and after looking for more like it, found other good literature to read). I have an MA in English Lit and have many friends here in the English dept who love the Harry Potter books. Some read out of curiosity, some read to their children. It's fun and literate. That's enough, and when we spend a lot of time reading other important texts, it's nice to cleanse the palate. Harry Potter isn't pulp fiction for kids.

I have read all of these books out loud to my children. That's a helluva lot of reading. And while we're reading, if questions come up or topics need to be addressed, we address them. You mention some concerns here that we have been discussed at some point and some context, whether to do with the book or the film.

My kids understand about the art involved between books and screenplays--and that books have much more room and time to develop ideas. We've talked about what must be done to tell the story in a film and to still give the flavor and as much depth as possible of the story. (They learned much of this after we read To Kill a Mockingbird then watched the movie a little later. And then the screenwriter, Shelby Foote, was on a local radio call-in talk show and I called and asked him about that and passed along his answers to the kids).

The thing I've discussed most seriously with the kids is the behavior as it relates to the Dursleys and Harry Potter. His relationship with Dudley is not good, and has been abusive in both directions. In this fifth book I see a shift. I haven't finished the book or even the Dursley section, so I won't say more. But there seems to be a bit more understanding going on, even with the hard-headed uncle and aunt and pudgy punkish cousin.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film
From: GUEST,RWR
Date: 02 Jun 04 - 05:20 PM

Just been to see the film with husband and 4 kids. Husbands comment - 'like watching paint dry' 2x 6 year olds - 'a bit scary'10 year old 'great' 12 year old 'they cut all the immportant information from the books out'

personally I thought the other two were better though I am known for having no taste


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film
From: Grab
Date: 02 Jun 04 - 05:48 PM

Blackcatter, you read things that are appropriate to your age, intellect and stage of development. To make children read anything that *isn't* fun is to put them off reading for life. HP has enough depth in it to provide more than just fluff, but is still interesting and fun enough to keep kids involved. On the TV/films front, if you only ever took your kids to the cinema to watch Ingmar Bergman and Dogme "arthouse" films, you can guarantee they'd never want to go to the cinema!

If you think fantasy is just fluff, you're reading the wrong stuff. I can find you tons of fluff in every department of book-dom, and some unmissable gems as well. "Literature" is no less fluffy and valueless (yes, Thomas Hardy, I'm looking at you ;-) than the rest. For fantasy, think of HG Wells, CS Lewis, JRR Tolkein, Aldous Huxley, etc, and then dare to say that fantasy is all just fluff...

Re your discussions of books with your dad, he was doing a good job in following you through reading. OTOH though, the lessons learnt best are the ones you pick up yourself. So rather than a discussion of "where did that monster come from", follow their HP book reading with a book of Greek myths, for instance, and they can work out the derivation themselves. Or contrast with Terry Pratchett's witches, with the emphasis on power imposing a duty to protect.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film
From: Blackcatter
Date: 02 Jun 04 - 07:30 PM

Well I wasn't saying that all Fantasy is fluff, but what I see the kids in my church carrying around certainly is.

And if taking a contrary point of view on this list is "throwing a wet blanket," At least I'm explaining my problems with the issue, unlike the people who just say something like "I don't like it" and leave.

Give me a list of the main characters and they're race and class. I've seen the first two movies. Didn't see harly ANY speaking parts by blacks or asians (and from what I know of modern day U.K. that's hardly a good representation).

So rather than a discussion of "where did that monster come from", follow their HP book reading with a book of Greek myths, for instance, and they can work out the derivation themselves

- That's great - how many kids are doing that?

I grew up playing Dungeons and Dragons and other RPCs. I, and a few friends (maybe 2 or 3) took what we learned from the games and did further research in the world of mythology, arms and weapontry and general middle ages history. Most of the dozens of the kids we played with barely even read through all the books connected with the games.

That is the responsibility of parents and teachers - to show and encourage. my dad didn't hand me any answers - he helped me find them or figure them out on my own.

-----------

By the way - I'm not offended, but I don't really appreciate people reading into my comments. Please do me the courtesy taking them at face value and if you don't understand something, ask for clarification. I doubt that Harry Potter would do that.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Jun 04 - 08:29 PM

Blackcatter, there are wizards and muggles and house elves and goblins and snakes and giants and ghosts and centaurs and spiders--all would constitute at the very least different types that have the equivalent of races (in that they all speak and think and interact as they do with the wizards). Harry's slight romantic interest in the fourth book is a young woman wizard who is Asian.

Class vs Race are often confused with each other, and that might be the case here. We aren't generally told what the race of the various characters are, but we are given clues as to where in society they fit. If race is presumed based on class, then the reader is doing much of that himself. Not all readers will bring the same interpretations to the levels of income and the races.

What do you think was "read into your comments?" They were responded to in an open and frank manner. Clearly there are differing views of the quality of these books and the interpretations of the stories and characters therein.

On a note related to your comments on reading mythology as a source of monsters, I found a wonderful little book in the remainders at Half Price Books recently. It is called It's Greek To Me!--Brush Up Your Classics (HarperCollins, 1991) and it gives wonderfully concise descriptions of many stories and creatures and ideas that have made their way into modern times from ancient Greek myth and philosophers. It's by Michael Macrone, who was teaching English and Western Civilization at UC Berkeley at the time he wrote this.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban
From: Blackcatter
Date: 02 Jun 04 - 09:05 PM

Well not to bea a dead horse, but are you associating the various trolls, elves, goblins and the like as being an acceptable substitution for real humans who aren't caucasian? I wonder how all the non-white people living in the U.K. would feel about that?

I said in my original post - "middle and upper-middle class." You left out the "middle" in your response. You seemed to assume that I meant all fantasy in my statement. I'm sorry if that wasn't as clear as I hoped, but the connection with sit-coms is still a valid one - there are good, substantial and ground-breaking sitcoms, but I doubt that most people who watch Friends will be interested in anything more than the fluff type.

Grab seemed to think that I was suggesting that we should make kids read stuff that they wouldn't like or is above their heads. I didn't say that and never meant to even imply that. He at least says "If you think fantasy is fluff . . ." yet he goes on to say "For fantasy, think of HG Wells, CS Lewis, JRR Tolkein, Aldous Huxley, etc, and then dare to say that fantasy is all just fluff..." Which seems to imply that I am not aware those authors. He also seems to thinks that my dad primarily handed me answers to all my questions, which he did not.

Of course I could be wrong. If so, I apologize. But I do take people's statements at face value. But your response started with the "wet blanket" statement even though I was attempting to enter into a serious conversation. I didn't mean to offend and you didn't offend me, but I didn't really appreciate that comment.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: darkriver
Date: 03 Jun 04 - 12:49 AM

Blackcatter,

I respect your opinions, and see the merit in your argument.

However, (you could tell there was going to be a 'however', yes?) I think that you are not giving these books credit for what they are, and are perhaps criticizing them for what they are not. IMO, the HP books fit squarely within a tradition--maybe two or three traditions, and the limitations of the books are the limitations of the genre. Great literature it's not, so the genre is probably not remade or transcended, but why belittle what is there?

They're a Bildungsroman--foundling grows to find his path in the world, finding substitutes for parents he never knew, stumbling through what's offered, and beset at almost every turn with moral choices to make--set in the framework of a traditional Brit public school. Within those limitations, I think Rowling has provided some very witty and thoughtful variations on the traditional themes.

I have read the books with pleasure (and sometimes with irritation). Sometimes the pleasure is private, such as my understanding of the overtones of the names of the magician characters, or the names of the spells, and sometimes more public, in my enjoyment of my children's enjoyment of the dialogue or action. My irritation is sometimes due to the limitations seemingly placed on some characters and relationships--and in my mind this is the weakest part of the series--but I have some hope that perhaps Rowling is going to surprise us, and go somewhere with these relationships. The events in the fifth book, about Harry's father being a conceited bully and about Snape's humiliation, hint at a possible line of development that may transcend the initial limitations--which would be a lot more profound than the initial impression we've been given.

(Sorry--I've just reread that last sentence and am now going to go to my room in shame. I hope the authorities don't come and shoot me for writing it.)

But I hope you see what I mean.

doug


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Ellenpoly
Date: 03 Jun 04 - 04:02 AM

Much has already been said here in which I am in agreement-especially from Stilly River Sage.

I have loved reading these books, and I will continue to read the final two when they finally make their appearance.

There are stacks around my flat, both of "Adult" and "Children's" books- fiction and non. It's my main preoccupation in life, and I won't bother going into all my feelings about books and reading, except to say that ANYTHING which can encourage people to read is fine by me. Of course, what they read is dependent on myriad factors, many of which change with age and circumstance.

In my opinion, most real education begins with enthusiasm. If JK Rowling can start that ball rolling, bless her..xx..e


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: KateG
Date: 03 Jun 04 - 10:59 AM

One of the great leaps in life is the moment when reading suddenly stops being a chore and becomes a way to have a new world blossom in your mind. Too many children in our (US at any rate) educational system never make that transition. From everything I've read about them, Rowling's Harry Potter books are bringing more children to that point, so that they finish the book(s) and say "That was great, what else can I read." For that alone, her books should be prized above rubies.

