Saturday, June 26, 2004

That Harry Potter rant I promised you....

I'm really enjoying 'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix' - I think its the third itme I've erad it. Which isn't much for me - I have 100s of books and read a number of them over and over. I dread to think how many times I've read 'Philosopher's Stone'.

I think I didn't like it as much when I first read it as a) Harry was a typical grumpy teenage boy, not the nicest of creatures and b) it raises more questions than it answers - so I read it - all of it - on its first day in print and then sulked for two months that we still have to wait an unspecified length of time for the next one. Joanne Rowling - you SAID you have finished them. Get 'em to a photocopier if need be. I want to know what happens. I am happy that there will only be seven books - I'd just like to read them now. I'm sure Eliza knew when the next one was coming out - oh yes September 2004. I share her concern that this rumour is spurious - but I'd like to believe it to be true.

I did enjoy the film - in fact I really loved the cinematography. Visually it was absolutely stunning. I grumbled, of course, about the bits of the book which weren't included - but you wouldn't have expected any less of me really. What really got my goat though (and remind me, I have an entertaining story about a goat) was the way disability was portrayed in the film.

Now before the rant begins, I do know that the books are not paragons of originality when it comes to diversity. Yes there are brainy women and Black and Asian children, but it is a touch formulaic. At least a gesture is made. And disabled characters are somewhat thin on the ground, which I think is a bit irritating. Still, you've always got Professor Flitwick -a character who is dealt with appropriately - to my mind at least.

In the film of the POA, still my favourite book - oh come on! I can't be the only one with a slight crush on Professor Lupin - disabled characters are caricatured. In the book, yes, Tom at the Leaky Cauldron is stooping, and Prof Trelawney wears thick glasses - but in neither case in the books is their incompetence put down to this fact. In the film those characteristics were taken to an extreme representation, and in a film which will be seen by millions, in a society were people are teased for having curved spines and wearing glasses the inclusion of those stereotypes is just sloppy.

Apparently Mike Newell is directing 'Goblet of Fire'. I can't see the cinematography being as creative, but he has a good record on disability.

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