Louise’s Belated Fantastic Beasts Response

fb-pictureI couldn’t hit the opening night of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them because I was attending the Morality, Moral Philosophy and the Humanities in the Age of Neuroscience Conference, so I decided to wait until my daughter was home from college so we could go as a family. As a result, I have been avoiding spoilers for almost a week. Last night, after we got home, I went through a bunch of Hogpro posts, emails and my copy of the screenplay that had been sitting in its cardboard Amazon box since last week. So, after bit of day-before Thanksgiving cooking, and a nice hot cup of cranberry wassail, I’m finally sitting down to write my initial response.

I share the positive response of most other Wizarding World fans: it was a well-written, exciting film that fills in part of the backstory of JKR’s magical world without infringing on (or re-writing) any of Harry’s story. Newt was a lovable if unlikely hero, the Goldstein sisters strong female leads and Jacob Kowalski a delightful Mary-Sue character for all Muggles:  the No-Maj who got to be part of the Wizarding World, albeit for a short time. Add that to the speculation that Queenie and Jacob’s descendent will eventually play Quidditch on the US team, and you have the ultimate wish fulfillment for many fans. [Read more…]

Is It a Ring? First Thoughts on Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them

newt-scamanderThe movie made from J. K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay is a visual ring composition. I have not received my copy of the screenplay yet (come back Wednesday of next week for more on that) but, having watched the film yesterday and taken four pages of notes in the dark, I can say the film’s scenes conform to the chiasmus or ring formula that anthropologist Mary Douglas describes in her Thinking in Circles and which J. K. Rowling uses as something of a template for her Harry Potter and Cormoran Strike novels.

If you haven’t seen the movie and don’t want to be spoiled, okay. That paragraph should be your last. If you have seen the film and would like to see how Rowling brought her ring artistry to the third draft of her screenplay, I’ll see you after the jump. [Read more…]