Friday, July 13, 2007

Called it!

Sadly, given my luck THIS will be my one "Harry Potter" prediction that comes true...

Reviewing "Harry Potter & The Order of The Pheonix" yesterday, I wondered aloud about the likelihood that the same "conservative" film critics who tried to claim "300" and "Transformers" as "part of the family" would make a similarly silly jump in the the direction of Hogwarts based on the film's "Harry forms paramilitary squad" storyline. As it turns out, said jump-of-silliness was taken today by one "Dirty Harry," resident-reviewer over at the pachyderm-enthusiast Liberty Film Festival "Libertas" blog, (whom I will say for the record, though I find his premise in this case to be kind of a reach, is a generally fine critic in his own right and author of an immensly readable how-to film production series at the same blog,) in his review of the film: http://www.libertyfilmfestival.com/libertas/?p=5846#comments

Money-quote from the review: "The bottom line is that Harry’s readying his troops for war here. The word “war” is even used. They’re going to fight evil even if the Democ– er… Ministry of Magic won’t."

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Seriously, Bob. A separate post crowing over something as obvious as calling the sun rising in the morning? Is that lame, pathetic or just par for the course for you? After reading this blog, the mental picture I've formed is the loser blustering wanna bee indy film student in Art School Confidential. Tell me I'm wrong.

T said...

While I certainly won't go as far as the last poster, I can't fault nor would I express much surprise at someone reading politics into the Potter series, though admittedly the interpretation you cited might be a bit curious.

Certainly there are elements of the sixth book, in which the Ministry is trying to put a happy PR face on their efforts against You-Know-Who that are a clear swipe at Blair's war stance at the time.

Interpreting entertainment to fit different political stances is nothing new nor is it out of order. Invasion of the Body Snatchers was routinely as representing both sides of McCarthy's hunt for Communists and directors such as Wes Craven and definitely George Romero speak about the political subtext in horror movies that others may regard as simple entertainment. After all, what is art but a reflection of the emotions and mood of the time it's created in?

Bob said...

anonymous:
"Seriously, Bob. A separate post crowing over something as obvious as calling the sun rising in the morning?"

Hey, when I actually get a prediction right, I celebrate. It's not like it happens all the time: remember, I'm the guy who had a huge blog post about how being outed as a crazy-person wasn't going to hurt Tom Cruise right before M:I3.

It ain't complicated: Watching the movie, I started thinking "god, wouldn't it be the height of silliness if some critic busts out 'Harry as Bush stand-in'?" The absurdity of the whole potential situation amused me, so I mentioned it in the review. Lo and behold, someone actually did it - someone who's normally much more restrained about that sort of thing. That's all.

T:
"While I certainly won't go as far as the last poster, I can't fault nor would I express much surprise at someone reading politics into the Potter series, though admittedly the interpretation you cited might be a bit curious."

I'm not faulting the action, naturally. I AM, however, faulting or at least having some fun at the expense of the interpretation itself - and my amusement that my own "silliest case scenario" came true. I don't see anything wrong with opining that a critic's opinion strikes me as, well.. goofy. Remember when Roger Ebert went off on a tangent about "Zoolander" being one of the reason terrorists hate the US? That was silly. Sillier than this, really.