Movie of the Month #03 – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fremover vil jeg forsøge at inddrage en film hver måned, som en lille afveksling fra alle boganmeldelserne. Dog vil forbindelsen til bøgernes verden stadig være til stede, for jeg vil bestræbe mig efter (kun) at anmelde film, der er lavet baseret på bøger.

I går blev det endelig min tur til at forvilde mig ind I biografmørket for at stifte bekendtskab med en vis Hr. Newt Scamander. Filmen har kun haft premiere i lidt over en uge, men den har allerede indtjent kæmpestore millionbeløb og høstede en hel del blandende anmeldelser her og der. Det er lige fra de fans der elsker den allerede inden de har set den til vejs ende, bare fordi JK Rowling selv har lavet den, til de mere kritiske film-gængere der lige skulle tænke lidt over hvordan de havde det med filmen efter at have set den. Jeg har nok befundet mig et sted i midten. For selvom jeg har glædet mig til at se filmen, og vende tilbage til den magiske verden, har det også været med en smule skepsis, for hvad var det helt præcist jeg gik ind til med Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them?

Kort fortalt er det historien om Newt Scamander der er på gennemrejse i USA, mere konkret New York, hvor hans kuffert med besynderlige dyr pludselig begynder at volde ham en del problemer, da en række af dem slipper ud fra kufferten. Det indblander en No-Maj (amerikansk betegnelse for Muggler), en degraderet Auror og det Amerikanske ministerium. Men bag overfladen lurer der sig størrer trusler, for i Europa er Gellert Grindelwald på løs fod, og han er gået under jorden og er ikke blevet set i lang tid, hvilket også skaber urøre helt ovre i New York på den anden side af Atlanten. I 1920ernes New York er der mistillid, farer bag hvert hjørne og ikke mindst frygt. Frygt fra magikerne at deres verden skal blive opdaget af alle de normale No-Maj; frygt fra disse om hvad der måske lever sammen med dem i deres by, men som de ikke helt kan forklare. Der er altså lagt op til en historie, med flere historier i, hvilket er noget af det Rowling gør allerbedst.

Musikken spiller og gåsehuden rejser sig på mine arme, for med den velkendte lyd er jeg pludselig et barn igen, der mindes de første gange jeg så filmene, og den magiske verden er tilbage i fuld forelskelse for mit vedkommende. I rollen som Newt ser vi Eddie Redmayne, som gør et flot stykke arbejde. Han har skabt Newt som han og Rowling har tænkt ham, og han er fuldt ud troværdig, som den lidt mærkværdige, men faktisk blødsødne mand han rent faktisk er. For hans hjerte brænder for de her sære skabninger, som alle andre frygter, bare fordi de ser lidt underlige ud (lyder det bekendt?). Han får sit eget ’hold’ igennem Katherine Waterson i rollen som Tina Goldstein, Alison Sudol, som hendes søster Queenie og Dan Fogler, som den ignorante No-Maj. Tilsammen opdager de at der er andet på spil end bare løsslupne dyr, og de beslutter sig for at tage sagen i egen hånd, og så går fortællingen ellers stærkt.

Jeg nød hver lille bid af filmen – og det på trods af børn, der skulle frem og tilbage hele tiden, om de skulle tisse eller have mere slik er sådan set lige meget, de forstyrrede, men jeg bed mine negative kommentarer i mig. Verden er den samme, men så alligevel ikke. For vi befinder os i New York, hvor levestandarden for magikere er en helt anden end den vi kender. Al kontakt mellem magikere og No-Maj er strengt forbudt, og det er også en anden tid, 1920erne oser af frygten for heksekræfter, som sniger sig igennem byen. Der bliver namedropped så mange bekendte navne hele tiden, også nogle som man kun hører perifert, men det gør bare at man bliver endnu mere opmærksom på historien, og jeg sidder og sukker højlydt over vi skal vente helt til 2018 før den næste film i serien kommer. Især taget i betragtning af den afsløring der kommer til sidst i filmen. Jeg havde godt gennemskuet der ville være et eller andet skummelt ved omtalte person, men at det var lige den drejning, den havde jeg ikke set komme, og jeg prikkede ihærdigt til Kæresten ved siden af, i min iver for at han skulle blive lige så vild af overraskelse som jeg var. Det er den slags historietwist der gør, at Rowling stadig ophøjes som en af de bedste.

Jeg har kun 2 mindre negative ting at sige om filmen. Det ene er måske nok en lidt nørdet ting, men det irriterede mit øje fra tid til anden. Når man tager i betragtning hvor stort et budget den her film sikkert har haft (og sikkert også i forhold til de andre HP film), så gik det mig på at alle dyrene så ud til at være lavet 100% som CGI. Når jeg tænker tilbage på enkelte HP film, så havde de lavet nogle enormt fede animatronics, hvilket jeg savnede her. For tit blev det irriterende at se på hvordan skuespillerne stod og tydeligvis klappede/aede noget der ikke var det, men som blev sat ind med CGI senere hen. Her syntes jeg sagtens filmfolkene kunne have givet den lidt mere gas, og bygget de fabelagtige dyr i en vis skala, for at givet noget troværdighed til dem oveni skuespillet til skuespillerne! De har pengene og sikkert også materialerne til det, så hvorfor ikke gøre det? Alt det andet magi og halløj der var i filmen var jo pisse fedt at se på, men dyrene overbeviste mig bare ikke altid når de var i interaktion med skuespillerne. Når den lille Niffler rendte rundt på gulvet og skrabede gulvmønter til sig alene, så var den mega sød, men så snart Eddie Redmayne hiver fat i den, og begynder at ruske i den, så falder den troværdighed en smule. Så jeg håber de gør sig selv den tjeneste til næste gang, hvis der skal være lige så mange fabelagtige skabninger med.

