Oct 10 2007, 5:02am
And I NEED a good laugh right now...
You'd be amazed, reading the Comments boards on Mugglenet, how many people do NOT want even Cuaron. They all want Chris Columbus back!
And for the very reason that Films 1 and 2 followed the books *exactly* and had that "whimsical" feel. They're disturbed that the films are getting too much like our world and don't feel "magical." HELLO! Columbus is a "kiddie" director! Or at least that's his specialty. And not even multi-layered stories, but stuff like "Home Alone"--still his signature piece.
You try to tell people that after Book 4 things pretty much go to hell in the Wizarding World and how do you expect Mr. "Home Alone" to direct "The Cave" scene from Half-Blood Prince, or Chapter 36 in Deathly Hallows (i.e. "Harry's walk through the forest" /a.k.a WHERE WE ALL DEGENERATE COMPLETELY INTO SLOBBERING WRECKS)..and they still vent on silly mundane things like the kids wearing regular clothes instead of robes! I kid you not.
People, as a hardcore HP fan, I have to tell you that we LOTR fans are meek and mild. The HP fanworld is 100 TIMES WORSE. Honest to God, you have no idea. I'm even prepared to say they're worse than 30 yrs of Star Wars fans, and I'll take my boxing gloves off for that.
Book 6 would be a challenge for any director. With the exception of a wedding in the early chapters where ther'es some great one-liners regarding Harry's 17th birthday, the whole darned book is a tragedy from start to finish. There is absolutely NO humor or comic relief at all. At least in LOTR you could take Gimli's few humerous lines and expand in it and rewrite his character, but in DH, not only does one of the series's key "comic relief" characters die a gruesome, "on-camera": death, we are treated to the torture of his funeral. I'm avoiding names in the unlikely event that there are still people who haven;t read it.)
Ok...It's late, I'm tired and stressed out, and when I'm tired and stressed out my Irish gets up and I dissolve into floods of words. It's the James Joyce disease ("if he didn't write it all down he would have talked it all out in a pub") . I'm trying not to make my posts 12 miles long.
Cuaron would suit Film 6 better than he did Film 3, paradoxically, because the overwhelming dark themes of corruption, betrayal, totalitarianism, and untimely death, as well as fear of untimely death, need to be the main focus and any insistence on "regional aesthetics" would only distract from the tale. Yes, of course, it needs to be grounded in English culture etc but in this film, a de-emphasis on the mannerisms etc would detract from the grandeur of the tale. Yes, we know the time and place, but that's all we need to know. We have to be taken out of Britain and made to fel that we could be anywhere. These kids are adults now and there's no longer as self-conscious a need to focus on the culture...or it should be secondary, a backdrop.
As far as Yates goes...I love his style, but his composer left something to be desired. The absence of a strong dramatic score really was the one really bad thing. These are epic stories that deserve an epic score. There were a couple lovely, understated cues when Harry talks to Sirius, but other than that, and the "posession" scene--which had me excited for people were comparing it to "The Breaking OF The Fellowship" , it's nowhere near that; if SHORE had scored that fight!) the score was a huge disappointment. You don;t need John Williams to have a wonderful score--whoever did the score for Film 4 (I always forget his name) would be great. The music he wrote for the ball and Harry's loneliness (think meeting Cho in the owlery )is just gorgeous. Listen to it over the closing credits.
Yates's composer (it's the guy who worked on TV scores for him, and he still sounds like a TV composer) ..I have doubts if he can pull off such dramatic scenes as "The Cave", any of the epic Dickensian Pensieve flashbacks, or the death of Dumbledore....which really *IS* a "Breaking Of The Fellowship" moment...that scene must have been inspired literarily by Boromir's drawn-out death. And when you think about it, after what we learn about Dumbledore in DH, the analogy is perfectly apt. Dumbledore is just as conflicted and "gray" a character as Boromir and even if he chose to die, his death is not so much a tragedy as a penance and redemption.
Book 5 was the longest and most difficult to adapt, and except for the criminal truncation of "Snape's Worst Memory" (we don't even *see* LIiy, let alone her not speaking!) Yates did the best job possible. There are some things that he never could have anticipated (Dobby''s role, which foreshadows his riole in DH) Though the absence of Lily is really going to pose problems. There was a strong "Snape Loves Lily" camp before DH came out, and we knew it would prove important to the overall plot of the HP storyline; and so it turned out...Lily is even more important than we thought, and that chapter in Book 5 turns out to be the most important chapter of the first 6 books. It's like "The Shadow Of The Past", I often compared it to when reading that chapter. Yates is a good learner, he has done an admirable job of adapting to film;I have no doubt that hewill handle Slughorn, the Pensive, and the romantic interplay perfectly. but we need an experienced helmer, a master of the epic cinematic medium, for DH, for that extra touch. DH needs to be an Oscar-worthy work, even if everyone nows it will not be nominated.
PJ would be great of course, but I fear that he would be tempted to insert a little humor into the story. And as he has said he does not like magic as a whole, he would try to cut out things like Dobby as much as possible, and focus on the Muggle-like aspects of the Wizarding world. But I guess the main reason I want Cuaron is that, from watching the POA DVD extras, I get the feeling that he is the only one of the HP directors who, like PJ with LOTR, is a genuine fan of the books. That is what has been missing with all the HP films except POA: (though GOF had its brilliant moments) a genuine sense that the director loves his subject and is passionate about realizing it onscreen. All the others, even Yates (as much as he professes to having fallen in love with Jo's world) I get the feeling that they're latecomers to the bandwagon who are just slogging it out.
Cuaron was just as new to the books as his predecessors were, but he read all three and in his sense of adventurousness, his playfulness, and the raw emotion that shows onscreen, as well as his subtle cinematic references that let the viewer know that we are in a Great Story (refing "Citizen Kane" in the Leaky Cauldron! the shot where Harry looks down through the window onto the train station) are a step beyond the others. Just as PJ did with LOTR he expanded and fleshed it out a bit, and that adds to the tale. And the flow of POA, there is a delicate, lyrical sensibilty that contrasts with the "big" moments, a gatheirng both of light and dark, and the humor in just the right place. Even if he isn't always on the mark, nine times out of ten he hits it. His onscreen invention of Lupin made me fall absolutely in love with a character I mostly passed over in the book, though I felt sorry for him., it took David Thewlis's depiction to make me love the character.