Guest Post: Your ‘Catching Fire’ Director’s Cut, Please!

In response to my post about the Hunger Games Film Franchise’s parting-of-ways with Gary Ross and where this leaves the adaptation of the series (I think “potentially a much better or much worse place”), I received the missive below from Hanna, which is a series of questions most HogwartsProfessors raders and film lovers are more qualified than I to answer. So I post it here for y’all to discuss how you would adapt the second novel in a screenplay; have at it!

This news about the Ross being out really is true and after this huge media kerfuffle no one (neither Ross nor Lionsgate) is going to backtrack.  But I would really like to hear from thinking book-first fans like you and the HogPro readers about the direction Catching Fire (the movie) should take.  What would your director’s cut look like?

1. What would you emphasize?
2. What would you cut out (it can’t be 20 hours, after all)?
3. What would you add that the book did not include?
4. What would you aim for in casting and developing the characters of Plutarch Heavensbee and the Quarter Quell Tributes?

I haven’t thought about it enough, yet except that I think you have to have more time in the arena [in this film] and more time devoted to the political developments in the districts.  I think that means you have to spend a lot less screen time in District 12 than they did in Hunger Games.    Your thoughts?

Guest Post: Why is Harry Potter So Normal?

Here is a second post from our friends out west, Fr. Isaiah Mary Molano, OP, and April Tessarzik at Stanford, this one on an oddity of the Hogwarts Saga rather than the philosophical underpinnings of The Hunger Games. Enjoy!

Why is Harry Potter So Normal?

Besides the fact that Harry Potter is a wizard, the Boy Who Lived is a rather normal boy. In some ways, his lifestyle before the letters from Hogwarts appeared is rather unimpressive and ordinary.

Or is it?

As we all know, Harry grew up in a rather tough environment. He’s an orphan. At the beginning of Philosopher’s Stone, we don’t know what happened to his parents, but we can surmise that it is a sad story. His only peer is not a friend, but rather his cousin, Dudley, who has bullied him throughout his entire life. His aunt and uncle would rather ignore him—and they did so rather effectively for over ten years. All of Harry’s possessions are hand-me-downs of the meanest sort—his eyeglasses frames are broken at the bridge, and his clothes once belonged to the much-larger Dudley (HPSS, 14).

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Guest Post: ‘By Death Trampling Down Death’

There are new complementary and opposite trends in mail I receive from readers, a change I find both delightful and reassuring. The little negative email I have had over the years from Culture Warriors [TM] has all but evaporated as the Godly Guardians of the Gates move on to the next literary/cinematic beachhead on which to draw ‘lines in the sand we dare not cross.’ Simultaneously, I am receiving requests for help with papers from undergraduate and graduate students who are writing papers on, you guessed it, the “artistry and meaning of Harry Potter.”

Last week, I shared an exchange I had with a philosophy student in the UK. This week, I have a paper for you from an undergraduate named Sophia at the University of Pittsburgh. Sophia used my How Harry cast His Spell (formerly Looking for God in Harry Potter) as one of her resources and found Gilderoy’s e-address there. She hopes for feedback from and conversation with the HogPro All-Pros on her discussion of “By Death Trampling Down Death”: Resurrection Imagery in Harry Potter; please share your comments and corrections after reading her thoughts!

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