En anden ting jeg håber, det er for Rowlings vedkommende. Jeg ved hun har skrevet manuskriptet og at det udkommer i bogformat, men lad det for guds skyld blive ved det! Jeg håber og beder inderligt til at hun ikke lige pludselig får lyst til at skrive de her kommende i alt 5 film om til bogformat i stil med HP. Jeg kan rigtig godt lide at de to historier har separate medieudfoldelser, og det håber jeg også mange andre kan. Det er nok de eneste to kvaler jeg har med filmen – selvom de ser ud til at fylde meget -, for ellers var den helt igennem veludført og fantastisk flot. Hvis man kan lide HP det mindste, eller vil se en film der fortæller en spændende historie med twist og flere udfoldelser til gode, så skal man tage ind og se Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Om ikke andet, så tag ind og se den for at opleve Eddie Redmayne/Newt udføre en sensuel parringsdans rettet mod en af hans skabninger.

 

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Carry On (Rainbow Rowell, 2015)

Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen. That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

(Tekst fra goodreads)

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Bogen får 4 ud af 5 stjerner.

Carry On er nok en af de bøger, der har fået utrolig god omtale, og det skal den da også have. Men det var også af den grund, at den var en smule frygtindgydende at gå i gang med. For tænk nu, tænk nu hvis den ikke levede op til al den hype den havde fået i sine mange anmeldelser? På den anden side, af de bøger jeg efterhånden har fået læst af Rainbow Rowell, så har hun endnu ikke skuffet. Carry On skulle da heller ikke være en undtagelse på det punkt.

Det er meget tydeligt fra starten af Carry On universet skal forestille at være stærkt inspireret af Rowlings Harry Potter univers. Magien er der, dog en smule anerledes, og jeg var især sjovt glad for den måde sproget var blevet inkarneret i Rowells magi. Jeg syntes det var sjovt hvordan sangtekster og faste ordsprog udgjorde de stærkeste besværgelser. Og alligevel brød vores helt, Simon Snow, med normen i at være ualmindelig magisk og ikke altid have behov for disse besværgelser. Hele ideen med at Snow er ved at springes – ret bogstavelig talt – af magi, fandt jeg især interessant, for det gav en anden vinkel på spørgsmålet om magien i Rowells univers. Snow som hovedperson fungerer på mange punkter rigtig godt. Han er lige dele helt og lige dele ikke-helt. Han er til tider ynkelig nok til at man ikke kommer til at idoliserer ham alt for meget, men også lige på grænsen til at han ikke bare bliver træls.

”I’ve never been attacked in my room before – this would be a first. I sit up and turn the lights on without trying. That happens sometimes, with small spells, when I’m stressed. It’s not supposed to. Penny thinks it might be like telepathy, skipping the words to get straight to the goal.”

Jeg havde ikke regnet med at bogen ville være fortalt fra flere synsvinkler, og lige de første par kapitler irriterede det mig faktisk. Men som bogen skred frem, blev jeg kun mere og mere glad for skiftet mellem de forskellige. Dog var der enkelte kapitler/synsvinkler som jeg syntes kunne have være gjort bedre. Kapitlerne fra the Mage var jeg for eksempel ikke synderligt fan af. Dem kunne jeg sagtens have været foruden. Til gengæld var vekslingen mellem Snow og Baz kapitlerne virkelig god! Skiftene gjorde virkelig noget ved den dynamik – eller mangel på samme – imellem de to.

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Jeg tror det er meningen at man skal ’hade’ Baz, men det kan jeg slet ikke forholde mig til. På mange punkter foretrak jeg faktisk ham frem for Snow, for af en eller anden grund så syntes jeg at der var mere karakter i Baz end der var i Snow. Det kan godt være vi kun har fået denne ene sammenhængende historie om de to drenge, men når jeg tænker tilbage på de bidder man også fik i Fangirl, så virker det bare til at Baz er en mere interessant karakter.

”Currently I’m pretending I don’t care that Snow left. I’m pretending I don’t even notice he’s gone. I’m not sure why it surprised me when he left – I’d been reminding him for the last twenty-four hours that we weren’t friends, kisses notwithstanding.”

Med de bidder fra Fangirl, og så denne sammenhængende historie, så forstår jeg godt at Rowell ikke kunne slippe hverken Snow eller Baz. Begge drenge har noget særligt, som man ikke kan lade være med at blive nysgerrig over. Samspillet mellem de to var også rigtig spændende, og selvom man vidste at der ville komme en del romantik i løbet af bogen, så tog det ikke overhånd. Det var underspillet uden at blive for sødsuppe-agtig, men jeg kunne personligt nok godt have brugt bare en snert mere. Alligevel var det lige tilpas akavet og ukendt at jeg ikke kunne lade være med at trække på smilebåndet over deres spøjse reaktioner i nogle situationer.

Men selvom jeg har været svært glad for bogen, så havde den også en lille fejl. For netop på grund af de forskellige synsvinkler, så fik jeg jo alle detaljer at vide, og sad med svaret ved sidste vendte side. Men det gjorde karakterene i bogen ikke! Hvilket irriterede mig, for jeg syntes også de fortjente at få tingene forklaret/opklaret så de kunne komme videre og få den forløsning som jeg sad med. Det er måske den eneste mangel jeg har ved bogen, men jeg syntes desværre også at det påvirkede slutningen i en sådan grad, at jeg ikke blev 100% tilfreds. Jeg er nok på 95% tilfreds med slutningen. En anden ting er nok også bare, at ligesom Rowell ikke var klar til at give slip på Snow og Baz efter hun havde skrevet Fangirl, så er jeg nok heller ikke helt klar til at give slip på dem nu.