As to Blackcatter's criticism of the lack of ethnic diversity -- that may be more a function of Hollywood than Rowling. The books make it very clear that Hogwarts includes students of many races and ethnicities --- and regards the variety as something so normal as not to need comment or explanation. In my book this puts it far ahead of much of the great children's literature of the past, which either has no non-white characters (Heidi, Black Beauty, Wrinkle in Time.....) or deals with race in a manner that is troubling today (Tom Sawyer & Huck Finn, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Five Little Peppers & How They Grew....). This is not to say that these older books are not without merit, they are classics for a reason, but it's nice to have a popular series of children's books that doesn't ignore diversity, or present in on a silver platter for additional PC brownie points.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Jun 04 - 11:01 AM

Good discussion of the book. My "wet blanket" remark was not meant to have such a wide implication as it took on, but some interesting responses have come from it. For those who are curious about the Bildungsroman term, I'll stick a short analysis at the bottom of this post. There are a whole series of terms that require a dictionary to decipher, but this is a good general one. An example of classic literature that fits this description is Dicken's Great Expectations.1

I still don't think you can support that Friends argument, even if I think you're recognizing a correlation that plays out in what the networks hope for in their programming planning--they all want to have the "next Friends" or the "next Seinfeld." Too many people cross over between genres if they have the time for tv watching. Slumming in the sitcoms before heading back to other programming. It's like suggesting the books for "summer reading" must be of a certain casual, more pot-boiler nature. Some books are, a lot aren't. Because the pseudo-genre exists (thanks to Madison Avenue) doesn't necessarily mean people participate in it.

I didn't suggest that non-human characters in Harry Potter books substitute for non-white characters. That would lead to an almost Social Darwinist approach to the novels which Rowling clearly doesn't intend and is way too oversimplified when looking at these texts.

What I suggest is that there are both overt and covert representations of class in those characters. There are examples that allow for your reading of my reading, such as Hillary's battle to elevate the house elves in one of the later books. Chaos erupts because it isn't handled well. There are some interesting social parallels that can be drawn from this and might come into play later. But on the whole, this white/non-white type of characters doesn't hold up. If you introduce speaking or communicating non-human characters they are going to be integrated into the imaginary community based on how they compare to the main human characters. Their personalities and behaviors really are are across the board in these novels. There is a lot of tradition to what Rowling is doing, and she does go with a lot of pre-existing stereotypes (goblins are not very approachable and don't seem to care for humans, trolls are nasty and stupid). She is only going to change those stereotypes on a case-by-case basis if she develops characters who are counter to the Northern European storytelling tradition. She's working with a lot of material that is embedded in the language, but it isn't fair to layer in racial readings.

These books are clearly mapped out, but they aren't all written yet. I have just started book five myself, and I see a glimmer of social criticism. In my reading of how these characters have been developed (speculation of future plot developments ahead--avoid if you don't want to see where I think these might be going!!!) I think both Rowling and her characters must examine their own myth that has been created. Harry didn't know anything about his past until he went to Hogwarts. What he first encounters is the myth, the larger than life parents. As book five is starting we're beginning to see a reexamination of just what people really know, and how they relate to each other. I think that in the end Snape is going to be the best thing that ever happens to Harry Potter, but he's going to be the kind of father-figure who will make sure Harry sees the world warts-and-all.

There is a lot of the Dickens tradition in the Harry Potter books.

SRS


1. Bildungsroman. See http://65.107.211.206/victorian/genre/hader1.html for a look at different types of novels in this Victorian scheme of literature.

An exerpt from the page:


    1. A Bildungsroman is, most generally, the story of a single individual's growth and development within the context of a defined social order. The growth process, at its roots a quest story, has been described as both "an apprenticeship to life" and a "search for meaningful existence within society."


    2. To spur the hero or heroine on to their journey, some form of loss or discontent must jar them at an early stage away from the home or family setting.

    3. The process of maturity is long, arduous, and gradual, consisting of repeated clashes between the protagonist's needs and desires and the views and judgments enforced by an unbending social order.

    4. Eventually, the spirit and values of the social order become manifest in the protagonist, who is then accommodated into society. The novel ends with an assessment by the protagonist of himself and his new place in that society.

    Great Expectations is widely considered to be a direct descendant of Goethe's Wilhelm Meister, the prototypical Bildungsroman. Aurora Leigh takes the genre and complicates it with problems of gender in Victorian society. Waterland reconsiders personal growth in a postmodern context, using narrative not for description, but rather as the vehicle for maturation.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban
From: Blackcatter
Date: 03 Jun 04 - 11:45 AM

Thank you all for your thoughtful responses - you have educated me on the books more than I was before, though some of my opinions are still my opinions (and of course, I'm not the only one to hold them, just one of the few who bothered to post to this thread).

As for The books make it very clear that Hogwarts includes students of many races and ethnicities --- and regards the variety as something so normal as not to need comment or explanation.

I will take your word for it, but I has said twice that I'm interested in the main characters. - Blacks in the U.S. are quite used to being represented by minor "throwaway" characters in TV, movies and plays. May be it is "Hollywood," but the three main protatanist children and the main three antagonist children and the teachers that I'm aware of all appear to be white. And true enough class distinction in the stories isn't a big deal, but the "poor" boy (sorry, I can't remember his name) seems to come from a house that is filled with a heck of a lot more stuff than any of the poor people I know.

Do I think that the books/movies are require to be racially diverse and acknowledge people from different classes? No, of course not, but in the U.S. we continue to struggle with such issues - they divide our country and our children often do not get exposed to people of other races and ecconomic levels.

I wonder how well the books sell to black and asian children?

Thank you again for your thoughtful responses.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Ellenpoly
Date: 03 Jun 04 - 12:04 PM

These books seem to have crossed most barriers,Blackcatter. They are sold in dozens (and dozens) of countries and I have personally seen children of all colours reading them with great enjoyment.

Of course one can find fault with these books. I would encourage you to read them all, though. (Especially the third one). There are many issues at least touched upon, and maybe that's all we could hope for given the saga and what Rowling is trying to do to keep the story flowing.

I think if you can find the time to read the third (and possibly the fourth?), you'll see why we want to defend this series so forcefully.

..xx..e


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban
From: Blackcatter
Date: 03 Jun 04 - 12:10 PM

I just hope that the kids are getting what you get out of them.

I don't see that in my community.

I'm afraid it'll be some time before I have a chance to read any more of them. I'm an historian - I read on and off all day and I look through personal interviews I've conducted over the past few years.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Ellenpoly
Date: 03 Jun 04 - 12:16 PM

Fair enough. We're back to why no one should be forced to think of reading as a chore.

I'll be more than happy to find time to read them all again!

..xx..e


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Amos
Date: 03 Jun 04 - 12:38 PM

I think it bears mentioning here, Blackcatter, that you are trotting out a criterion -- a certain sort of class and race egalitarian consciousness -- which is not necessarily part of any bargain the authoress (autrix?) made with herself or others in creating this universe.

I think there is a great deal of implicit tolerance portrayed amongst the young people in the books, and as SRS points out it is as though the tolerance is so normal as to be unnoteworthy.

To keep stretching after the way these books do or do not portray a character cast blended according to your preferred proportions is, it seems to me, straining. I am sure Rowlings never imagined in her wildest hopes that she would become so widely read, and it happened only after she had completely defined the main characters.

As for "muggles" -- well, maybe there was a little intolerance in that regard, but it was earned!! :>))

A


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Jun 04 - 12:40 PM

In this day and age in which Political Correctness is a protocol of overcompensation for social and political inequities, it's more common to find a racially mixed group of pals in the movies than it is to find a single race represented. If we look at your example of Friends, aren't all of them white? I didn't watch the program, so I can't speak to who they are or who the guest stars might have been who appeared in various episodes. Does that make Friends the exception to the PC rule?

There are few countries in the world that can probably make any claims about the high numbers of indigenous people and a lack of minorities in their populations (i.e. pick some period in time before massive colonization or immigration and look at the population, and compare it to today's population census).

When Rowling started writing these stories, is it safe to imagine that she was hoping to have her books published and read by a few children for the life of the book's run? If so, could she write a book that fit a particular niche in a particular nation, and fill that niche happily without too many demands for cultural diversity because she's writing to the population present in her world? Can she have a world view that presumes many races are extant in the audience (as suggested by KateG) and assume that the faces reading her stories will reflect that diversity? What happens when a story hits hyperdrive and explodes beyond the boundaries of that nation and beyond the boundaries of the language in which it was written?

Later on I'll do a search for any scholarly discussions of the Harry Potter series. One has to work to avoid the moniker of "apologist" when giving a postmodern reading to a popular culture series that often receives a formalist reading from some non-academic (or religious fundamentalist) media critics. There is a lot of baggage within any language, and English is one of the largest (if not the largest) languages. There is also a lot of idomatic material within any given language that may not translate well into other languages or even be understood in other English speaking countries. Some of this may be part of what you're seeing or not seeing.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Jun 04 - 12:57 PM

High-five, Amos. I see we cross posted along the same lines.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban
From: Blackcatter
Date: 03 Jun 04 - 01:12 PM

Hi - first of all - I wasn't using Friends in a positive way - so I have little comments on it when it comes to race, etc.

