Discussion: Which Potter film will lure YOU to an IMAX cinema this week?

FB 7by Emily Strand (@ekcstrand)

In anticipation of Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, movie theaters across the country are showing all eight of the original Harry Potter films. The movie marathon starts today in selected IMAX cinemas and includes Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets, which have yet to be displayed in the IMAX format, according to Time.

In research for my upcoming talk at Chestnut Hill College’s 5th Annual Harry Potter Conference next week, I came across a fascinating article which argues the popularity of the first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, was due in large part to the book’s cinematic qualities – its adherence to the rules of modern classic cinema, especially those rules that were set in the late 1970s by the first Star Wars film. (I’ll say more about what that means in a subsequent post.) The article argues that a desire to please fans with close fidelity to the original book hemmed in director Chris Columbus, resulting in a clunky film adaptation in Sorcerer’s Stone which failed to capture the magic of the book.

What do you think?

ron 4In celebration of this nostalgic event, I propose a film discussion here at Hogwarts Professor. In the comments, share your thoughts on the film adaptations of our favorite books. Which of the Potter films to date is your favorite and why? What is your favorite moment of all the Potter films? Which film will find you huddled in an IMAX cinema this week, popcorn in hand, ready to relive the Hogwarts Saga? How excited are you about Fantastic Beasts? Will these new films ignite Potter passion after the (for many) disappointment of Cursed Child?


  1. I wish the films had never been made.

    (1) A contrary story canon.

    (2) Dissolution and dissipation of discussion of books by serious readers because of the distraction of the visual misrepresetations of the adaptations.

    (3) Imaginative experience of the books all but homogenized and degraded by actors and event depictions in the visual media.

    (4) The consequent derailing of fandom into exclusively moral and political issues and the end of anagogical experience in reading.

    An unmitigated disaster. Full stop.

  2. Favorite film (ignoring questions of how book-accurate they are) is Half Blood Prince. There’s something visually that just gets me. (I’m also a big fan of the score – In Noctem is probably my favorite piece of music from the entire series.)

    Least favorite film? I don’t think I have one. Least favorite moment? “HARRY DID YOU PUT YOUR NAME IN THE GOBLET OF FIIRRRRE?!?!?” for obvious reasons. Also Hermione’s un-canon hair just bothers me. Hermione still has canon hair in my head. Think 1980s Amy Grant hair.

    Favorite moment that is NOT true to the book but I love anyway? Neville and Luna in DH Part 2 (what can I say, I’m a Neville/Luna shipper). I’d gladly sacrifice it for the rest being more accurate though.

  3. Emily Strand says

    John – you’re STILL grumpy after that pint of Doom Bar?? 😉 Kidding, I’m with you on that front. I also fear (as some wise person on MNet Academia once speculated) that the films will “date” the books, once they become dated themselves. And they already are.

    Alison – I’m with you on HBP. It’s the rom-com element for me. They really got that part of it right.

    But randomly, I’m pretty sure my favorite moment in all 8 films is, “What do they think they’re doing? Keeping a thing like that locked up in a school!” Sigh. Classic Ron.

  4. HBP as Rom-Com? Will have to try paying attention to it that way. (HBP is to me all about Draco and Snape and being just heartbreakingly beautifully dark, so… Blame my love of HBP on my love of Alan Rickman and Tom Felton…)

    Although in scenes that don’t fit the book but I find unbearably adorable anyway: “She’s only interested in you because you’re the chosen one!” “But I am the chosen one!” *smack* – it is delightful (and yes now that you point it out, slightly Rom-Com-ish).

  5. My Potter passion is still pretty cool right now. Primarily because of what John has pointed out in Point #4. The almost total hijacking of the series, aided and abetted by the author herself, of moral and political issues has left me cold on the books or movies for that matter. Haven’t read any of the books or watched the movies in years. The sad thing is I know that if I could just bring myself to read or watch I’d fall in love with the series all over again.

    Anyway, that kind of distracts from your point, Emily, so I’ll try to answer the question you pose about which movie is a favorite and a most favorite moment in all the movies.

    If I can do some conflation, I’d have to say Deathly Hallows 1 and 2 are my favorite movie. Not necessarily because they are the best done ones of the lot but because I think they capture a lot of the atmosphere of the book. It’s hard to put into words what I’m trying to say. Oh, and I think in DH2 they finally got the pathos of Snape in regards to Lily right with that montage of scenes.

    Least favorite movie: Half Blood Prince

    Favorite moment in the films: I’m not sure I can really say.

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