Bogen er desuden oversat og udgivet på dansk hos Gyldendal.

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Jack Thornton, 2016)

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

(Tekst fra goodreads)

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Bogen får 3 ud af 5 stjerner.

**ADVARSEL** Kan indeholde spoilers

Hvis man bevægede sig bare lidt rundt i cyberspace omkring den første august, eller i engelske gader, så ville man ikke kunne undgå at se det ene eller det andet der havde med Harry Potter at gøre. Hele verden har nærmest ventet i spænding på at få lov til at læse manuskriptet til teaterstykket der er blevet sat op i West End, London, og jeg selv var da ingen undtagelse. Så da jeg dagen efter midnatsudgivelsen, befandt mig i Oxford sneg jeg gennem de mange fanatiske unge mennesker der stod i flok omkring kassen, for også at få min kopi med hjem i tasken. Der gik dog lige en dag mere før jeg vendte de første sider, men derefter gik der heller ikke lang tid før den sidste side var vendt, og jeg endte med at sidde tilbage med en utrolig blandet oplevelse.

De første sider tager os tilbage til hvad vi kan huske, det er 19 år senere og Harry skal sende sin børn afsted til Hogwarts, hvilket vi alle kan huske fra epilogen, hvad enten vi syntes om epilogen eller ej. Og efter den første følelse af nostalgi, svandt den desværre lige så stille ind. Mange af de velkendte karaktere var der, Harry, Ron, Hermione og Ginny var stort set som man husker dem, Ron især. Allerede nu kan jeg med lethed sige at Ron altid vil være en af mine favoritter, og det blev kun slået fast i denne historie også, på trods af mange andre små detaljer der ikke stemmede overens hos mig. For når man er kommet over den første følelse af nostalgi, så går det hurtigt op for en af det er en helt anden historie. Hvilket i sig selv er helt i orden, men hvis man sad og forventede en historie som de første oprindelig 7, så vil man automatisk blive lidt skuffet.

Allerede stilen af bogen er anerledes, fordi det netop er et manuskript til et teaterstykke. Jeg er ikke i tvivl om, at hvis man ser den her historie på scenen, så vil man blive blæst omkuld. Der var flere gange jeg sad og læste scene direktioner og tænkte på hvor vanvittigt det lød, men hvor absolut fantastisk det ville se ud på scenen. Der er klart dele, der er skabt for scenens skyld mere end historiens skyld, og det er helt i orden, desværre taber det bare lidt af magien på den skrevne side. Og der vil teaterstykket komme til sin fulde ret, men efter jeg havde vendt de sidste sider, må jeg indrømme at jeg ikke længere var så forhippet på at ville ind og se stykket.

”Harry; I thought for a long time I wasn’t a good enough dad for you because you didn’t like me. It’s only now I realise that I don’t need you to like me, I need you to obey me because I’m your dad and I do know better. I’m sorry Albus. It has to be this way.”

Det bliver klart at der på sin vis er to historier at fortælle; Harrys og hans søn, Albus. Umiddelbart ville mange være mest interesseret i Harrys, for det er ham vi kender bedst til, hvor Albus bare er den nye Harry, på godt og ondt. Harrys historie blev desværre også lidt for gentagen hen af vejen. Det gode ved Harrys side af sagen er hans evige venskab til Ron og Hermione, som mit hjerte blev varmt af endnu engang selv da de var blevet voksne. For selvom deres kærlighed virker usandsynlig hos mange, så virker det bare så rigtig hos mig, og det blev slået endnu mere fast i den her historie.

Albus og hans nye bedste ven, Scorpius, som (surprise, surprise *sarkasme) er Dracos søn beslutter at tage på en ordentlig omgang tidrejser, og selvfølgelig laver de ged i den, så Harry endnu engang må redde dagen, med hjælp fra venner og familie. Den første halvdel, Part One, virkede fint for mig, historien fangede mig ikke som Harrys oprindelig historier gjorde, men det var lidt en selvfølge. Da det så kom til Part Two stod jeg desværre lidt af. Overordnet set er det en rigtig god historie. Tidsrejseaspektet fungerer som det skal, og karakterene lærer det de skal lære af deres fejl. Hvis det havde været ethvert andet univers havde jeg ikke haft noget problem. Der hvor problemet opstår hos mig, er den måde Voldemort bliver inddraget igen.

Det faktum at Voldemort rent faktisk skulle have fået et barn, er for mig helt og aldeles hen i vejret. Det ville aldrig kunne ske! Ja, undskyld, men det billede Rowling fremsatte af Voldemort, som et barn der ikke kan forstå noget som helst ved kærligheden, vil i mine øjne på ingen måde kunne få et barn, på den ene eller den anden måde. Da det kom til det punkt skred historien fra at hænge sammen som den skulle, til at det pludselig virkede som fanfiction. Selvom jeg ved det er Rowlings egen ide, så kan jeg ikke indfinde mig med det, det går stik imod min opfattelse af den evige skurk som Rowling skabte i sin tid.