In my 11:45 posts I clearly say that I do not think that the books/movies are required to be racially diverse.

I initially brought up the topic of racial diversity as a possible "talking point" that parents and teachers might use in conversation with kids (and adults as well!) It was one of 5 points that I put together while writting my comments. It was not supposed to be an indictment of the books/movies. I was just suggesting that if the books/movies focus on mostly white characters, that that would be something to discuss.

That comment was taken and seemingly was felt that the books/movies needed to be defended. I responded to the defenses. That was all.

Thank you again.

By the way - two people have PMed me and told me I shouldn't "hijack" this thread with my critisism. I hope you all know I wasn't intending to do so.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 03 Jun 04 - 01:20 PM

it definatly does not seem to be "hijacked" to me - rather a discussion - more on topic then many in many threads.

My impression of Hogwarts has always been of a very racially mixed student body - though I find on looking back I can't point to anything that reflects that.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Jun 04 - 01:25 PM

oops--little senior moment there--I called Hermione "Hillary." And there I was wondering if it had one "l" or two. :)

Blackcatter, don't worry about posting substantive conversation to a light-weight thread--"I liked it" and "I didn't" can only go so far.

You introduced the topic here, and it has been examined and rebutted here by several folks--but we're responding to each other now, not picking on you for posting your original talking point. Your points were valid, and are what we might encounter in other venues.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Amos
Date: 03 Jun 04 - 01:29 PM

Highjacked? It seems to me we are exactly opn course, discussing the film Prisone rof Azkaban, and by necessity its textual parent.

MM's remark is perhaps representative of that tacit tolerance I was speaking of. When the "English" students meet students from other schools, there is a ready flexibility to communicate and share and so on. The only tensions develop over improtant issues like sports and the developing confrontation between Good and Evil.

I concur, BC, that inviting a child to notice what he has seen in the book by discussing it is a good idea. Using racial diversity is a good idea, too, IMHO.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 03 Jun 04 - 01:30 PM

y'know - they introduced two other schools of magic in book 4 - maybe in book six or seven there will be exchange students from even further schools of magic - be interesting if Rowley introduced someone who's (magical) background wasn't Eurocentric - Native American - or Polynesian, or Australian aborigine.

But it would probably take the book places she wasn't looking to go at the moment.

*grin* she did mention a possible 'prequel' about James and Lily on her website tho'


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 03 Jun 04 - 01:41 PM

the other conflict that is shown is the muggle/wizard - where you have a full spectrum - from muggles who are totallly unaware of wizards - to those who are aware and to some extent follow what is happening in the wizarding world (examples would be Hermione's parents - based on comments she makes) to muggles who mix with wizards - becoming friends, marrying, etc. - to those who are aware of wizards and activly ignore or avoid them (the dursleys) - plus the full spectrum of wizards - from those for whom anything other the "pure-blood" is anaethma - to those more or less raised as muggles -

plus of course the whole "half-blood" bit with giants, veela's and possibly other races/species of magical creatures.

then you have the "squibs" - essentially muggles born to wizardly parents - some of whom live in wizard society - some of whom live in muggle society -


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Tracey Dragonsfriend
Date: 03 Jun 04 - 01:46 PM

Hmmm... I never even noticed the nationality of colour of any of the cast. They all spoke English, which is typically my hint as to a nationality - beyond that, it seems I don't pay much attention. But then someone had to point out to me that one of the Tellytubbies was a different colour, too. I'm always interested in other cultures & religions, and skin colour is sometimes a "mental nudge" to me that a person might have something different & interesting to say, but I don't really pay much attention to it beyond that.
I had this problem at a previous company, where someone I'd hired was the first Asian persion there, and this was seens as an issue. I's only thought of it in passing, in terms of what a beautiful coffee-cream light-brown colour she was, and how well the colour of her shirt suited her skin! If you can speak English (as that's where we're living & working) and do your job (whatever that is), I didn't then, and don't now see what the issue is. I don't seem to consciously notice what colour people are, unless there's something special that it could be relevant to, or have a bearing on.

I'm wondering if this "skin-blindness" is due to living in London, or to being a constant reader of fantasy of all kinds, or to being a technician, with a technician's mindset, or what. But it seems to me that the practice of checking things for the "right number" of races, sexes, ages, or whatever, is kind of missing the point - Surely it shouldn't really matter, should it?

Unless, I suppose, it's relevant to the internal logic of the setting or the script of something. For example, it wouldn't be convincing to see a pink Frenchman play Bob Marley, nor a brown Nigerian woman play James Bond, or Heathcliff, because we know the background of these characters.
In this case, logically, the Harry Potter books have the "feel" of being set quite a while ago, when the populace of their setting of "middle England" would not have been so diverse anyway, so it makes sense. When I was a child in Norfolk, only 25-30 years ago, everyone was that same boring pinky-type English colour, and anyone from Wales or Scotland, was a rarity. To meet someone from another country, or of another skin colour was really unusual & interesting.

Anyway, I've rattled on enough! I really enjoyed the first two movies (not as good as the books, but then they never are), and am looking forward to this new one no end...


Cheers
Tracey


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Jun 04 - 01:49 PM

Thanks, Leo--I came across "squib" in this latest book and couldn't remember what that was. And you're right--Hagrid is a relatively complex mixed blood character who has yet to come into his own in this story.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 03 Jun 04 - 01:56 PM

part of what I find fascinating is the different reactions of the characters that are suppossedly based on their backgrounds - yet differ between those of the same backgrounds.

Lily Potter and Mrs. Dursley - sisters , both muggle-born- but one embraces her magic, marries into the wizarding world ; the other activly surpresses anything to do with magic.

The janitor at Hogwarts - a squib - and from what little we've been told about him bitter due to the fact ; while one of Harry's neighbors on Privat Lane is also a squib - but seems to be very well adjusted about it.

Voldemort who denies his muggle heritage; Hermione who defends it. The Malfoys who seem to detest anything muggle versus the Weasleys who are fascinated with muggledom.

There's material enough presented already for another 20 or so books.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Amos
Date: 03 Jun 04 - 01:58 PM

Ithink one of the reasons for the taciot sens eof tolerance in the series is that when ever aproblem with "pure-bloodedness" comes up it is portrayed as small-minded and unadmirable.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Grab
Date: 03 Jun 04 - 07:09 PM

Blackcatter, I wasn't trying to read stuff into what you said - sorry if I did. I was going on your comment:

Reading other fantastic stuff, spurred on by HP, is like watching more sitcoms because you like Friends. Hardly mind expanding.

I was trying to say that fantasy *can* be mind expanding, and there's no reason it should be "fluff" like some sitcom. HP is certainly escapism, but not of a mindless variety (sorry to Friends fans, but it *is* mindless), and moving from that to other fantasy is no bad way of getting a foothold into literature.

As an adult, I'm quite aware of how the wizards in HP are becoming more and more bullying towards non-wizards. This is a book about children growing up, for children growing up, and children do stuff like that. With a bit of luck it could spark some thoughts amongst kids. I'm quite sure Rowling is setting this up deliberately.

As for quantities of non-whites in HP, this is Britain which doesn't have as large a black population as the US. As far as I can tell, numbers are about consistent with real life. Whites *do* make up all the major characters - for that, I can only assume Rowling is writing for a culture she knows.

I disagree with SRS - there clearly *is* a racial element. As with Pratchett, skin colour is less relevant when "different races" means some with four legs and some 20 feet tall! But the important point made in HP (and in Pratchett) is dealing with them as people with their own motivations and their own moral codes, and not trying to impose your own judgements on them. Hermione's house elf campaign is a nice example, but other characters' mis-steps (with the centaurs, for example) show the same kind of approach. Some non-human characters are nice, and some aren't. And the wizarding society's attitudes to non-human races is about as clear a parallel on racism as you're likely to get.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Jun 04 - 07:38 PM

I haven't done my sums, but I think that the proportion of characters among the children whose names indicate they are probably not white is about what you'd expect in a country where fewer than one in ten of the population are non-white.

Since most of the readers of the books would probably be Muggles, I'd think that providing examples of Muggles being represented positively would be superfluous. With the exception of Harry's foster family all references to Muggles do seem to be sympathetic, except in the mouths of characters we are meant to dislike.

As for class, there is little indication of this so far as most characters are concerned. The implication is that wizarding skills are a lot more significant.
......................

I'm looking forward to seeing the film when the kids have gone back to school after half term. I'd dread seeing it in a cinema crammed with children...

..............

If I wanted to point a child to a book that would be a natural progression from Harry Potter, I'd suggest Ursula LeGuin's Wizard of Earthsea.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Jun 04 - 08:58 PM

Grab, it is overreaching the term to call what occurs in these books "racism." I understand "racial" to imply different colors (noticable but otherwise no genetic difference) within the same species, and a caste system (based upon ranking by color) within that species. In the Harry Potter books there are humanoids of various sorts and there are speaking creatures that aren't at all humanoid. If you are considering some kind of wizard animism in which "all speaking parts are equal" in these novels and then distinguish their caste within that huge bulky framework, then you might call it "racism" but that's a misprision. Bigotry and bias can be present without it being racist. Speciest? Speciesm? It needs to be called something else.

