Saturday, July 18, 2009

Goodnight Harry

By Keith Fisher
I Saw, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince on Tuesday night. My daughter and I stood/sat in line for the midnight showing on opening day. It was our daddy/daughter date, and I wanted her to have the experience of being in an opening night movie.

We left about ten-thirty, thinking we would be first in line. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. When I turned the corner into the Riverwoods development, the sheer numbers of humanity shocked us. Finding a parking space wasn’t easy, but at least we didn’t have to go to borders.

People lined the building. They extended into the parking lot and up the street. The theatre worker on the corner asked us what time our tickets said. I told him, and he directed me to the line up the road.

By the time they let us inside, there was no rhyme or reason to the lines. They picked a line and started with them. Yeah, you guessed it---we were last. Theatre assignments were given according to ticket show time. We walked into our theatre, and all the seats were taken. We sat in the middle, on the extreme front row.

I watched conversations happen with Harry on one side of the screen, and Ron on the other. I literally had to turn my body to watch the other one say his bit. It gave a whole new meaning to the term, following a conversation.

So how was the movie? You ask. After the last two movies and all they had to leave out in the translation from book to movie, I thought they would make the last books into two movies each. There was a ton of relevant stuff left out. I wonder how anyone, who hasn’t read the book, could follow the movie. Also leaving out scenes that touched our hearts in the final pages of the book was lame. I hope they show us those scenes at the beginning of the next movie.

I’m told they did The Deathly Hallows in two movies and I’m glad. I just wish they had done that in earlier movies.

As for the film, it’s nice to see another one. But I suspect the die-hard fans will be disappointed. The cheers and applause was deafening when the movie started. When it was over, surprisingly little applause could be heard. I heard a few disparaging remarks mostly about scenes that were missed.

As for standing in line at midnight to see a movie, I think I’ll grow up. I say, “Goodnight harry. I’ll watch you at a better time.” Although it was fun to listen to the college kids talk. I learned about how to write characters of that age. As a younger man, I stood in line for many a Star Trek premier. I loved the movies (I think), because I hadn’t read a book before. Maybe those who didn’t read will love the movie.

Personally, I got more out of the television special about JK Rowling a couple of days later. It showed (a little) of what it’s like to be an author. However, I wish they’d shown the edit/rewrite process, and how painful that can be. The program gave the impression that writing is a piece of cake when it’s really a lot of hard work. I did see something that touched me, and I will end this blog on that note.

The show was a collection of clips taken over the year in Rowling’s life when she was finishing Deathly hallows. They took sequestered video that would not be released until after the release of the book. There was a scene when we saw her finishing edits on the final pages. Non writers would think she was writing the book, but they showed us her computer screen, and I noticed she added sentences and took things out.

When she finished the last edit. She turned to her interviewer and smiled. She said it’s done and immediately grew sad. Her thoughts were about those who would not like it. Try as she might, she couldn’t please everyone.

There are many lessons to be learned by that. One I would point out is we can’t expect everyone to like our book. There will be some that just don’t get it, but if we listen to our characters and write what we feel, it will be as it should be.

Good luck with your writing---see you next week


Tristi Pinkston said...

Very true.

Deborah said...

It's also hard to say good bye to the characters you have poured your heart into. They become real people. It's like a real separation.

Karlene said...

My DH and I went Saturday morning, first showing. There was no line. We got our pick of seats. The theater wasn't even half filled. A few families with younger kids, a lot of couples, almost no teens.

I liked the movie okay. It's so hard to convert a story with so many characters and sideplots, etc. to the screen.

My DH who had not read the book said he wondered if Dumbledore was really, uh, you know, the thing that happened at the very end. But he followed it okay.

He also guessed correctly about Snape's goodness/badness. I think the movie gave more clues than the book.

Karlene said...

Oops. I meant, Friday morning.

L.T. Elliot said...

I love Harry Potter. I've read many, many books in my day (a benefit of speed reading) and yet I am always brought back to this series. The emotion is something unparalleled. These characters are beloved friends. While it is always fun to see them on screen, I still like them best in the confines of my imagination. What a truly magnificient artist J.K. really is.

Terresa said...

We can't please everyone and would probably die trying and drive ourselves crazy in the process...oh, that goes for writing, too. :)

I enjoyed the last HP movie, but was sad about the points in the movie that strayed from the book. As I always say, the book is **always** better than the movie.