Why the Harry Potter Books are Better


“Professor Strand, which is your favorite Harry Potter movie?” a student asked recently as class began.

“I’m sorry,” I replied, “did you ask, ‘which is my favorite Harry Potter BOOK?’”

“Oh, yeah, right. Which book,” she said, unfazed. A few students murmured their understanding of her error, but most simply waited to see how much class time the question would chew up (a favorite pastime of my students: baiting instructor into digressive pop culture conversation).

I wasn’t altogether surprised by her phrasing, as I had encountered the same movies-as-primary attitude in a college-aged Potter fan just a few weeks before, as I attended a collegiate Muggle Quidditch tournament. Seeking an understanding of the viability of Quidditch on its own terms, I had asked one of the players if everyone on her Quidditch team was a Harry Potter fan, or if some players simply played for love of the sport. She informed me most were indeed big Potter fans, but there were one or two players who, she said, despairing of their poor taste, “haven’t seen any of the movies!” (Their attention to the books: not mentioned.) [Read more…]

Deathly Hallows Part 2 Film Countdown Begins: Getting Ready for the Big Premiere

As the excitement increases about next month’s release of the second half of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, we’ll be posting plenty of relevant pieces about plans, activities, and feedback. But we’ll also be revisiting some our “Greatest Hits” that relate to the film. If you have a favorite from the archives that you’d like to see featured as part of the countdown, send us a note, and we’ll dust it off and bring out! For those who really get into the whole movie premiere hoopla, now is the time to make plans (and maybe a swell costume, if you are into that sort of thing). I’m looking forward to seeing what folks are sporting at Leaky-Con, where many of them will be going to the midnight release. Though I don’t do the costume angle myself, I am a keen spectator, and I love seeing creative approaches (last year at Infinitus, several of the HogPros wondered for hours about the guy in the soda jerk outfit; he was Florean Fortescue).  Melanie Lee, friend of this blog, has a fun persona and plan that she’ll be using to reach out to others on July 15, and she’s sharing some of her goodies with us.  We’d also like to hear what others have planned, too! [Read more…]

Deleted Scene to Whet Appetites for Deathly Hallows: Pt. 1 DVD out April 15

April 15 is usually a day to strike fear in the hearts of Americans. If the IRS doesn’t scare you (and really, those folks always look like Death Eaters in my imagination), maybe Voldemort will! So the movie folks are releasing the DVD of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 on that resonant date. If your tax woes are few (or so bad you need an escape), April 15 is looking like a good movie night (I’m looking forward to the big-screen release of The Conspirator that same day)! In anticipation of the big release, here is a sneak preview of a deleted scene (with embedded version after the jump).

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