Thursday, July 12, 2007

Harry Potter through David Lynch?

This Guardian comment offers a mouth watering suggestion, "Could Lynch or Cronenberg do a better job of directing the boy wizard?" Alas, it will never be. (I am a fervent member of fanclubs of both directors.)

I still haven't opened my Harry Potter account. I saw the first movie and have followed the story in outline but never got around to reading any of books. Someday when the hype is gone and I have processed my already very congested reading queue, I will pick them up.

Lynch and Harry Potter also reminded me of this old article by film critic and historian David Thomson who after watching the film version of the first book moans about the absence of "psycho-sexual energy" and in general a complete absence of any danger in the film. From what I have heard the later volumes to some extent fill up this gap.

These books can potentially be very fascinating in the sense that they can give us adults a glimpse into the consciousness of a kid, access to which is generally denied to us. It is a completely different world, with its own language, its own symbols and its own meanings. It is because of this that I find most fantasy and children's movies boring and pointless. They are all just ready made fantasy cliches. Granted it is not an easy task. That's why films like the The Spirit of the Beehive are so few. Now that's one film which takes us really close to that consciousness. (My own confusing post about the film here.)

5 comments:

Cheshire Cat said...

You plan to read the Harry Potter books? I must have entered an alternate reality...

The books don't give us a glimpse into the consciousness of a child, far from it. They take us instead into the mediocre but very amusing mind of J.K.Rowling.

Alok said...

Lol!! You have just poured cold water on my plans :)

actually a few people whose judgments I respect praised the books, specially the later volumes. and also on social occasions, admittedly very rare occurrence but still, I feel very disadvantaged. I know it sounds craven but that's what it is...

Space Bar said...

actually, the later volumes are largely crap...and that's coming from a potter fan. the best book of the lot is azkaban because ti both has fairly complex ideas and achieves something in less than 400 pages.

cat, mediocre and amusing is about right, but i'd reverse the order of words: it's the amusing you see first and then realise a little later that it masks very successfully a banal attitude to everything.

Madhuri said...

I found reading Potter fun - and the fun has certainly stopped in the later volumes.
Complex ideas? I thought complex was hardly a word I could associate with the series. It is a little silly, but if you have a whole day to yourself, you can enjoy teh fantasy.

tom said...

So far I've found the books to have some original characters but are otherwise a collection of every cliche in the history of British magic and wizardry. She really dumps it all in there. I totally agree with cheshire cat's comment.

I've seen two of the films and both were so predictable, they were like the fantasy equivalent of Jason Takes Manhattan.

On the other hand, I just got around to seeing Pan's Labyrinth - that one had me on the edge of my seat.