I had to go back to look at what I wrote, because it occurs to me that there is racism in the wizarding world, but it isn't skin color, and it isn't between species, it's skill level (MMario mentioned this, I think). This is illustrated by the Malfoys. And it correlates directly to skin color in the non-wizard world we live in.

There may well be other messages Rowling wants us to notice. The fact that many humans consider themselves above other creatures in the world is a problem around the world. Western influence is overtaking the good works of cultures that practice leaving a more benign footprint on the world. We don't know what the environmental footprint of a wizard is. Interesting problem.


SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Ellenpoly
Date: 04 Jun 04 - 04:23 AM

I love this thread! Blackcatter, honey, anyone who has followed your posts here there and everywhere knows you are NOT a highjacker! On the contrary, you raised good points (misguided as I believe they were,hehehe) and have promoted an in-depth discussion on a book(s) that has obviously affected a lot of people. Thank you for that!

..xx..e


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Firecat
Date: 04 Jun 04 - 06:56 AM

I went to see the film with a work colleague on Monday. I thought it was great! Hermione's got a much stronger role in this one, in my opinion. Mind you, I wouldn't recommend it for any really young people. The little lasses sitting next to us (about 4 or 5 years old) had to keep going out because they were really scared. The Dementors scared me and I'm 20!! I think all three of the main actors (Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson) have improved a lot since Philosopher's Stone. Well done!

Can't wait for the film of Goblet Of Fire now!!


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Grab
Date: 04 Jun 04 - 07:12 AM

SRS, I didn't say that it *was* racism in the sense we know it, rather that it has a *parallel* with racism as we know it. It's prejudice against other beings because of what they are and not who they are. (Two good HP examples are the treatment of Hagrid when his giant ancestry is known and the treatment of Lupin when he's found to be a werewolf; there's also the unconscious prejudice shown by Hermione trying to use the centaurs, and by one character asking a centaur "Did Hagrid breed you then?")

(Off-topic, it's in the same way that Asimov didn't ever use the word "racism" in his robots stories, but there's a clear parallel between humans' treatment of robots in Asimov's work and the racism of the time.)

Fantasy is *very* good for tackling issues like this, bcos fantasy can present those "what-if" scenarios. Fantasy can present other races with different agendas, different histories and different moral codes as a "fact" and let the characters (and you!) work out how they should be treated. And the lessons from that spill over very well into RL, where there are many groups of people with different agendas/histories/morals. It's a good complacency-breaking method.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban
From: GUEST,Hessy
Date: 04 Jun 04 - 11:18 AM

Harry's love interest is Asian, and isn't the school's sports announcer for Quiddich a Black kid? Not exactly the MAIN roles but definitely bit parts not unimportant filler parts.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 04 Jun 04 - 11:24 AM

My sister has been looking forward to seeing this with my nephew tonight - it's what he requested as part of his (27th!) birthday celebration -

that is until she read a review this morning that compared Harry to an "eigth grader".

She teaches eighth grade.

Now she is not sure she will enjoy it at all.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Jun 04 - 11:37 AM

Grab,

I was trying to do three things at once yesterday and had to go back to see what I'd written when I visited the Mudcat threads. The HP books and movies are complex, and I am aware that I didn't read every post as closely as I might. Won't be the first time I have contradicted myself, either, which I think I did in admitting that there was racism and noting the parallels that you note. I don't think there's a disagreement here.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: GUEST,Shlio
Date: 04 Jun 04 - 01:46 PM

Still waiting to see it...but hopefully tomorrow will be the day.

Have read all these posts with great interest, but was surprised nobody mentioned the clear similarities in style between Rowling and Enid Blyton, Jill Murphy etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Jun 04 - 01:56 PM

I'm not an expert on Enid Blyton, but I've a feeling she wouldn't have been too likely to use a word like "trepidation".

Jill Murphy, an excellent way with words. I've often wondered if JK Rowling actually took the idea of a school for Witches from her Worst Witch books. (Or from Ursula LeGuin's Wizard of Earthsea, for that matter.)


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Nerd
Date: 04 Jun 04 - 05:03 PM

Yes, there is a prominent black student, Lee Jordan, who among other things announces the Quidditch matches, and is the Weasley Twins' best friend. There are characters like Parvati Patil, whose race is not discussed but who must be south Asian. (Parvati, by the way, is described as the most beautiful girl in Harry's year, and has a twin sister, Padma, in another Hogwarts house). There is one senior wizard who is West Indian in the Order of the Phoenix, and Cho Chang who is Asian. Not a huge number of folks, but it IS set in England, so McGrath is probably right--about what you'd expect, especially since the vast majority of students and wizards are people we don't know anything about, including their race.

Both the people Harry has gone on dates with, BTW, are Asian: Parvati and Cho.

I think what Rowling is doing with the race issue is subtle. She has created a wizarding world in which nobody cares what "race" you are--it just doesn't come up. (No one says that Parvati and Padma are Indian, and Lee's blackness is mentioned just once, I believe.) Instead, whether you come from a good old wizarding family, or are instead a "muggle-born" or "mudblood." is the relevant quality. She has eliminated ordinary racism and race-consciousness on purpose, I think, to highlight the fact that prejudice against muggle-born wizards is the wizard version of racism. Then she is pretty relentless about making sympathetic characters like Hermione muggle-born, sympathetic characters like the Weasleys muggle-loving, and unsympathetic characters like the Malfoys muggle-hating (and "mudblood"-hating, too). Occasionally, a good person will make a generalization about muggles, and you automatically feel that inner cringe of guilt. I think it's pretty well managed, actually.

Blackcatter, you are right, it's good to discuss issues like this!


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Jun 04 - 05:50 PM

It's mentioned in passing at some point that Angelina Johnson, who takes over as captain of the Gryffendor Quiditch team in book Five, is black.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 04 Jun 04 - 06:17 PM

Well I've just got back from seeing it and it was a hoot. Lots of things to keep adult brains ticking too, if you are sharp enough!

Was a bit bemused at the way various geographical marks moved around. The Whomping Willow appears to have upped roots and waltzed off to the wilds and Hagrid is no longer at the bottom of the garden but the bottom of a gorge.


Lots of lovely camera work, fantastic aerial shots and great CGIs. It's been great watching these kids grow up on screen, the Weasley twins are quite fetching now and Neville seems to be slimming down. Just such a shame that Draco is turning out to be a horsefaced git.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Jun 04 - 06:30 PM

One problem is, each book has them aging one year, but by the time it gets to the screen it's two or three years. So, if the kids are still playing the same roles by the time it gets to book Seven, they won't be kids any more.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Pogo
Date: 04 Jun 04 - 10:03 PM

So far as the issue of race goes...I've heard it discussed before with people talking about Tolkien how it is a racist book with the whole idea of the good Caucasian elves, the bad guys being darker of skin etc and so forth...

to all that I say. You write what you know. You naturally write first about what is most familiar to you. Don't know that much about J.K. Rowling but I assume she grew up in white middle class society. And Tolkien from what I understand was an old white guy, influenced by the Industrial Revolution and the age of " the sun never sets on the English Empire " They wrote about what they knew, what they were most comfortable with.

Now...one should not let oneself be limited by what you know and are familiar with...then you miss the two-fold (aesthetic) purpose of writing...Self-expression and entertainment.

I believe in making one's imaginary world rich and varied. I do not think one should write solely to satisfy everyone. Please all, please none. Just me opinion :)

I enjoys writling, LOTR, Harry Potter, Earthsea...An' hangin' upside down by th' tail-bone :)


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Lady Hillary
Date: 04 Jun 04 - 10:45 PM

EBarnacle here.

In reference to the discussion of racism, there was a 50's SF story entitled, I believe, "My Lady Greensleeves," with much the same theme, in which the punch line was "What's a Jew?" The implication is that humanity always seems to find a way to set up discriminatory practices based on class, color or something. The best we can do is go after these artificial sets of prejudices, one by one, and hope for the best. The author may have been Leinster or Sturgeon.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 05 Jun 04 - 01:10 AM

For the narrowly-minority-minded - Wesley is as good a 'poor Irish white-trash' (aka nigger) as any Brit could imagine without searching out Paki's with private laundromats.

The last 60 minutes are brillant....someting "magical" begins to happen with the actors, scripts and effects.....something worth wading through the previous 80 regurgitating previous minutes

If the same Mexican director continues with version four....something astounding could develop.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 05 Jun 04 - 11:31 AM

That's it exactly Garg - about halfway through something gave them a boost and I no longer felt as if something was missing (although approximately half the book is, would have made film 3hrs long if included). I think the turning point was when Hermoine put Draco's lights out.... certainly MY high point of the film!

