|Numinous The Music of Joseph C. Phillips Jr.|
The Numinosum Blog
Went to see Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince yesterday (no, not the midnight showing-I don't do that anymore...). And while I have eagerly read and loved the books, I have been ambivalent about seeing the movies. In fact this was the first of the movies I have seen in the theatre and have only seen a couple of the previous films adaptations, well after their initial theatrical release. I think one reason I'm not so excited about the films is that they only hint at the fullness of the world JK Rowling created. Yes, film is a different medium and SHOULD be different than the books, but I often find myself missing the subtle nuances that are in the book. And sometimes, because there is only so much time to show things, you get (in my opinion) awkward breaks or gaps (I found that in all of the movies I've seen but an example in Half-Blood Prince is the scene where for the first time in the movie Dumbledore and Harry are talking about the recalled memories of Tom Riddle; this scene seemed to me to come about unprepared).
Don't get me wrong, I loved seeing how the director and creators of the film translate Rowling's words to visual images: the Qudditich scenes in Half-Blood Prince were quite thrilling and exciting and there are many beautifully composed shots, even some of the casual, quiet moments (a shot of Harry, Hermione, Ron, and Jenny just sitting, for example). I really did enjoy the movie but I also felt it more of an expositional penultimate place-holder for the ultimate finish in the next two planned movies of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (I felt the same way after seeing Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones, it was all just a lead up to revealing Darth Vader in The Revenge of the Sith). It was also exciting to see that one of my former students was one of the 3D artists for Half-Blood Prince. When her name rolled across the credits at the end, I was happy and proud to know that she has done so well for herself.
One other thought after seeing the movie was that it made me realize once more what a wonderful creation JK Rowling came up with when she brought Harry Potter into the world. The books (and many parts of the movie) are such a richly detailed world, full of mystery, humor, fun, and tragedy, it makes me marvel at her imaginative acumen. In many ways, the epic sweep of the books create a totality that mimics the best of all myths and stories. In fact from the lightness of the first two books to the change to a darker, more ominous tone starting with The Prisoner of Azkaban, but more so in Goblet of Fire and the later books chronicling the "dark times", Harry Potter's journey reminds me of the classic enlightenment stories of so many cultures throughout the world. And that kind of creativity is very inspiring to me. Laurie Anderson in an interview said, "I feel that [a] work has really succeeded when somebody says, 'I saw or heard your piece and I got so many ideas from it'" and that good art work makes you "want to jump up and get out of there" and create something yourself. JK Rowling's Harry Potter is a reminder to me to go out and create my own musical worlds equally enriched, layered, textured, and memorable.
POSTED BY NUMINOUS AT 12:00 PM
To all things that create a sense of wonder and beauty that inspires and enlightens.