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…]

The Man in Black: Alan Rickman Interview and Oscar Prospects

Back in December, John Granger and I had the opportunity to chat on Middle Earth Network Radio with delightful host Dave Kale on the subject of the DVD extras offered with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Though we really enjoyed (and discussed at great length) the segment on both female characters and the actresses who portray them, I bemoaned the lack of a really wonderful documentary sequence featuring Alan Rickman, as I have been delighted, amazed, and ultimately deeply moved by his riveting performance as the prickly and profoundly complex Potions master. This article from The LA Times, does something to alleviate that gap, including some nice thoughts on Rickman’s decade of playing one of the most misunderstood guys in black since Johnny Cash and even ponders Rickman’s Oscar prospects.
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Join us for a live Pundit Podcast!

Tonight, join Elizabeth Baird Hardy and John Granger, along with Dave Kale, as we discuss the new Deathly Hallows part 2 DVD with extra features in a live podcast on Middle Earth Radio!

Film Week Follow-Up:Fellowship, Freebies, and Fisticuffs

So now most folks who plan to see the film of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows have done so (some more than once), and many of you have shared your insights and thoughts in our wonderful conversation. Thanks! This week, here are some follow-up thoughts not on the film so much as on the experience of going to the movie. Join us after the jump for stories, positive and negative, on movie-going experiences, what people are doing now, and the opportunity to share your own stories of seeing the film or your plans for what’s next!
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Now My Charms are All O’erthrown: Intial thoughts on Deathly Hallows Film and Leaky-Con (so far)

I really should be resting up for my Leak-Con Presentation in the morning, but, since I’ll be a little tied up with further wizarding excitement, and our Headmaster does TWO presentations tomorrow, I wanted to go ahead and toss out my initial reactions (not to be confused with a full-scale, completely analyzed review) as well as provide some thoughts on the terrific Leaky-Con Programing I enjoyed today. Follow me after the jump for some thoughts from a dark theater and a sunny day in Orlando. [Read more…]