Altså, på mange måder var det en rigtig god historie, og jeg nød at være tilbage i hele Potter universet, men på andre måder sprang kæden desværre. Jeg er stadig glad for at have læst den, for mit behov for at se teaterstykket faldt en smule, og jeg har derfor ikke været helt så deprimeret over at billetterne er udsolgt til langt ud i fremtiden. I starten havde jeg faktisk også givet den 4 stjerner, men efter lidt overvejelse har jeg måtte fjerne den ene, netop på grund af de ting jeg har skrevet her.

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Harry Potter and the Philospher’s Stone (JK Rowling, 2015) – Illustrated (Jim Kay)

Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy – until he is rescued by an owl, taken to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, learns to play Quidditch and does battle in a deadly duel. The Reason: HARRY POTTER IS A WIZARD!

(Tekst fra goodreads)

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Vi kender alle sammen historien om Harry Potter og hans første eventyr i den magiske troldmandsverden. Jeg tror da i hvert fald det er meget få der ikke kender til den, og hvis du er en af de få kan jeg kun anbefale at du kommer i gang med at lære Harry, og resten af hans venner, at kende. Personligt har jeg ikke tal på hvor mange gange jeg har betrådt Hogwarts genkendelige gange i selskab med Harry, Ron og Hermione, og af den grund virker Hogwarts bare som et andet hjem når man bladrer igennem siderne. Da det blev offentliggjort at bøgerne nu ville blive udgivet i illustrerede udgaver, var jeg ikke i tvivl om at de vil ende hjemme på mine hylder.

Jim Kay har gjort et fortrinligt stykke arbejde, og jeg kan stadig se en hel del af tegningerne for mine øjne. For selvom de ikke alle sammen er helt i trit med hvordan jeg selv har forestillet mig hvordan tingene ser ud, så kan jeg sagtens sætte mig ind i den tankegang Kay har gjort sig med at fremtrylle de fabelagtige tegninger. Nogle af de måske mest imponerende illustrationer er helsiderne med flotte portrætbilleder af nogle af de største (og vigtigste) karakterer. Siden med Dumbledores billede kan her nævnes som det ene, og det er simpelthen så smukt, og har de mindste detaljer med. Jeg ville næsten ønske at han var malet i shorts så man kunne få kortet af the tube med på hans knæ!

“There are some things you can’t share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them.”

Jeg vil ikke gå i for mange detaljer om selve historien fra De Vises Sten (igen, fordi jeg går stort ud fra at mange af jer læsere i forvejen kender den, og ikke har behov for at jeg genfortæller den endnu engang), men vil blot afslutte med at fortælle lidt om min læseoplevelse med denne bog. Min forventning var ikke voldsomt stor, for jeg kendte jo historien, men jeg blev alligevel utrolig positivt overrasket hvor stor virkning de flotte billeder har. Jeg læste bogen i stille og roligt tempo, ca med et kapitel om dagen, og det var ren fornøjelse. Det var simpelthen så fantastisk at fordybe sig i historien igen i det tempo. Billederne bidrog med meget mere end jeg havde regnet med, og selvom jeg endnu ikke har børn, så er jeg ret overbevist om at det er denne udgave jeg vil hive frem når mine børn skal introduceres for Harry og alle hans venner.

5 star

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Harry Potter, The Creature Vault (Jody Revenson, 2014)

Dementors and House-elves, merpeople and Chinese Fireball Dragons—these are just a few of the magical creatures and frightening monsters populating J. K. Rowling’s wizarding world. Harry Potter: The Creature Vault is a fascinating look at how this menagerie was brought to life for the blockbuster Harry Potter film series. Detailed profiles of each creature include rare concept illustrations, behind-the-scenes photography, and filmmaking secrets from the Warner Bros. archive. A removable poster picturing each of the creatures and an interactive Eeylops Owl Emporium catalog complete this must-have package.

(Tekst fra goodreads)

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Egentlig har jeg nok læst min del af Harry Potter fanbøger, men der bliver ved med at dukke så mange op hele tiden og så igen, og de bliver ved med at se lige så pæne og indbydende ud at jeg ikke kan lade være med at ville læse dem. Det var da også tilfældet med The Creature Vault, og selvom der var mange informationer jeg havde læst om i forvejen eller havde hørt omtalt i diverse medier, så var det alligevel ganske underholdende at læse om.

Det jeg syntes var sjovest eller mest interessant ved denne bog var at man fik lidt mere insider viden i hvordan alle ’håndværkerne’ har haft det med at lave alle disse skabninger. Og ud fra hvordan de beskriver det, så lyder det til at de har haft det kolo-enormt sjovt på deres arbejde.

“And so you build a fire-breathing dragon,” which he and his crew did, although he admits doing so was because he always wanted to build a fire-breathing dragon.”

Jeg syntes det var rigtig underholdende at læse om de mange tanker og ideer der er lagt i alle disse skabninger, som førhen kun befandt sig i JK Rowlings hoved. Hele processen med at få det ud først på papir og senere hen med at skabe dem så de virkede så levende som muligt. For vi må jo alle indrømme at nogle skabninger så mere livagtige ud end andre, og det bliver da også gjort tydeligt hvilke skabninger der måske er gjort størst arbejde ud af.

“Richard Harris paid the creature designers the highest compliment when he was surprised to find out that Fawkes was anything other than a live, trained bird.”

Jeg ved at der næsten er planlagt en hel serie med de her Vault bøger, og jeg indrømmer at de da ser fristende ud at komme til at have stående på hylden sammen. Men jeg kan heller ikke lade være med at tænke at det bliver lidt for meget. Jeg har trods alt den store Page to Screen bog og det er der jeg havde læst mange af de ting der stod i denne bog. Så jeg tror jeg vil nøjes med at investere i The Character Vault som den eneste udover denne, bare så jeg heller ikke går over gevind.