But they were far too big to be ferrets - more like proper pole cats or otters.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Nerd
Date: 05 Jun 04 - 12:27 PM

Unfortunately, gargoyle, Alfonso Cuaron ("the same Mexican director") is not doing number four, which is being filmed already. I believe the new director is Mike Newell (Mona Lisa Smile, Donnie Brasco, Four Weddings and a Funeral, etc). His main fantasy before this was "Into the West" which I saw but don't remember being blown away by; it certainly doesn't stick out in my mind as either awful or brilliant!

To deal with the problem of the kids aging, they could always go the route of filming several books at once, as they did with Lord of the Rings. The only problem with that is, 4 and 5 would be the obvious choices and as far as I know they are not doing so. (They could also do 5 and 6 together; book 6 will probably come out just in time for them to adapt it and get rolling!)   

I also want to emend the comments I made before re: race. Several people already pointed out that, as in Tolkien, different species stand in for different races, too. There is definitely a growing unease among the children--and the adults too--about the way elves, goblins, and Giants have been treated. I think a social transformation is beginning in which some of these "creatures" will have to lend their help to the forces of good in order to destroy Voldemort. So not only is there the question of "muggles" and "muggle-born wizards," which is perhaps vaguely similar to anti-semitism (they are somehow foreign, yet seem perfectly assimilated, like England's Jews), but there is also the question of more obviously, physically different "races" that have been oppressed.

(I must say, the Goblins also remind me of Jewish stereotypes common in England from the middle ages to Victorian times and beyond; they are small, with big noses and beady eyes, they are shrewd and clever but suspicious and unfriendly, and they're all bankers!)


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 07 Jun 04 - 03:16 PM

I'm not sure whether or not to be pleased - but just found out this morning my sister equates Hagrid with me.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: GUEST,Blackcatter
Date: 07 Jun 04 - 03:46 PM

From what little I know about the guy, that's pretty good - he's caring and protective of both people and animals and not at all stupid.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Jun 04 - 04:06 PM

Hagrid runs deep, though Rowling only hints at it so far. Considering the truth of Tom Riddle's false implication of Hagrid in the Chamber of Secrets book, we should be seeing some repercussion (going to school at a non-traditional age, perhaps, to finish his wizarding education?)

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 07 Jun 04 - 04:10 PM

Saw the movie last night... best of the 3 by far!

Goin again tomorrow night!

:-)


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: GUEST,Desdemona
Date: 07 Jun 04 - 05:12 PM

I loved it; my 12 year old took the abridgements rather hard, which only endears him to me further, but on the whole I really thought it much the superior of the 3 films thus far. The aesthetics were darker, more mysterious, and (being a mediaevalist), much more mediaeval/Renaissance than the first 2, in which I found Diagon Alley in particular rathjer more Victorian in flavour than I'd seen it in my mind's eye. This film "looks" more magical, and the Leaky Cauldron was spectacular: my dream home!!!

David Thewlis as Lupin was absolutely brilliant, and the cast on the whole turned in very fine performances; I'll definitely see it again.

D.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Fred Miller
Date: 07 Jun 04 - 05:47 PM

Saw it the other day, and feel strongly that it's the best in at least some respects. The spectacle of the fantastic setting is now old news, and the art direction is more selective, and finer. The younger actors are learning to really act. Hermione is as credible a character as any, even Snape, who is masterfully acted. It has more mood and genuine atmosphere, better editing. But the werewolf was awful and cartoonish.

I haven't read any of the books, but had heard the plot and stuff from my kids. I suggest sometimes it's also good to let kids explain things to you. My daughter was disappointed that Cho Chang wasn't in this one, but I guessed that it would create too much expectation if they introduced a new character who wasn't integral to the plot, and she figured that was probably true.

One thing that's interesting about the world of Potter, as somebody pointed out, is that there's really no magic in it. It's something one learns at school, like algebra, or conjugating verbs. So there's a very basic educational metaphor of making the fantastic seem commonplace, and maybe also implying the reverse--that the commonplace can be seen as magical. I can't get into it very much, but it seems to be pretty good. I read some "greater" stuff at that age, but I think it messed me up.

   Huck Finn was the first novel I ever read, and it poisoned my mind with a sense that my experiences were small and narrow, that I needed to get outside the security of my childhood circumstances. I developed an existential ethic of getting into trouble. Maybe I should've waited a year or two.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Fred Miller
Date: 07 Jun 04 - 06:26 PM

About the representation of races, it's interestingly problematic.

Potter world is clearly an old-European fantasy construct of witches and warlocks, complete with brooms and pointy hats. If you integrate the characters, do you need to integrate the different traditions of magic and imaginary-figure notions? Would an American Indian conjurer ever go to study at such a place as Hogwarts, on some sort of exchange-student program? I'm not sure how long the Potter characters are supposed to live, which also complicates the representative population question. Clearly they aren't immortal, but do the demographics run parallel with Muggledom? Or is there a timelessness/fantasy lag so that things need to seem a little behind the everyday clock? I don't know, but it's a problem of fantasy that things get oddly fitted, the rules aren't quite clear, it's messy, and depends on a kind of preponderant versimili-sort-of-itude. Like the problem of cartoon dogs Pluto and Goofy.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: GUEST,Policorrectus Bollicus
Date: 07 Jun 04 - 06:27 PM

Non-white population of United Kingdom = 7.6 % (9% in England, 2% each Scotland and Wales, Northern Ireland n/a)

National Statistics
1 Drummond Gate
London SW1V 2QQ


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Jun 04 - 11:46 PM

I suspect that the introduction of some of the supernatural mythical magical figures from other parts of the world would tear apart this magical world, clearly a creation out of of a northern European tradition. It probably doesn't hurt to remember that Sanskrit is the basis for many European languages, and since language carries a cultural baggage all it's own and Sanskrit comes from somewhere around India, Rowling may manage to bring in some magical surprises. She's paying attention to language.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Fred Miller
Date: 07 Jun 04 - 11:53 PM

The question of how well the books sell to black kids I don't know, but as for asian kids, so well that many Japanese kids have read the books before they are actually written. Big piracy thing with the Potter books, and many asian children wrote to complain about confusions, like Harry being involved with Hermione, and wizards from Lord of the Rings wandering in. They thought the author was forgetting things.

One advantage other races seem to have over whites is that they seem to be able to respond imaginatively to things that aren't dressed up as them. Except for The Titanic, they really hate that one, it's just too white. Isn't it embarrassing how we have to watch Chinese movies about the white guy, Indian movies about the white guy, all these dumb fantasies of the white guy becoming everyone else. In other words, doesn't the Last Samurai really utterly suck in so many suckational ways? Maybe the need to represent white guys where they don't need to be is more the real problem than trying to put everyone else in proper statistical proportions. Can't we care?


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban
From: Blackcatter
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 12:01 AM

OK, OK, OK I'll see the movie. My friends are dragging me to see it with a promise of sushi afterwards (I'll do anything for salmon skin rolls).


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Ellenpoly
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 04:11 AM

Ah, but Blackcatter, by seeing the movie without having read the book, be warned. There is a lot you'll miss, and that's a shame.

A friend of mine who sees all the films but refuses to read the books, because he says he's a film "purist" whatever the hell THAT means, told me of some of his confusions. The more he talked the more I realized that everything he said would have been easily cleared up if he had read the book first.

Does that mean the movie can't stand on it's own? No I do think it's the best of the bunch, but as is true with every film I can think of, based on a book (not a short story or play, which are easier to adapt in their entirety) a lot will be left out.

OK, Blackcatter, I know your time and interest is limited, and a two-hour flick is pretty painless...but if you REALLY want to be apprised of all that JK Rowling has to offer...I still encourage you to READ the books!!

..xx..e


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: beardedbruce
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 04:23 AM

Blackcatter:


"a promise of sushi afterwards (I'll do anything for salmon skin rolls). "

So, come to the Getaway, and we can go have sushi and tell Ellenpoly all about it...


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: GUEST,noddy
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 08:31 AM

Harry a bit wooden,
Have you considered the possibility that the director an JK want him played that way which makes the actor VERY GOOD.

Just wait till the ending is revealed you will discover that Harry is in fact THREE PEOPLE... Harry His Mother and His Father which is why they survived and Why he does not get it on with Hermione!


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: GUEST,noddy
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 08:44 AM

forgot to say the clues are there for you all in the films and the book...............and lots of anagrams of the names!!!!

Have you worked it out yet.

Thats all I'm saying


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban
From: Blackcatter
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 11:00 AM

Ellen - we'll see about reading the book - I really have no interest.

You have no idea how many books are piled up wait to be read - and those are ones for legitimate research. I'm currently doing research on the Klan in Florida, WWII POW camps in Florida and the Seminole Indian Wars. Harry Potter is lucky to get 2 hours of my life (and that's mostly because I like Emma Watson). I haven't been to a movie since Christmas night (LOTR - Return of the King).

Well I'm off to give a talk on the early history of highways in the Orlando area - Anyone remember the Dixie Highway?


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Nerd
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 02:56 PM

SRS,

it's not accurate to say that "Sanskrit is the basis for many European languages"; it is not in fact the basis of any. This is a common misconception, like saying that chimpanzees are our ancestors.

