I have a new film/book editorial up at Green Spot Blue. It is on the last Harry Potter films and what it means for the series. Here is an excerpt from the beginning.
I remember the first time I read J.K. Rowling.
I was a grad student at the University of Southern California studying fiction writing and I had no hesitation in pooh-poohing (yes, I said pooh-pooh, we snobby writers talk like that) the books to my fellow writers. They were modern-day kid books, surely like a thousand published every year. A flash in the pan, a lucky break.
One of my fellow students argued for the books and, as part of a challenge, gave me the first four books to read, claiming I will be addicted after the first chapter.
…I finished all four books in one weekend.
I never loved the first two movies; I enjoyed them, I liked them, I even bought them, but I didn’t love them.
They were fun, but they really didn’t capture the essence of the books for me. Usually I would watch them wondering what someone like Terry Gilliam (JK Rowling’s first choice, and brilliant notion, for directing the first book) would have done and how long it would be before they were remade… Then the third film came out.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban truly and perfectly captured to me the book series. That is how I envisioned the world when I read them and he laced it from beginning to end with the living, breathing magic that seemed to be missing from the first two films.
He focused the story on Harry’s perspective, captured his wonder, and, more importantly, actually created terror; because, as much as we like to forget that fact, the Harry Potter books are full of it. The first chapter is about a double homicide, don’t forget, of parents while their young child watched. Why is that not more shocking to people?
Yet, for an entire generation of readers the Potter Universe is a place of safety. It is place of escape, of wonder… but it is also a world where a person can be killed simply by a wand and two deadly words.
So what is it that draws readers there with such love again and again?
You can read the rest of the article here.