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Harry Potter Vinder

Datoen er udløbet og en vinder skal trækkes. 10 numre skulle der vælges imellem. Tusind tak til alle der har deltaget, jeres bidrag til alle jeres Harry Potter minder var rigtig hyggelige at læse om. Selv mindes jeg den første bog hvor min far læste den højt for min lillebror og jeg. Det var en af vores årlige kør-selv-ferier sydpå hvor vi lå på en måske lidt snusket fold-ud-sove-sofa på hver vores side, mens hans læste højt og forsøgte at give de forskellige karakterer stemmer.

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Til at trække en vinder benyttede jeg mig denne gang af random.org, og det heldige vinder nummer blev altså 10. Det vil altså sige at Simone skal ønskes tillykke.

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Endnu engang tak for deltagelsen. Bliv endelig ved med at kigge forbi, jeg garanterer for at der kommer flere konkurrencer senere hen.

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Konkurrence #03 – Harry Potter

Det er blevet tid til endnu en giveaway her på bloggen. For tiden er jeg ved at genlæse de sidste par bøger i Harry Potter serien og måske er det dem der har inspireret denne giveaway, man ved aldrig. Det er sådan at for nogle måneder siden forærede min svigerinde mig denne udgave af den første bog i Harry Potter serien. Og selvom jeg i første omgang blev rigtig glad for den, har jeg sidenhen gået og kigget lidt på den engang imellem og tænkt at den ikke rigtig passer ind med de andre bøger jeg har. Udgaverne er jo helt forskellige. Derfor har jeg besluttet at en anden heldig person skal have muligheden for at starte sin samling af Harry Potter på engelsk, og der vil jeg så gerne hjælpe med den første bog; Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Sorcerer’s Stone, som den hedder på amerikansk).

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Men for at gøre det lidt sjovere, eller hvad ved jeg, så har jeg tilføjet en lille ting til præmien. Udover bogen følger der nemlig denne super fine Golden Snitch halskæde med. Jeg faldt selv over den og følte at den måtte jeg eje. Jeg tænker at det er der nok nogle andre Harry Potter hoveder derude der også tænker.

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For at deltage i denne giveaway er alt hvad man skal gøre at følge bloggen på bloglovin’ (en fin lille knap ude til højre kan hjælpe med det) og smide en kommentar med sit bedste Harry Potter relaterede emne, det kan være et minde, citat eller hvad man nu kan komme i tanke om. Man må også meget gerne finde bloggens facebook-side og syntes godt om den, men det er ikke et krav, selvom jeg ville blive meget glad for det.

Konkurrencen/giveaway løber til og med den 20 september, hvorefter jeg hurtigst muligt vil offentliggøre en heldig vinder.

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Do You Believe in Magic?

Dette indlæg er lidt anderledes fra hvad jeg plejer at udgive. For det første et det noget jeg skrev tilbage i 2012, og for det andet har det ikke konkret noget med bøger at gøre. Men, men, det har til gengæld med Harry Potter at gøre. Dette er en kreativ instruktion til en walking-tour i London til nogle af de magiske steder der er blevet brugt i filmen. 

 

Well do you? Of course, if you’re a Muggle you probably won’t, but I’m sure you will still be fascinated by it. (At the same time, you might not be aware what a Muggle is. We, of course, know what a Muggle is, but just to clear this up; a Muggle is the ordinary people, those who cannot perform real magic like the rest of us wizards.) Because that’s the lure of magic, no matter how cynical you might claim to be, there will always be some part of magic fascinating you. You will probably still see this in this modern day of age, that people are still drawn to the mystical and magical aspects of the world and sometimes even emerge into these other realms. But of course, if you are one of those stubborn-headed Muggles, who refuse to believe in anything other than the ordinary, you should just toss this aside and continue with your daily work of sorting papers or banking or whatever you might do for a living. However, if you dare to dream, then by all means please continue reading as I attempt to uncover some hidden magic throughout the normal everyday. Because if you are one of those lucky Muggles with an open mind, you will believe in at least one type of magic; the magic of film-making and making the impossible seem possible.

In films the realistic is combined with the unrealistic and can still come across as realistic. Some people would argue that this has become easier in recent years with all the new computer technologies, which enable the creator to do out-of-this-world things. The stubborn Muggles, who are in fact so stubborn that they are still reading even though they were told not to bother, would argue that this is seen more so in the Harry Potter films, which came to its conclusion last year, 2011. However, a real wizard will recognise the real magic of the films and not just the magic behind the films. It is true that we take our departure in the realistic world only to journey along with Harry Potter to the magical world, not so far from the realistic one in the discovery of magic. Although the Muggles will have you believe in the use of CGI, us who know better still believe in the reality seen on screen. Why is that you may ask, as the reasoned Muggle you might be.

Is it because of the CGI or possibly because we start in the real (Muggle) world? Or could it be something more? Perhaps, to the ordinary Muggle, it helps that some elements of these films have places in them they can recognise from their city of London. This gives them something to hold on to before they venture into the mysterious and unknown wizarding world. To help these poor Muggles, that I assume are not reading any longer, I suggest we trace these locations and see what the mystery is about them. In order to see just how much they resemble their appearance on the big screen, and if not, then to see what the magical aspect of the place has to lure us with. I then suggest we each take on ourselves to help at least one frightened Muggle by showing them the magic that lies beyond the films; more specifically to be found at the Leavesden Studios just outside of London. But hopefully, not to scare them too much, perhaps we ought to start by slowly introducing them to these locations around London first.

