from Friday, July13th of the year2007.
Last night I went to see the new Harry Potter movie; I am a big enthusiast of the whole enterprise, really, although I have a lot of problems with those books. Last year, just when the new book (No. 6) came out, I bought it in hardcover and ended up in a house in Iceland that had English editions (aren’t we all happy I didn’t have to slog my way through Harry Potter og Fanginn frÃ¡ Azkaban) and I re-read the lot of them. I feel like the books are delicious and vague (usually), and the ambiguity of a lot of the central characters is something that I think will be useful for kids to think about. However, there is a lot of messed up stuff about class & gender in them which I don’t need to rehearse here. Plus also I think she names her characters like Flava Flav. But all of that aside, I want to write a little list, though, so, here we go.
– The girl who plays Luna Lovegood appears to be completely batshit crazy. Be sure to read her correspondence with J.K. Rowling at the bottom of the link.
– Helena Bonham Carter is my favorite-favorite. I don’t know why she always gets cast in lunatic roles, but she sure is good at them. Do you all remember when she said, “I want to have your abortion” in Fight Club? Or was that only in the book and I’m just imagining that she delivered it beautifully? Read this interview, and pay especial attention to the bit where she says,
“I did something terrible. By mistake, I poked him in his ear. I thought I could brandish the wand like a sort of Q-tip, and clean out his ear. Sort of torture it. But unfortunately he moved toward the wand as I was prodding it. And it actually perforated his eardrum. Isn’t that horrific? I damaged him! He’s such a nice young man, he didn’t admit to me that he actually had some internal bleeding about three days later.”
– Why is it that that school is co-ed, has hell of Indian people and Chinese people and no gays? Boarding school!? She could have at least made one of the bad ones gay; she already made them blond with a flat-iron, which is close enough for jazz. Seriously, where they at? Maybe, though, just as the canon of homosexual English writers would have found no space in their novels for Joanne from Gloucestershire, she has found no room for them. I’m not asking for, you know, The Swimming Pool Librarywith magic up-in, but still.
– Teen Angst Music. The composer of the score for this movie has introduced a new theme that sounds suspiciously like Once in Royal David’s City. English people need to expand their emotional range out of those BBC-ass scores; a sort of post-Brideshead compositional agenda is in order, here. Normally I am all in favor of the English musical past being more relevant than people my own age there would think (I went to the Royal Academy for a hot minute and people looked at me as if I had just confessed to eating babies when I talked about learning about how to extend a line from Herbert Howells), but Harry Potter scoring is a chance, my beloveds, to turn to the continent. Here is some anxious music:
and here is some really anxious music:
Isn’t that way more what it’s like to be an angry teen? (Those are both Boulez, by the way: A snippet of Anthèmes 2 and the second nugget from Messagesquisse, both available on this handsome disc). Anybody who went to high school with an impossible administrator knows a specific frustration which I’m pretty sure does not sound like pizzicato strings and a clarinet marked giocoso, a style that comprises a lot of the “institutional” music in this score. “I feel so angry all the time,” Harry says. Why not have a circular, menaced set of notes with occasional winsome tendrils? I wonder, sometimes, how film music (especially expensive film music) got stuck in this weird overblown yet budget-Wagner stylistic rut; even Wagner, though, despite the sizes of his orchestra, only uses exactly what is necessary to express what I would say is pretty much the entire available range of emotional and dramatic content, and there is not much suspended cymbal up in there.