The way it really works is this: there was a very old language, which linguists name proto-Indo European, which is the basis of all Indo European languages, including Sanskrit AND English. Very early on, there was a split between western and eastern Indo-European languages, probably because the IE people originated in Western Asia and moved outward from there, both east and west. Sanskrit in turn split off from the eastern or Indo-Iranian branch some time after that, to become the root of most of the Indian IE languages. Meanwhile, the western language split into the groups we know so well: Celtic, Italic, Germanic, Baltic, etc.

The point is that Sanskrit may retain some features of archaic proto-indo-european, but it is not a direct ancestor of any western language. To find out what features are archaic, we use the various sound-shifts to postualte back what earlier forms of words must have been like. Those forms shared by languages across the east-west divide must be the oldest. If a form differs between eastern and western IE languages, it's impossible to say which form was the older. So Sanskrit can't be treated like an ancestor, only like a cousin.

An analogue to linguistics that would make sense in terms of magic would be to see what magical practices exist in common between Western Europe and India, and posit those as potentially very old, rather than to claim that what is done in India is what was once done by all of us many years ago. So to bring in exotic forms from India wouldn't make any "linguistic sense," but to bring in Indian versions of charms common to both east and west might.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Nerd
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 03:04 PM

By the way, I really enjoyed the design changes in the new film. As some of us have pointed out above, it was more medieval in feeling, and Hagrid's house and the Willow have moved. I think it works better this way. I especially liked the formations of standing stones on the grounds!


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Fred Miller
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 09:19 PM

Not the Dixie hwy a few miles west of me, in KY?

Noddy, is it like the way stephen daedalus proved by algebra that hamlet was the ghost of his father and that he himself was his own grandfather?

And, because it would be a foursome?

I wasn't very confused by the movie and was spared the disappointment over all that was left out. It was quite a nice time.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban
From: Blackcatter
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 09:23 PM

Fred, that's part of it. Went from Canada to Miami. Passed through Central Florida. I was up in Yalaha talking to a garden club today about the highway.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: GUEST,NODDY
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 11:44 AM

he has his mothers eyes!


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Amos
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 11:58 AM

The first systematic theory of the relationships between human languages began when Sir William Jones proposed in 1788 that Greek and Latin, the classical languages of Europe, and Sanskrit, the classical language of India, had all descended from a common source. The evidence for this came from both the structure of the languages -- Sanskrit grammar has similarities to Greek and to nothing else -- and the vobcabulary of the languages. Thus, "father" in English compares to "Vater" in German, "pater" in Latin, "patêr" in Greek, "pitr." in Sanskrit, "pedar" in Persian, etc. On the other hand, "father" in Arabic is "ab," which hardly seems like any of the others. This became the theory of Indo-European languages, and today the hypothetical language that would be the common source for all Indo-European languages is called Proto-Indo-European.
(http://www.departments.bucknell.edu/linguistics/lectures/05lect22.html)

The ancient hieratic language of India is called Sanskrit, actually sam-skrta or "decorated, arranged language", and dates from the end of the second millennium B.C. A vast body of religious materials was assembled, the best known and earliest is the Rg Veda which we have entire in a long MS tradition but also reinforced by a remarkably accurate oral tradition passed down through the ages. Sanskrit as we have it is a literary language, high decorated and furnished with a body of linguistic and grammatical interpretation dating from ancient times. For practical instruction purposes, Sanskrit it even today for a small body of special students the Indic parallel to Latin studies in the West. It belongs to the group of Indo-European (IE) languages which came down along with Iranian from the north, to invade the Indic sub-peninsula, and was carried by the ksatriya class of northern warriors who dominated India for centuries.

These warlike peoples, whatever their actual ethnic composition, called themselves Aryah or Aryans and their language represents an early offshoot from the IE outpouring from the area south and east of present Russia. Note that when we speak of language groups, we are speaking in wholly linguistic terms, and must not confuse language-groups with ethnic entities.

If Indo-Iranian groups represent an early IE offshoot, we should note that the Hittites of Eastern Anatolia represent as early a spur from the westward linguistic flow. It was only in the early years of the 20th century that clay tablet written in cuneiform characters were discovered near the Turkish village of Boghaz-koi, but it was some twenty years before they were deciphered and understood as a very early and rather surprising variety of IE derivation. The Hittite Empire was a major contender for power in the 2/1 millennium B.C., but nobody thought that their language was a form of the IE stock. Some even felt that Hittite may have been the parent of the IE languages, hence on the same level with IE itself, a view proposed and studied for years by Sturtevant of Yale. But it is now felt that Hittite is simply an IE cousin, although it shows remarkable deviancy from what we consider the norm of early IE structure.

Greek was early carried down from the north into the Greek peninsula, again in early 20th c. major discoveries of "Linear" tablets written on clay were found at various sites on Crete and southern Greece. In l949 the English cryptanalyst Ventris cracked one portion of this tablet treasure-trove and proved that it was an early form of Greek, dating well back into the times of an unknown empire in the second millennium B.C. The writing indicates large commercial ventures, shipping and production of many basic items of trade. We call these translatable documents Linear B, but the Linear A has so far resisted interpretation and may belong to a lost language stock of which we have no other traces.

After 1200 B.C. a general period of desiccation seems to have curtailed this early civilization's life, and it was only after 800 B.C. that our history of ancient Greece starts up again, apparently largely anew with only folklore information about the ancient days at Troy and Cnossos. The later Greek language in the historical period divides itself into several dialects which are largely mutually intelligible, but these are in turn replaced by the politically dominant Athens with Attic Greek, the language of the culture from then on.
http://community.middlebury.edu/~harris/LatinBackground/IndoEuroBackground.html
(Compiled from several scholars posting on various sites on the web.)


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 12:55 PM

Saw it again last night... it was just as good the 2nd time!


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Nerd
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 01:21 PM

Amos, thanks for confirming and expanding on my post...

If Hittite HAD been the original proto-language, by the way, then WESTERN forms would be expected to be older than eastern, and India would be an even worse place to look for the earliest evidence. But, as Amos pointed out, that view has been rejected for the msot part, and most linguists accept that the proto-language seems to have left no written records of its own.

Sanskrit remains the oldest IE language with a very extensive literature, hence the primacy it is often accorded in discussions.

Back to the movie: any one notice the instruments played by the choir of students? Bodhrans and toads! I wonder what message THAT sends!


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 01:24 PM

AgH! BODRHANS?!?!?!?! and they let kids see this movie? Why not cats, or skulls, or something a little less [shudder] ...well LESS!


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 02:38 PM

Nerd and Amos, See what happens when I know just enough to get into trouble? I did't pull out a book or check a couple of web sites before posting. I took a "History of the English Language" class back in the mid-1990s and it had to be one of the most difficult classes I've ever taken (it included tons of diagramming sentences--arrgghhh!!!) Just because you speak a language doesn't mean you know a thing about it was the message of that class. Thanks for the clarifications.

We haven't been to see the movie yet. I'm still thinking the IMAX theater in Dallas might be an interesting way to go this time.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Nerd
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 03:11 PM

Well, one of the bodhrans was very small...


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: GUEST,Blackcatter
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 03:41 PM

Bohdrans, hmm.

That begs the question - any Irish students at Hogwarts?

Just curious - not implying that Rowling feels "Irish need not apply."


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 03:50 PM

Seamus? - one of harry's roommates


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Nerd
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 03:56 PM

Yes, Seamus is one of the main characters in Harry's year. He does have a tendency to be a buffoon, but so do Ron and Neville, so I don't think there's any ethnic bias. Again, it's hard to tell if anyone else is Irish, because ethnicity is not dwelt on at all.

There do not, by the way, appear to be any Americans at Hogwarts, or indeed among the prominent Wizards we meet. But we do find out that there are separate wizarding establishments in France, Germany and elsewhere, so we must assume that the American magical community has its own schools.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 04:07 PM

Oral Roberts University?


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: EBarnacle
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 08:19 PM

No, Spellman College of Advanced Enchantment has had its name changed to Spellperson...


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Fred Miller
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 08:30 PM

Bohdrans. See the first scene of The Magdalene Sisters.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 08:31 PM

Apparently American wizards don't play Quidditch, they've some other strange game instead that noone else plays... (It's all in Quidditch Through The Ages) So they probably wouldn't want to go to Hogwarts.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban
From: Blackcatter
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 08:43 PM

Ever hear of the Washington Wizards?


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 12:12 AM

Ha!


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 12:56 PM

JK Rowling: "There are a couple of up-and-coming American teams, but they're not a hugely accomplished Quidditch-playing nation because they have their own broom sport called - actually I don't think I'll say what it's called. You've got to buy the books to find out. So it's had to compete with the U.S.'s national broom sport, so they're not as good as they might be."

The American game she refers to is called Quodpot, featuring an exploding quaffle...


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: GUEST,Bex McK
Date: 11 Jun 04 - 09:43 AM

I also think the third film is far and away the best so far-- much more of an artistic piece than simply a shallow visual portrayal of the book, as the first two seemed. More's the pity that Cuaron will not be directing the next one. Though I would have liked to see a little more of Crookshanks, and I'm sorry the film left out the explanation of who Mooney, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs actually were (and why).