Because even though Muggles are stubborn and not prone to believe in magic, they still flock to the screen for the latest instalment of the Harry Potter films to see this notion of magic in a, to them, non-existent world. But what do we suppose draw these Muggles to watch this kind of film? Because, of course, it is not only the Harry Potter films that have been able to draw in the crowds over the years. Before Harry Potter there were others, and there will certainly be others, now Harry Potter has finished. The question still remains; why?

We start of at the notion that there is no definitive answer to this, but supposedly it has to do with escaping reality. Watching any type of film, allows one to explore another person’s reality and leave your own perhaps dreary one behind for a while. It is the chance to experience something you would not otherwise achieve. Granted, of course this is all experienced second hand, but all the same it is an escape from the daily Muggle life.

So let us venture on the Muggle escape (if there are still some Muggles left reading; they are a stubborn breed) and depart on a journey in the footsteps of (albeit fictional) Harry Potter. Let us start, just like Harry, by going to Diagon Alley. This might be a nice transition for the Muggles from their world to ours. I did not succeed in purchasing a wand there, but I am sure we can rectify that along our journey somehow.

Wizard Leadenhall Market.
Leadenhall Market
Muggle Leadenhall Market.

Diagon Alley has somehow been renamed in the Muggle world, here it is known as Leadenhall Market but of course we easily recognise this from when Hagrid and Harry are discussing his list of school things for Hogwarts. It is peculiar to be in this place, that is not the real Diagon Alley but still it has so much reminiscence to the Diagon Alley we would see in the film, with its closed entity of the shops and the humble bustle of people. I suppose, it is what Diagon Alley really does look like in the Muggle world, and therefore it would only make sense to have the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron here. One difference though between the real Diagon Alley and the Muggle version would be the fact this place is much more focused around cafés and restaurants opposed to little shops. Muggles tend to centre more on food than supplies for your potions cabinet, I suppose. Let us return to the (not so much any longer) hidden entrance to the Leaky Cauldron. We see in the film, it appears as though the entrance is somewhat in a side street to the actual street where we first see Harry and Hagrid, which would make sense as we would not wish to draw too much attention to location of our Diagon Alley. As it so happens, the Muggles have a similar looking entrance located somewhat in a little alley way to Leadenhall Market. If it weren’t for the fact that it had been painted bright blue, I doubt Muggles would even notice it walking by. Of course, today many Muggles flock there for the novelty of Harry Potter, so we had to move our entrance to the Leaky Cauldron. Because of that, this first place has lost its magical appeal due to the purpose of what is today an optician shop. This optician shop has nothing what so ever magical about it, as you would connect with the magical world of Harry Potter. With that being said, it is understandable I believe, why Muggles still ‘flock’ to this place to take part in Harry’s first adventure to enter the magical world.

Wizard Leaky Cauldron Entrance.
Muggle Leaky Cauldron Entrance.
Muggle Leaky Cauldron Entrance.

But as our way of trying to keep our world hidden from these innocent Muggles, we had to move our passageway between the two worlds. We see this when we fast forward a couple of years and the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron has taken on a much darker and sinister look too. I would also say that this one is harder to find, and more ordinary-looking in the Muggle world. Today, is it covered by a floral shop and therefore there is nothing magical about it. This exterior has been kept more sinister, which might also be why people continue to seek out the first one, because it has a much happier and mysterious appeal to it, whereas this can be viewed as just a door in the wall with no real purpose behind it. But then again, that is the point of it; to appear ordinary and plain to conceal the magical world we have actually hidden behind it.

New Wizard Leaky Cauldron Entrance.
Muggle Cover up of new Leaky Cauldron Entrance.
Muggle Cover up of new Leaky Cauldron Entrance.

With the entrance to Diagon Alley disclosed, let’s move on to a place the Muggles say inspire them to the way Diagon Alley would look if they had one.

Diagon Alley.
Muggle version of Diagon Alley, in Cecil Court.
Muggle version of Diagon Alley, in Cecil Court.

Cecil Court, right of Charing Cross is nothing like our real Diagon Alley though, but I would see why they could use this place as inspiration. Walking down the little alley and really taking in the different shops one can see the inspirational factor of the place. The difference and variety of the shops, antique books, stamps, antique busts, pictures and various other curious objects have that mysterious appeal of the place and I suppose this is the kind of magic Muggles can produce on their own.

Let us stay in the Diagon Alley area though, well in the Muggle world of course. We wouldn’t want any of those Muggles discovering any of our secrets.

The Muggles are said to have a building reminding them of our Gringotts bank. They claim this is the Australia House with its large columns and grand exterior, which admittedly I see, partly copied to the Gringotts bank. Although the columns are far more crooked at Gringotts it is quite similar. Even if you were to venture inside, the giant chandelier in the centre of the room may be said to be a ‘copy’ of the one hanging in Gringotts. One might then ask what magical traits you would find at this particular place? To which I would have to say, nothing. The fact that Muggles have somewhat copied the magical world, shows how much they dream of the magic of films and magic in a general every day.

Gringotts.
Australia House.
Australia House.

Once we are finished at Diagon Alley we must, of course, hurry to catch our train from King’s Cross, the place where Harry leaves his ordinary world behind to really journey to the magical world.

