Archives for March 2011

Deleted Scene to Whet Appetites for Deathly Hallows: Pt. 1 DVD out April 15

April 15 is usually a day to strike fear in the hearts of Americans. If the IRS doesn’t scare you (and really, those folks always look like Death Eaters in my imagination), maybe Voldemort will! So the movie folks are releasing the DVD of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 on that resonant date. If your tax woes are few (or so bad you need an escape), April 15 is looking like a good movie night (I’m looking forward to the big-screen release of The Conspirator that same day)! In anticipation of the big release, here is a sneak preview of a deleted scene (with embedded version after the jump).

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Narnia Film Franchise Alive? ‘Magician’s Nephew’ on Deck

For those wondering if The Voyage of the Dawn Treader was the last Chronicles of Narnia book to be made into a film, the word today is that the film franchise is alive — and that the plan is to go with The Magician’s Nephew rather than The Silver Chair. [Read the story ‘New Narnia’ at fandango.com; H/T to Candice!]

Believe it or not, I rather like the idea of Nephew being chosen over Chair, though the latter is perhaps my favorite Narniad adventure (and a real shame it is that we don’t get to see more of Eustace Scrubb right away). As the fourth film, Nephew will be the center of the seven part series; this is a good thing because in several important ways it is the pivotal story in the collection.

It was the last book written, believe it or not, though Lewis began writing it almost immediately after The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was published and Nephew was published before Last Battle. In Nephew, I speculate, the author quite vividly reveals several important messages about his artistry and his meaning. Real quickly, the Wood Between the Worlds is a pointer to the “inside bigger than the outside,” the Logos beneath, behind, and within everything created, a theme Aslan’s creative song only reinforces. The magic rings are a transparency for the Ring Composition of each book. And the prize silver apple from the tree in the centre of the garden? The Rev. Michael Ward makes a good case for the astrological meaning of Nephew being venereal, but this light laden fruit is alchemical artistry.

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Last Call for Papers: The 2011 PotterWatch Conference

If you live within driving distance of Charlotte, North Carolina, you are in for a treat — and if you’re a student of any kind, there’s an opportunity to roll out your Harry Potter smarts in public. The University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s official fandom group, PotterWatch, is sponsoring an academic conference this April 9th on ‘Why We Love Harry,’ his “crossover appeal,” and they have Dr. Amy H. Sturgis as their Featured Speaker.

Their Call for Papers deadline is, gulp. Saturday, 26 March, and the all the relevant information is below the jump. I wish I could get down there; if you can, please send us a full report!

Going Price for ‘Philosopher’s Stone’ First Edition: $30 Gs

The going price, as of 2009, is just short of $30,000. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone 1st edition sells for $29,875 (H/T to James!)

Why so much? The first run was very short, only 500 copies, and was distributed primarily to libraries, schools, and reviewers. Most copies, consequently, were either dumped or heavily used. The big price is paid for a 1st Edition in excellent condition. Scarcity squared in other words, when combined with high demand yields a bidding war. Read about that in the comments following the article above or this wonderful post about how to recognize a first edition at ‘Is My Harry Potter Book Valuable?’

In the beginning of what promises to be an extended inflationary cycle, I suppose this sort of purchase has to be considered as an investment against hard times. Even so, I confess to being astonished at the dollar figure. As much as I love the story, I ask myself — Do I live in a world with different priorities and interests than a First Edition buyer or is it just the relatively small purse I carry that prevents me from paying $30,000 for a book I can pick up at a yard sale for a dime?

Katniss Casting: Hunger Games Filmmakers make Controversial Starlet Choice — Something Like the Capitol’s Gamesmakers?

After much anticipation, the Gamemakers behind The Hunger Games film adaptation, due out next year, have chosen a Katniss Everdeen. I’m sure we all have a Katniss in our minds, and no actress could satisfy every readers’ expectations or wishes. The official choice is apparently Jennifer Lawrence, who was just nominated for an Academy Award for her role in Winter’s Bone. Despite that evidence that she has the chops to carry such a demanding and complex role, there are a number of issues that many readers will doubtless see as problematic in the casting.

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