Friday

Harry Potter!

So I just saw movie number five in the Harry Potter saga and it was SO SO SO SO SO good!!! Definitely the best movie so far, one of the more coherently put together of the flicks, and totally enthralling. They're all so old now! Ron's huge, the twins are huger, and Neville was almost decent looking (don't think anyone saw that coming) There was an execptionally well put together preview for The Golden Compass before the movie. Too bad I can't in good conscience see it. Even if it does have Daniel Craig in it, Philip Pullman's still diabolically evil and ought to be chucked out a window. For heaven's sake, the louse said that CS Lewis was a morally corrupting influence on children, and altogether evil. He lies like a Calorman. He lies like an ape. Kudos to American kids for not being all that into his satanic series...although I'm afraid that says more about illiteracy in this country than moral qualms. Back to Harry Potter. Snape is amazing. Absolutely amazing. The way Alan Rickman delivers the most banal lines blows my mind. Things like "Obviously" or "No idea" or "I think I may vomit." You say them to yourself and it's no big deal. You hear him say them and you fall out of your chair laughing. Helena Bonahm (sp?) Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange was fantastic as well as Jason Isaacs as Lucius Malfoy. On the other hand, I expect many people watched the film version of Dumbledore in great pain, fervently regretting Richard Harris's death. As long as we're on the subject of magic and the fantastical, let's discuss the question: is it original to like (or love) The Lord of the Rings? I would say that in the sixties it was absolutely unoriginal, those books being a current fad in most college campuses. But what about now? I would venture to say that if you value your dignity and public perception of your brain power, you are being absolutely original in avowing any kind of attachment to the books, let alone (heaven forbid) having the lunacy to admit they might be your favorites works of literature. In these times, to say such (curse you, Pullman) infantile things is to consign yourself to a group of anti social, reclusive, most likely teenage, spectacle wearing and pocket protector sporting freaks who would just as soon speak Elvish as English, probably wear cloaks when they're alone (which would be most of the time) and treat the Silmarillion as Holy Writ. It's terrifying. Among the illuminati of the literary world, Tolkien is children's literature and regarded with fond condescencion. (sp???) The quaint, obsessive, perfectionist, old Englishman could spin a tale but has no right to be set among the greats. Why? Because he's too gosh darned accesible. Any person from any walk of life, at any age can enjoy his work. Teachers and writers with English doctorates are unwilling to label Tolkien as a genius because they don't have to spend hours and hours and thousands more pages explaining what it's all about. People intuitively understand that every page of The Lord of the Rings can relate directly to them, to the shabbiness and pettiness or the grandeur and glory of their lives. Tolkien wrote about "the people" for "the people". His literary labor has permeated the culture so thoroughly that the most uneducated schmuck on the street probably knows what a hobbit is. For that, the litereary elite can never forgive him. His work isn't considered original anymore. Ten thousand pathetic imitations spiralling off in all directions through the ensuing decades have seen to that. It's not exciting anymore. Ten million teenage freaks arguing over the pronunciation of Quenya versus Sindarin have seen to that. Tragic, but true. Tolkien told a story that radiated all that's good and glorious about our lives, and all that's noble and worth fighting for. He showed countless readers the pride they could take in the daily execution of the most menial duties because they were part of the overwhelmingly beautiful scope of humanity. I think in strange sort of way, The Lord of the Rings showed a great many people how and why life is worth living, and for that I will always harbor an intense admiration and affection for his work. But anyway, go see Harry Potter. It's good stuff!

2 comments:

Ben said...

My parents are seeing HP as I speak...er, write. I think I'll try to get some people to see it over the weekend...

Catherine_Creagan said...

WEEEEEEEE!!!! i saw it again last night!!

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