Outside Muggle Kings Cross Station – with a view to the clock tower Harry and Ron flies by in the Ford Anglia in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Outside Muggle Kings Cross Station – with a view to the clock tower Harry and Ron flies by in the Ford Anglia in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Naturally we can’t have Muggles rushing back and forth between Platform 9 ¾ and the station all the time, so we have had to move that entrance as well. With all the construction going on at the place anyway we figure we might as well do some too. But still, King’s Cross gives of the feeling of people hurrying to catch their trains, though neither of these trains are old locomotives like the Hogwarts Express. To satisfy the Muggles though, we felt complied to set up a temporary Platform 9 ¾ for them to enjoy themselves with. We did not however, expect it to be such a grand tourist attraction it has become where people from all over the world come to get their candid photograph alongside with it.

The real Platform 9 3/4
Muggle Tuorist Trap.
Muggle Tuorist Trap.

Though popular, this particular addition to the station has drained the magic from it. The fake platform, we might say, has been installed to satisfy the enthusiastic Potter fans flocking to Kings Cross to get their taste of the magic. However, there is nothing magical about it because it has been so commercialized the Muggles have now made it so they can move it around the station as they see fit –due to the mentioned reconstruction.

If you were instead to imagine the station with steam engine trains all like the Hogwarts Express, you will find it to be much more like train stations from some fifty years ago, and that has a more magical appeal. The steam engine train, in turn, functions as the transition from one otherwise ordinary world to a world filled with magic.

But there are of course other ways to transition into the magical world, as Harry shows us when he boards the Knight Bus, which then crosses Lambeth Bridge and functions as another form of crossing between the worlds. Harry crosses the bridge to get from his ordinary Muggle world, to journey to the Leaky Cauldron, and thereby step into his magical world.

The Knight Nus on Lambeth Bridge.
Muggle Lambeth Bridge.
Muggle Lambeth Bridge.

But of course there is nothing special about Lambeth Bridge itself. Really, any other bridge would have done the job of letting the Knight Bus cross the river. But yet again for the film it was necessary, I believe, to have a bridge that would not steal the picture from what was actually going on, which is possibly what would’ve happened if the filmmakers had used Westminster Bridge instead. Westminster Bridge with the view of Parliament and Big Ben was used a few years later though, but only as a passing point for Harry and the Order of the Phoenix.

Parliament with wizards flying by.
Westminster Bridge and Big Ben.
Westminster Bridge and Big Ben.

It is somewhat a given that the Muggles would be fascinated by this view, we will have to give them that it is a beautiful one. And the possibilities for spectacular film-shots are many. Especially as Harry and the Order fly by at nighttime, where Parliament is lit up, which makes it look even more spectacular than it does by daylight. I would propose that ever since Peter Pan and Wendy stopped by Big Ben it has been a given that any film shot in London would at some point feature this majestically landmark, and as said, we will have to give it to the Muggles for this one.

Another of their marvellous inventions is the underground train they refer to as the Tube. We know how Mr. Weasley has his troubles with the system, and it was only Harry’s knowledge of the Muggle world that helped him through. This was at Westminster tube station, and I must say I am glad to be surrounded by Muggles when I, on very few occasions, attempt to use to the tube, to always have someone that most likely will assist me.

Westminster Tube Station.
Muggle Westminster Tube Station.
Muggle Westminster Tube Station.

Because this is a part of the Muggle world there is nothing magical about the place. This is well enough for the place, as it helps us to blend in with the Muggles, even though we might have troubles with the machinery.

As far as the films, it is only because we already know of the magic that it is there, in the presence of the characters. But without the characters there is nothing really special about the location.

The same could be said for our visitor’s entrance to the Ministry of Magic. This entrance we have to keep hidden from any curious Muggle that might come looking. So we picked a little street, Great Scotland Yard street right of Whitehall Parliament, which we thought would be well hidden behind the parking space many of London’s busses use. The entire point of this place is to appear as ordinary and plain as possible, to keep away the Muggles. Right when you get there, there is no magical appeal whatsoever about the place. Sadly we had to reconstruct the entrance once the films premiered showing their fake red phone box used to enter our Ministry, this was removed by the Muggle creative team when they had finished filming in the location. Now again, our visitor’s entrance is hidden to the Muggles, because once again, the ordinariness of the place is what this location is all about, so as to not catch the attention of Muggles.

Wizard Secret Entrance to the Ministry.
Ministry Visitor's Entrance, afterwards.
Ministry Visitor’s Entrance, afterwards.

Now that we have dealt with all of our hidden places around the city, let us turn to another more obvious location, which I fear I must apologize for the destruction of: The Millennium Bridge (though it has been rebuilt again, since our attack on it). All of this of course happened some years ago, and if you ask a Muggle today I doubt they would remember it, or most likely they will deny it ever happened. Muggles are stubborn and ignorant in that way I’m sad to say (I do hope they are not still reading, though it would be much like them).

However, a few Muggles remembered it so much they incorporated it in the film to which the director, David Yates, stated in an interview at the time:

“We’re opening with a big attack. We’ll bring a major London landmark crashing down.”

When you see the bridge, I understand why this destruction would be extraordinary to the Muggles (even though they refuse to remember when it happened the first time). Because of its building structure it would make the best scenographical display. I believe it was because of this destruction that it gives of a slight ominous feeling when you cross it these days.

Millenium Brigde, under collapse.
Muggle Millenium Bridge.
Muggle Millenium Bridge.

I realise I may not have discussed every of our hidden locations around the city, but us wizards must keep some of our secrets from the Muggles. I would however, like to point of that I chose some of the most important and iconic places, and also that would count as iconic places for the city of London, which was also part of the reasoning for selecting these particular locations. I would say I have shown you most of the places in London that you already knew about because of the Harry Potter films, which was partly the object of this little tour; to find places in and around London that was iconic both to the Harry Potter film series as well to the city of London.