The appeal of the books, for me, is the way magic and mundane are interwoven, and that things are never quite what they seem. Even more than the 'big' stories, I love the little touches that make Rowling's world so vivid and unexpected: the Weasleys' clock, the garden gnomes, the Monster Book of Monsters... We can debate all day about what it all symbolises, or about whether it is great literature (sure, her prose is a little awkward sometimes, but what a storyteller!). I think Rowling has a remarkable ability to tap into a young person's sense of possibility and wonder (there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio...)-- and I would guess this is one reason why kids consume the books so avidly.

Going right back to something Blackcatter asked, about how many kids who read Harry Potter will read anything 'real', and about whether reading this was any different from watching movies or playing video games. On the first point-- what makes JK Rowling's work less 'real' than anything else written for young people? And on the second: watching tv shows/movies is a passive activity. You're spoon-fed all you need to know, and the brain switches off. Reading stimulates the imagination, and encourages the brain to fill in the blanks, to create pictures, to ask questions. To suggest that the Harry Potter books don't do that suggests to me either an adult's failure to think like a young person, or literary snobbery (nothing personal, just my an opinion on the comment). There are many many young people for whom Harry Potter is the first book they've ever read willingly-- and once they've read it, who says they won't go on to read War and Peace?


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Fred Miller
Date: 11 Jun 04 - 09:44 PM

Yes, but long ago literary fiction was considered as mind-rotting a waste of time as t.v. is now, and it usually was. Even Tolstoy, in war and peace, poked fun at one his characters' reading, with a sense of doing something important. Think it was Nikolai, in the epilogue.

I believe that one can read or watch t.v. in an alert and critical way, or in a lazy way. There's just more better books.

Things that are obviously fun and entertaining and only glancingly take on any real issues are much healthier, I think, than countless puffed-up "great" books.

I've held off several days, but, Blackcatter, I take it you're a roads scholar.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Jun 04 - 11:14 PM

I suspect that Hagrid was tossed into this script to pacifiy the Gay/Lesbian audiences. The undertone is persistant, unrelenting, and yet soft and gentle.

Not a good film for adolescent children....if you would like to have grandchildren.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban
From: Blackcatter
Date: 12 Jun 04 - 12:41 AM

Nope, not a Rhodes Scholar, but hey, at least I know how to spell it correctly.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Fred Miller
Date: 12 Jun 04 - 09:36 AM

Did you really not get it? or just prefer not to? I don't blame you.

I only had kids so I can have grandkids, but I think I'll let them watch.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban
From: Blackcatter
Date: 12 Jun 04 - 10:44 AM

No, I didn't get it Fred, but I really tried to. I feel better now. I tried to figure why you would siddenly get nasty with me, and while looking back I noticed you responded to my Dixie Hwy comment, but didn't put two & two together.

Unfortunately, it was too close to a dig about me being a "literary snob" on this thrad.

good one. Now that I'm sober hand have had a night's sleep, it get it.

as Homer would say: D'oh!


By the way, because I do tend to want to answer even jests seriously, I am a historian with a focus on Central Florida history. So the only roads I know well are the Dixie Hwy, the Orange Blossom Trail, Florida's Turnpike, etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Fred Miller
Date: 12 Jun 04 - 11:27 PM

I thought you'd probably heard it a thousand times, so I tried restraint. Gave up. It's not in my nature. Certainly meant no offence, glad that's cleared up, apologies to everyone. Can't help it.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: maire-aine
Date: 13 Jun 04 - 05:43 PM

Saw it Friday night and liked it a lot. Sure, they left some stuff out, but that was okay. It would've been nice if they had filmed it, so they could stick it in the DVD and I could watch when I wanted to. But I'm glad I didn't have to sit through it in the theater.

Maryanne


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban
From: Blackcatter
Date: 14 Jun 04 - 11:45 AM

I saw it on Saturday and let me say, the sushi was great!

I'm afraid, not reading the book, I still figured out most of the plot early on. Nice and enjoyable though. I have to admit I was dissapointed that there wasn't a quidditch match. Though Emma Watson more than made up for that. I like that they under-played her "know-it-all-ness" in this one - still there, but now, people are mostly respecting it.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Ellenpoly
Date: 14 Jun 04 - 12:04 PM

"I still figured out most of the plot early on"

What can I say, Blackcatter? It takes One know-it-allness to recognise another know-it-allness.

Glad you went, and glad you enjoyed the sushi..xx..e

(PS-She's waaaaay too young for you, sweetie, but I agree little Emma is easy on the eyes, and a good little actress.)


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Ellenpoly
Date: 14 Jun 04 - 12:07 PM

...And of course, there WAS a Quidditch match, and an important one, since it almost killed Harry when the dementors went after him.

But I assume that's when you went out for the sushi?

;-D


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Nerd
Date: 14 Jun 04 - 12:44 PM

I didn't get the GUEST's whole thing about Hagrid and gay/lesbian audiences. Is Hagrid supposed to be gay in the film? Did anyone else get this from the movie, or is it just one isolated opinion? He certainly isn't gay in the books; and has a (female) love interest by book 4. Anyway, how do you think you can tell?

It's of couse absurd to say that Hagrid was "tossed into the script" for any reason at all. He was an integral part of the book's plot, and an integral part of the film's plot. And kids would have revolted if he had been left out. In what sense "tossed in," then?


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: GUEST,Blackcatter
Date: 14 Jun 04 - 03:42 PM

No - I barely remember the match - but it was really short, wasn't it? Not like in the first two movies. Obviously, it didn't stand out in my mind.

And yes, Emma Watson is attractive, but I'm not interested in her for that - I like how she plays the character. And I appreciated the change from her being annoying to many around her to being a bit less obtrusive with her knowledge. She's now able to really utilize the knowledge - For instance how Malfoi (sp?) was clearly terrified of her power when she had the wand at his neck and the respecful way that Dumbledore (sp?) hinted a possible solution to her at the end.

I still find Harry rather blah. Nice, and can step up to the plate when needed, but still blah. Hermoine is the only one I wish I had had as a friend in school. Nice thing - I've got several women friends today that are like her.

As for Hagrid being Gay - I haven't read the books, but maybe someone was looking at the fact that he's such a "gentle" giant. Ready to offer a large cup of tea, kind to animals and kids, etc. It's the old masculine double standard - if I guy is sensitive, he must be gay". For all we know, however, he's probably fooling around with the Emma Thompson character.

Now Malfoi - that's another story.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Fred Miller
Date: 15 Jun 04 - 01:11 AM

Guest's comment about gay-whatever is getting more attention from smart people than it deserves. I'm not sure it wasn't meant that Hagrid was somehow a lesbian. Or whatever. It's just silly bullshit. I'm sure kids who watch Potter will mostly grow up to be normal hetero Satan worshippers.

Emma Watson is interesting because she can act, and for some reason, young women seem to be able to play young women better, more often, than young men can play young men. What guy is parallel with Jodie Foster, or Anna Paquin, or whatshername, or Christina Ricci--some of these people get seriously worse as they get older. Um, Clare Danes. Maybe something to do with empathy.

Screw the gay thing. What's with the nerdy Bill Gates quality in male heros lately? I don't mind it, in particular, but too much of it will date just like like Starsky and Hutch, because it isn't quite that natural in young guys, really. It will stand out as odd, and particularly peculiar.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Ellenpoly
Date: 15 Jun 04 - 04:06 AM

I have always had the greatest fondness for Emma Watson's character, and I think she does a fine job with it. It's rather a shame that the powers that be felt they had to go with such a good looking girl, when it was fairly clear in the book that Hermione wasn't. She has buck teeth and in my mind, looked far more like my own friends than someone who would more likely have been the most popular girl in school.

But that's just me thinking back on my own experiences at that time..which is of course one of the reasons why these books speak to adults as well as children. We all knew kids like these (well, without the magical overtones)...the Malfoys, and the Hermiones...and the Snapes. It's the reason they resonate so well. And it's why the characters like Hagrid and Dumbledore are ones we take to our hearts. They are often the people who were our role models, possessing at times the qualities that might have been missing within our own family. I would have LOVED to have known someone like Hagrid!

This whole gayness thing is just silly, and who cares? I would bet that many of us experienced a gay teacher without even knowing it. I know I did, and he was almost as extrarodinary as Hagrid.

But I don't think Hagrid is meant to be seen in that light at all, though he is clearly an "outsider' by being half-giant, a race still feared and misunderstood by many. JK Rowling is so good at those kind of metaphors.

..xx..e


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Jun 04 - 06:39 AM

young women seem to be able to play young women better, more often, than young men can play young men.

