"The snowy owl — widely familiar to children as Hedwig, the beloved pet of boy wizard Harry Potter — was added to the kill list after one of them, nesting on top of a taxiway sign on an airport runway and got sucked into an airplane turbine."
“They were giving their childhood to this woman! They were starting at seven, and by the time they were sixteen they were still reading bloody Harry Potter—sixteen-year-olds, wearing wizard outfits, who should have been shagging behind the bike shed and smoking marijuana and reading Camus.” —I feel you, Alan Taylor, but you can't fight the Harry Potter Industrial Complex.
Last week, JK Rowling announced that, midway through writing the Harry Potter series, she nearly killed off Ron Weasley "out of spite." Ron isn't the first supporting character to narrowly avoid death in an author's rough draft. Here we look at some other close calls—and how those deaths would have affected the culture at large.
Four years after the publication of the final installment, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and on the day of that film's debut, Harry and all his friends—not to mention his enemies, minor acquaintances and a few of his forebears—are still leading extremely active lives online in the form of fan-made fiction and inspired media. The series has long enjoyed one of the biggest, most productive and considerably vocal fandoms on the Internet, not surprising as its publication coincided with the wider blossoming of the web.
Of course, plenty of analysis has already been recorded academically, anthropologically and pop-culturally about the phenomenon of fandom and fan-created communities. [...]
The richly imaginative details of J.K. Rowling’s fictive world, it must be admitted, are pleasurable. The hot-rod brooms, the flowing robes and flying cars, the goth Heaven of the sullen Slytherins, the snake language and the magic wands enclosing phoenix feathers or unicorn hairs, the metamorphic potions, the leaping or fizzing sweets! All these have been fully and lovingly realized in the Warner Brothers movie adaptations of the Harry Potter books, including the most recent, which is a fine-looking but completely incoherent mess with a morally bankrupt and politically repugnant story at its core.
"This is the same week where the American people have been treated to the unseemly spectacle of conservative politicians using 'racism' as a club to beat up Judge Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic American woman nominated to the United States Supreme Court. These attacks on her, as illustrated but not limited to Senator Sessions' remarks, illustrate that her questioners have no insight into their own racial formation, and deformation, in a white-dominant American society.
I highly recommend that several of these Senators go see the Harry Potter film–and better yet, read the books where the racial prejudice by some in the wizarding community is horribly illustrated."
Even if you've only seen a trailer for Skyfall, the new and very good James Bond movie, you know Javier Bardem is the villain. Instantly. It's his haircut: a meringue of floppy blond mullet, as if the hairstyles of Michael Bolton and Nicolas Cage had crept off, spent a night of torrid passion together, and this bleached muskrat was the result of their union. The style doesn't suit Bardem's face or the setting, and no self-respecting man would ever consider wearing his hair in such a fashion (nor would any Hollywood stylist allow it)—that is, unless he was evil. Pure, unadulterated, villainous evil.
It seems that possession of a terrible [...]
Summer is on its way (let's ignore this dreary spring)—and for many of us that means climbing into a car and driving for a long, long time to reach wherever our vacation is taking us to (the beach! college reunions! Chicago!). And what better distraction from an endless straight shot of highway than an audiobook? But, as anyone who has ever been stuck in a car for 13 hours with only a CD read in deadly monotone for company, not all audiobooks are created equal. To find out the best ones, we asked an assortment of folks for their favorites. Some had specific recommendations (as well as titles to stay [...]
"Two policemen are recovering after they were shot by fellow officers as they tried to arrest a man on child pornography charges outside a crowded move theatre.
"The incident happened as undercover officers tried to apprehend the unarmed man in the parking lot as he left a screening of Harry Potter in Plainville, Connecticut." —SEO DREAM CRIME. DID SOMEONE INCEPT THIS???
Emma Watson looked out of the window of Pembroke Hall onto the intersection of Angell and Prospect and watched the line of vintage jean-jacketed 20-year-olds blowing on their Americanos and clutching copies of To the Lighthouse and Of Grammatology.
It was her first day at Brown University, and she wanted to make a good impression on her classmates. The phone rang. It was Marina from the publicity office at Burberry. “Emma,” she purred. “I see there’s precipitation in Providence today.”
“I’m just wearing a plain old Mackintosh,” Emma stood her ground. “I want to look normal.”
Her roommate, a porcelain-faced graduate of Dalton and third-generation legacy, applied a tiny [...]
Also: "'It actually made me more uncomfortable,' Chris McMahon said."
There is speculation that negative reaction on Twitter hurt Bruno at the box office. The theory holds that the picture's momentum-it had a huge Friday take-was completely halted by unfavorable tweet-of-mouth. No one's sure whether the hypothesis is correct, but, hey, let's apply it to another case anyway: Will negative tweetering damage box office results for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince?
Part of a series about monsters and other scary things happening here through Halloween.
With its crisp autumn weather and golden piles of leaves and the smell of fireplace smoke on city streets, Halloween is the best time of year. Staggering beneath great stacks of costume boxes, UPS deliverymen maneuver through mazes of foam tombstones and doorways crowded with organic heirloom jack o' lanterns. Even the seasonal aisles at the corner chain drug store are worth lingering over this time of year, in a way nobody dawdles around the Eastertime merchandise or inflatable lawn pools of summer. Even the shabby costume superstore that appears for six weeks within some [...]
"The main question on my mind is, will it be any good? I’m not getting my hopes up." —Some space-filling Slate person peers into the future and predicts why J.K. Rowling's first novel for adults will not be good, based on what she feels was weak about the Harry Potter books. Oh GOD. Really? Let's just all agree on this one thing: unless you can back up your predictions with ACTUAL ASTROLOGY I am really not interested in reading reviews of books that don't yet exist.
The last Harry Potter movie is a pretty beautiful thing, just in terms of flickering pictures on the cave wall and tableaux. It's very good! As a non-Harry Potter book-reader, it wasn't even that confusing, despite its having to wrap up 10,000 plots, though I did realize halfway through that I literally had no idea why the guy with the scary face was trying to kill our hero, and vice versa. Why were they so mad at each other again? No clue! Also I was slightly frustrated that the minor characters weren't allowed to speak very much, if it all. You put Helena Bonham Carter in all that hair and [...]
Should you want to get on a giant sea vehicle named Freedom of the Seas, with a bunch of shut-ins who've come outside for the first time, awesome news! It's a Harry Potter cruise! From the press release: "Passengers will be immersed in this wizarding world at sea, which will include a Sorting Ceremony, Classes in Potions and Defense Against the Dark Arts, Wizards Chess, Horcrux Hunt, Yule Ball, Quidditch Lessons on board taught by Harry, Cedric and the International Quidditch Association, Quidditch Match on land, Team Trivia Contest, Wizards Wheel of Fortune, Charity Auction, Vendors Room and Photo Shoot. Events will only take place while the ship is [...]
I love this chart of the Harry Potter films U.S. box office. Oh and? The new one? That came out three weeks ago? It already has a worldwide gross of $755 million.