‘Ten Demands (?) Made by Potter Actors’

I’m not a movie fan, especially not the film adaptations of the Harry Potter novels. I enjoyed this collection of trivia about the making of those movies, though, because of the revelations of the human side behind the mythic projections on the screen. Most of the ‘Ten Most Unusual Demands’ are not “demands,” but they all surprised me in one way or another.

Alan Richman set a No-Go Red Line around his car after Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint poured milk-shakes on it? The actresses playing Sybill Trelawney and Bellatrix LeStrange don’t work together because of a romantic riff over — Gilderoy Lockhart? Jason Isaacs had a lot of input into the appearance of Lucious Malfoy? The fart-machine placed in horny actor’s sleeping bag?

Tomorrow, I’ll get back to serious posting with reflections on the latest rumors that Harry Potter is coming to teevee (hint: I find these rumors to be as ridiculous as they are disturbing). Today? A laugh or two about the clowns in the circus. Enjoy!

Secrets of Dumbledore: Predictions Fulfilled and Promise for the Future

Last month, I posted my thoughts, predictions, and bizarre guesses about Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore based on the Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore - New Poster and Trailerseries of character posters that had just been released. At long last, the film has had its American release, and I am happy to offer my thoughts on the this, the third installment in the Fantastic Beasts collection. Be warned, in the interest of being un-influenced, I have not read the reviews or comments that have been posted here already, and there will be spoilers galore after the jump as we take a look at the film’s positive and negative aspects, the ways in which my poster insights were incredibly accurate (as well as some that were completely off base), and some predictions for the story to come based on what we’ve seen this time around. This review may be as wild, over-stuffed, and blatantly dangerous as Newt’s fabulous case, so proceed with caution to our latest adventure in the Wizarding World. [Read more…]

Beatrice Groves – Secrets of Dumbledore: First Thoughts

In the wake of the UK theatrical release of Fantastic Beasts: the Secrets of Dumbledore and the (long awaited) US release on 15th April, Beatrice Groves, Research Lecturer and tutor at Trinity College, Oxford, and author of  Literary Allusion in Harry Potter, has written a Hogwarts Professor Guest Post: Secrets of Dumbledore: First Thoughts. Many spoilers after the jump…….Beware!

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‘Secrets of Dumbledore’ Plot Summary Now Available Online at Wikipedia

The third Fantastic Beasts film, The Secrets of Dumbledore, was released today in the United Kingdom, in Ireland, Australia, Germany, Japan, Spain, and in China. It has been on screens in Holland and Belgium since Wednesday and this weekend will expand into forty-four other markets, including France, Italy, Korea and all of Latin America. It will not be available for viewing in the United States until 15 April.

[Ugly Aside: Please explain to me that this delayed release was not simultaneously an acknowledgment that anti-Rowling animus is centered in the US and a way of preventing protests here and the attendant twitterati hate-fest that might distract from appreciation of the film elsewhere. I expect there are important marketing reasons, etc., but I am obliged to suspect the reason Warner Brothers intentionally diminished box office returns from the franchise’s opening weekend take was somehow related to the Transgender Tweet controversy.]

The film is receiving thumbs-up reviews for the most part, much of which seems to be relief that the new Magizoologist movie is a big improvement on the disappointing Crimes of Grindelwald installment. The Forbes review posted yesterday may be typical in its lede statement, “Yes, The Secrets of Dumbledore is better than The Crimes of Grindelwald, but it’s still (strong production values aside) mostly awful by any other standard.” Other reviews can be found here, here, here, and here.

I have not seen the film and have not read any reviews. My preference is to read the screenplay first, but that would mean missing the film first run in theaters because the hardcover will not be published until late July. I suspect I’ll give in and see it at the local Cineplex before the book comes out or it moves to HBO, 45 days from today. Iconoclastic as I find the medium, movies are made for movie theaters (or they used to be).

I may hold out, though, for the book and watch it on DVD. If I do, it will be just because this screenplay, unlike the first two, claims to be “The Complete Screenplay” rather than “The Original Screenplay,” a subtitle I have derided here again and again through the years as ridiculous and willful misrepresentation. My fantasy is that The Presence agreed — and this “Complete Screenplay” will include what she wrote rather than just a transcript of the cinematic sausage David Yates and David Heyman conspired with Steve Kloves to make of her work. As Kloves once put it, they have to make “the lady fit the dress,” i.e., Rowling’s genius hacked into block-buster formula…

Odds, of course, are very good, regardless of my holding out or giving in, that by the time I see it I will know more about it than any film since the Harry Potter adaptations were made, when everyone knew how each story would end, more or less. Not only are reviews now ubiquitous, but discussion here at HogwartsProfessor will necessarily include spoilers to get at the meat of the movie and to scorecard predictions. I look forward to reading the reviews here by our more film friendly faculty as much as our regular readers do though it will mean I will not experience the movie myself with anything like a suspension of disbelief (as if that were likely anyway).

To conclude with the point of this brief post, the plot of Secrets of Dumbledore has been posted at the film’s wikipedia page by an early viewer in a five paragraph summary that spills all the beans. I have not read it but Chris Calderon tells me that it is as complete an exposition of the story as you will find on wikipedia. Follow that link if you want to find out about the story before watching the film — and desist if you don’t! If you’ve seen the film, please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment boxes below.

‘Secrets of DDore’ Trailers and Guesses

After two delightful days of Beatrice Groves guest posts about the soon to be released Secrets of Dumbledore, the third installment in the long delayed Fantastic Beasts film franchise, I realized I really have tuned out the klaxon promotional noise coming out of Hollywood and movie mavens online about what’s coming up. I plead “Indifference” sad as I am that Rowling’s original screenplay set in Brazil was trashed and that this film, written by Steve Kloves with contributions by The Presence, and produced and directed by David Yates and David Heyman, may consequently be more coherent (less butchered) than Beasts 2, Crimes of Grindelwald — and a much less mythic and meaningful story as the original would have been.

Professor Groves’ notes encourage me, however. I retain the secret hope that it was Rowling who insisted on the rewrite and that this much anticipated film takes the ensemble production to new and great heights. In that spirit, I offer three videos by an Uber-Fan who has been tracking and dissecting the Secrets trailers for months now. I hope that you will find them, as I did, great catch-up vehicles for the ideas prevalent in Beasts fandom — Queenie under the Imperius Curse! — in the weeks before the global gradual release. Enjoy!