That tends to apply in real life as well as in acting.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: GUEST,noddy
Date: 15 Jun 04 - 11:11 AM

he looks so much like his father, and acts like him.

even Harry says "My father will come and save me"


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Fred Miller
Date: 15 Jun 04 - 11:23 AM

Emma Watson isn't all that good-looking, but her general appeal helps her looks. She wouldn't be the most popular girl at school, she would be the beautiful girl nobody noticed was beautiful because she didn't wear an arrow pointing to herself. The stealth babe. And she would play violin.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 15 Jun 04 - 11:28 AM

I think it is significant that though he {hagrid}is clearly an "outsider' by being half-giant that is is the "not-nice" adults and their children that consider him to be an outsider -
He is clearly one of the most favourite teachers of the other students


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Jun 04 - 01:04 PM

Actually the books are clear enough that, even where they like him, most of them think Hagrid's not too good, when it actually comes to teaching. Including Hermione.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Jun 04 - 01:10 PM

I didn't say he was the BEST teacher - I said he was a FAVORITE teacher -


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Jun 04 - 03:59 PM

I have been on my hols and not had chance to see it yet. Will rectify that come weekend:-) Did see a super skit on Saturday night live about Hermione getting back to college in the new term with a very short skirt, low cut top and two very obvious assets.

Fred and George(is it?) say they are going to have to go out and bash some bludgers.

"Playing Quiditch?" asks Ron

"No" they reply in unison...

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: GUEST,Clare in Enfield, North London
Date: 21 Jun 04 - 05:50 AM

So, the new Harry Potter film 'Prioner od Azkaban'.

What can I say?

Fans are either gonna love it and say it's the best yet. Others will be a bit put out that it barely seems to follow the book at all. Unfortunately, much as I'm a huge Harry Potter fan, I have to go with the latter!

There just didn't seem to be such a good atmosphere in the school this time, as there was in the first two films.

Although Sir. Michael Gambon is a terrific actor, I felt he lacked the warmth that Richard Harris gave so well, as Professor Dumbledore.

I felt that David Tewlis just didn't fit the role of Professor Lupin very well.

The main charactors are, as always, absolutely briliant. Emma Watson could have jumped straight out of the book as Hermione. Superb young actor!! Rupert Grint is as hilarious and brilliant as ever as Ron. He had me in stitches. Daniel Radcliffe is very good as Harry Potter, although I still find him a bit wooden. Although he's come a long way since the first film!

I'm hoping we'll see some more romantic sparks between Ron and Hermione in the books to come, and in the films. Those two are destined to be together!!

So, to wrap it all up. This film grew on me a little bit after seeing it a second time, but I was still fairly disappointed that so much of the book was disguarded. They could also have made so much more of the scenes that they did use, eg, in the Shrieking Shack near the end.

I just hope that Mike Knewell makes more of an effort to follow the book that Alfonso Cuaron did!


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: black walnut
Date: 21 Jun 04 - 07:47 AM

I just saw it a few days ago. Comments:

* LTS: Hermione's punch was my LOW point of the movie.

* The movie was not as scary or as dark as I thought or hoped it would be. I didn't feel the cold in those parts that were supposed to chill me.

* As with the previous in the series, I felt more drawn into the books than I did into the movies, though I did like the movies.

* Until I went to university I read only Nancy Drew books, Ray Bradbury sci-fi, and Coles Notes. I was a terrible student in English classes. However, while earning my university music degree I took 7 English courses and loved them all. I owe my love of Shakespeare, Atwood and Reaney to Nancy Drew and the Martian Chronicles.

* I LOVE Daniel Radcliffe as Harry and don't find him boring at all. Just more subtle, which I really like.

* I was the only one in the theatre to stay for all of the credits....the footprint jokes were great!!! (my favourite was the feet sinking into the bog).

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Amergin
Date: 21 Jun 04 - 09:32 AM

I was disappointed...on one hand the book was disregarded in so many points....on the other it seemed to be a very choppy film that did not explain alot of things very well...and made the assumption that you already read the book....

Also some of the choices...I thought Harris made a better Dumbledore than Gambon...the warm gentle soft spoken qas Dumbledore was in the books...I did think that Emma Thompson made a fabulous Trelawney. Shje was perfect.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 21 Jun 04 - 10:41 AM

If you've read the books, you know that Harry is rather understated throughout the novels (so far) and Radcliff is playing him very nicely along those lines. Harry always seems a bit intimidated by the reputation that preceeds him, that somehow he must be a great wizard. I don't see him buying that story.

It's rather a shame that the powers that be felt they had to go with such a good looking girl, when it was fairly clear in the book that Hermione wasn't. She has buck teeth and in my mind, looked far more like my own friends than someone who would more likely have been the most popular girl in school.

Where did you get the idea that Hermione has buck teeth? I don't recall seeing that. And if you read the novels, you learn that each year she is maturing as an attractive young woman. Rather like the young heroine in Northanger Abbey, which I've been rereading this week. :)

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Ellenpoly
Date: 21 Jun 04 - 12:09 PM

Stilly River Sage, I can't remember which book, I think it was the second...Hermione finds her teeth are growing because of some potion or spell that backfired on her, and I have a pretty clear memory that she was dismayed because her teeth were already buck and afterwards, they were like a beaver's.

Tell you what, give me a while and I'll track down the exact book and reference. But something like that wouldn't have stuck in my mind for no reason.

Black Walnut, I also was the last one in the theatre and loved the footprints, especially when they became paw prints. Nice to see them having fun with one of the best things in that book (and how it was depicted in the film)-The Map! Though I do wish they had been able to make it clearer that the authors were the group of friends using their animagus names. One of those things you'd only know if you'd read the book.
..xx..e


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 21 Jun 04 - 12:42 PM

In the second book they brewed the potion that changed them into other people and she accidentally changed herself into a cat. But I don't recall the buck teeth bit. (And wouldn't that wear off when the potion wore off?)

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban
From: Nerd
Date: 21 Jun 04 - 02:33 PM

Ellenpolly is right I think--I remember those bits, too. Hermione's frizzy hair and buck teeth are mentioned as "not-so-good" aspects of her looks.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: clueless don
Date: 21 Jun 04 - 02:44 PM

I'll have to check at home, but I think it is in "Goblet of Fire" (fourth book in the series) that Hermione gets hit by a front teeth growing spell. As Madame Pomfrey is shrinking them back, Hermione requests that they be made a bit shorter than they were before the spell.

Don


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban
From: Nerd
Date: 22 Jun 04 - 12:48 AM

Interestingly, on a second viewing with this thread's social issues in mind, it became clear that in the film minority students are vastly over-represented at Hogwarts compared to British society in general. In a scene showing professor Lupin's class, it looked like about half the students were black or Indian. Granted, few of the minority students had major roles, however...


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 22 Jun 04 - 04:00 AM

I'll have to get round to seeing this as I stumbled across the second unit when they were shooting some scenes in the woods attached to Virginia Water lake. They had a white horse which I guess will be special effected into the hippogriff and also a model circus sealion which I don't remember from the books!

RtS


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Grab
Date: 22 Jun 04 - 08:50 AM

SRS, in Goblet of Fire she says that her parents are dentists so they wouldn't let her get them fixed the "normal" way. Until she gets them fixed and sorts out her hair, no-one's noticed that behind the big teeth, hair and attitude she's attractive.

Finally got to see the film this weekend. Certainly the best of the three so far. First two were definitely in the "we've got to tell a story" mode and zipped through the book at speed. This one is the first to approach it as a film, which means *visuals*. The shot of the hippogriff flying across the lake and dragging a foot in the water is nothing short of beautiful (in fact, the hippogriff is another Gollum, a "lead" CG character that's utterly seamless), and there's the little touches like the Whomping Willow shaking itself and the obviously-magically-supported bridge across the valley.

The book was disregarded or re-ordered in many places, but I don't think any of it made the film worse. The problem with dramatising a book is always that you've got to leave something out and add fillers for what you've left out. The obvious omission is with the Patronus just producing a "shield" rather than the stag of the books, and omitting that meant that "Prongs" wasn't explained. I'd always felt that this was a fairly key point, that the source of Harry's magic is his parents, and that they are still with him, even if he doesn't know it.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Nerd
Date: 22 Jun 04 - 12:27 PM

RtS,

there's no sea lion in the film. But I bet I know what they used it for: Hagrid feeds Buckbeak weasels in exactly the way you would feed a sea lion fish, and the "snatch and grab" movement of the head is something you'd never get a horse to do. So I bet they were using both the horse and the sea lion for reference shots to paint over with the CG hippogriff later.


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Subject: RE: BS: New Harry Potter Film (Prisoner of Azkaban)
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Jun 04 - 11:31 PM

Just in from taking the kids to see this film. Not many in the theater--it looks like after the first week or two the crowds thin way out. But I enjoy not having to deal with a lot of other folks in the theater.

This film sustained a level of inside humor that I don't recall from the others. The well-placed folks in bit parts were great. Dawn French--she was so Dawn French! We were in stitches! Clearly that bit wasn't in the book, that was in the actress and the leeway she had to play the bit with the song and the glass. And my daughter came in with an "A-ha!" just now--the woman who played the expanding aunt was the same acress who played Miss Trunchbull in the film Matilda. I knew she was familiar, but I couldn't place her.

I just now looked back in this thread--we stayed for part of the credits, but we missed the footprint bit, sorry, black walnut. (Two of us were about ready to pop from not wanting to miss part of the movie to visit the restroom!)

SRS


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