Archives for October 2014

Halloween Howler to JKR

As a special Halloween treat, J.K. Rowling provided us with a biography of everyone’s least favorite Hogwarts professor. No, not John Granger (Trick, Headmaster, trick!). Dolores Umbridge.

On the one hand, I am, pun intended, tickled pink.  Recently I presented a paper at the Chestnut Hill conference on Harry Potter and Nature Deficit Disorder, arguing that the most oppressive characters and settings in Harry Potter are also the most removed from nature,  (See the Mugglenet academia podcast for a summary… my section begins about 1:13). While I didn’t address Umbridge in the talk, I added a section on her last night when writing up the paper for hopeful publication–before reading this latest edition, thankyouverymuch–describing the artifically frilly decor of Umbridge’s offices and the disconnect with the natural world (the flowers, foul porcelain kitten plates), and what that tells us about her (hint: it isn’t good).  I even remarked about that fact the she and McGonagall share the same cat patronus, but whereas Minerva embraces the actual animal to the extent of turning herself into one, we never even see Umbridge approach a real cat,  only her artificial ones.  JKR confirmed that she doesn’t like them. [Read more…]

Mockingjay Part 1 Trailers Promise Plenty of Action and Maybe Even Something from the Book!

I’ve never made any secret of the fact that I actually like movies, hence my title as unofficial faculty film fancier here at HogPro. The first Hunger Games movie, however, was mostly a tremendous letdown, despite a few useful and meaningful moments. Catching Fire was an improvement, though still with some shudder-worthy gaffes and a botched ending. This week saw the release of the final trailer for the first part of Mockingjay, set for release on November 21. The previews include big, loud, grab-those-viewers-by-the-lapels sequences, but there are a few moments that deserve some thought, consideration, and speculation. The shorter trailers that have been released, including Katniss’s return to 12, are actually quite thoughtful and haunting, boding well for the actual film next month. More TV spots have emerged, and more doubtless will appear in the airtime assault leading up to the film’s release. So, in our own prep for the big, big day, let’s look at some of what we can expect and dread, based on the previews we are seeing.

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New Insurgent Posters released today

New “interactive” Insurgent posters are being released on Lionsgate today.

Here is the first, of Caleb.

And the second, of Tori.

Guest Post: ‘Real or Not Real (Again)’

Friend-of-this-blog Chaya Golan sent me these notes on Katniss Everdeen and Bella Swann. I thought them so good that I begged her to let me share them with you. Enjoy!

Real or Not Real (again)

In The Hunger Games, as John and others participating in the discussion on this site have noted, one major theme is “real or not real”.  In Mockingjay, Peeta is characterized as the person who has trouble determining reality because he was “highjacked”.  While the brainwashing and memory tampering he has suffered is certainly a violation and a weapon used against Katniss that she and her team are challenged to overcome, I would like to discuss a second person who throughout the series appears to have a problem with “real or not real”: that person is Katniss herself.

As the ultimate survivor, Katniss would appear to have a good grip on reality.  And she does on certain aspects of it.  But her survival and her ultimate redemption are dependent on Peeta’s love for her (and then her love for him) – and his love she is oblivious to for a long time.  That might not be so odd – except that everyone around her is aware of it. [Read more…]

Mudbloods: A Documentary About College Quidditch

Cos-play gone wild? Video games that draw blood? A satire street-drama about our obsession with sports, especially at major colleges and State Universities? You decide.