(All film photos are available online, while the muggle photos are copyrighted to me, from my personal archives.)

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The Harry Potter Tag

I’ve seen this tag flurry around the web for a few weeks now, and I decided to put in some answers myself. I also decided to do them in English just because when it comes to Harry Potter I feel it belongs in English, thus my answers.

 

Favourite Book
Half-Blood Prince; I loved the fact that we got a bucket full of comedy and an ‘at-easy’ feeling before the final battle. I thought the teenage drama was just spot on all the way through and I loved Ron’s comic side coming to its fullest potential. But then again it is somewhat of a tie with Goblet of Fire too, because it was just so great with Hermione’s side-plot.

 

Favourite Movie
This one is difficult, because many of the later movies were cut so short with all the different side-plots. I actually think it would have to Prisoner of Azkaban. Though there were some changes to the overall plot in small details, I still thin it was really great and close to the book.

 

Least Favourite Book
Order of the Phoenix. In my taste it is much too serious with too much politics, and Umbridge is just plain out horrible. Considering it is supposed to be a story with/about children there were too many adult things going on in the fifth book for my taste, despite it still being a great book in the series.

 

Parts of the books/movies that made you cry *SPOILER*
I could pretty much just make a list of all the people that died throughout the series. In the books it was when Dumbledore died and then pretty much just the last half of Deathly Hallows non-stop. In the movies it was the last part of Deathly Hallows Part 2. I was just a blubbery mess after that one.

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If you could hook up with and HP character, who would it be?
I have had a soft spot for a lone time for Ron Weasley, so without a doubt I have made my choice already.

 

Favourite Character
Again Ron ranks at the top, but many of the Weasley children are on my list as well with McGonagall because of her sass and just plain awesome character.

 

What would your Patronus be?
For some reason I think an owl; for one because it’s supposed to be a smart animal, but also because of its ferocious nature at time but calm look.

 

If you could have the Resurrection Stone, the Invisibility Cloak of the Elder Wand, which would you choose?
As everyone else I would assume that I already have a regular wand in this scenario and thus I would choose the Cloak. I’m quite terrified of the Stone and if I already have a wand then the Cloak is the obvious choice.

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What House would you be in?
In my mind I’m in Ravenclaw, but as my memory serves me I think when I joined Pottermore that I was actually sorted into Hufflepuff. In some way I’d actually like it to be a combination of the two.

 

If you could meet any member of the cast, who would it be?
Hardly a question really? Emma Watson just because of how she has handled herself throughout this whole thing. But then again I adore Maggie Smith in nearly everything she does and I imagine she would be just as cool in real life as she is on the screen. Also Tom Felton seems to be a pretty cool guy in real life, honestly I can’t choose just one!

 

Have you played any of the video games?
I vaguely remember playing my brother’s Playstation at some point when the first video game for the first movie came out. But I was never any real good at it, I remember always calling for my brother to do the difficult bits. I think I just wanted to run around and casts the spells and pretend I was at Hogwarts.

 

If you were on the Quidditch team which position would you play?
I don’t really know honestly. I’m not the most sporty type so I don’t really think I would be fitting for any of the positions. I would be much better just on the ground rooting for the players.

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Were you happy with the ending?
Yes and no. Some parts I loved, some parts I was less pleased with, but that was mostly because there were still so many things unanswered that it could have been far more epilogue chapters – but then of course it would not work the same way.

 

How much does Harry Potter mean to you?
Quite a lot; like so many other people I’ve grown up with Harry Potter and am part of that generation. I can honestly say that the HP universe is a big reason why I have continued to read as much as I do. I don’t think I would have become the reading-person I am today if it weren’t for HP.

 

If you feel like you have some answers that would not be similar to mine, please feel free to share them, it’d be interesting to read/hear/see all your answers too.

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Waiting on Wednesday #037

Waiting on Wednesday er beregnet til at vise bøger frem som jeg ser frem til at læse. Det er min måde til at inspirere til andre gode læseoplevelser i fremtiden.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)

Titel: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Illustrated)
Forfatter: JK Rowling
Udgivelsesdato (forventet): 6. Oktober 2015

 

Prepare to be spellbound by Jim Kay’s dazzling depiction of the wizarding world and much loved characters in this full-colour illustrated hardback edition of the nation’s favourite children’s book – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Brimming with rich detail and humour that perfectly complements J.K. Rowling’s timeless classic, Jim Kay’s glorious illustrations will captivate fans and new readers alike.

When a letter arrives for unhappy but ordinary Harry Potter, a decade-old secret is revealed to him that apparently he’s the last to know. His parents were wizards, killed by a Dark Lord’s curse when Harry was just a baby, and which he somehow survived. Leaving his unsympathetic aunt and uncle for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry stumbles upon a sinister mystery when he finds a three-headed dog guarding a room on the third floor. Then he hears of a missing stone with astonishing powers, which could be valuable, dangerous – or both. An incredible adventure is about to begin!

 

Grund til jeg glæder mig: Det er Harry Potter og det er illustreret, hvad mere kan jeg sige?! Da jeg fandt ud af at de oven i købet laver alle bøgerne, en gang om året blev jeg bare endnu mere forhippet på at begynde at samle disse smukke udgaver. Jeg kan næsten ikke vente med at få fingrene i dem og genlæse den fortryllende historie på ny med smukke billeder.

 

Hvad glæder I jer ellers til at læse?

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