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HP Movie "Chapter-a-Day" DVD Discussion V2



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  #1041  
Old January 25th, 2010, 11:21 am
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Re: HP Movie "Chapter-a-Day" DVD Discussion V2

In my humble opinion, all the scenes of HBP falls flat like the Unbreakable Vow scene untile Slughorn's false memory, which is to say the movie starts after one hour of flat scenes...not very good.


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  #1042  
Old January 25th, 2010, 11:55 am
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Re: HP Movie "Chapter-a-Day" DVD Discussion V2

Love it, mrfutterman but I gotta say, I have a sentimental attachment to Snape telling Bella to 'put it down', only because it amuses me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FleurDeLaPointe View Post
A real chance to show something, but sadly this part was made as generic as vanilla icecream. I expected more dilapidation from the area, an actual place of squalor that matched the bitter, remorseful and dark art loving Snape, but instead he seems to be content living in the suburbs of an upper middle class area of a muggle village.
For a British viewer, the visuals of the scene spell something rather different. That foreboding, tall chimney, remnant of the Industrial Revolution: those dingy, dark terraces of little houses ... the whole scene screams Northern working class, so the visuals are absolutely spot-on for Spinner's End.

However, Yates fails to ram the point home for the vast numbers of non-UKers watching this film. Therefore I totally agree that far more should have been made of Bella's disgust and contempt for this 'Muggle dunghill', and that far more contrast should have been made between Narcissa's refined purebloodism and Snape's half-Muggle roots.

I like the scene, and all three actors ... but it needed a lot more 'oomph'.


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  #1043  
Old January 25th, 2010, 9:47 pm
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Re: HP Movie "Chapter-a-Day" DVD Discussion V2

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Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
I like the scene, and all three actors ... but it needed a lot more 'oomph'.


That's how I feel about it. Maybe there should've been a bit more tension.

I liked the Wormtail cameo, makes me laugh still that Spall came in just to open a door (and get a door slammed on him)

I liked Narcissa. I felt the pain in her voice and I thought this one scene with her was powerful. The way she said 'He's just a boy' was great.

Bellatrix and Snape were fine as usual here and I think this was a good introduction to the two of them. Having Bellatrix be the one to bring up the Vow makes her presence at the Tower seem less random aswell.

The music works well in this scene but on it's own it's boring. I wish some kind of theme for Snape would've played here. It does it's job though.

Overall a good scene with some good acting. More tension as I said before would've made it great but I really like this scene.


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  #1044  
Old January 26th, 2010, 12:44 am
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Re: HP Movie "Chapter-a-Day" DVD Discussion V2

Pearl Took wrote: "I like the scene, and all three actors ... but it needed a lot more 'oomph".

Well, I don't need any British references to see that Snape's home is in a rather lacklustre area, but I don't understand what you mean by "needing a lot more oomph".


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  #1045  
Old January 26th, 2010, 1:24 pm
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Re: HP Movie "Chapter-a-Day" DVD Discussion V2

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Originally Posted by jan74 View Post
Well, I don't need any British references to see that Snape's home is in a rather lacklustre area, but I don't understand what you mean by "needing a lot more oomph".
More emotional and dramatic 'oomph'. Helen as Narcissa is great, but she needed to be more emotional and weepy, pleading more for Draco. Bella needed to be nastier, putting more pressure on Snape, taunting him a bit more. (I like Helena's Bella, but I sometimes find it hard to take her seriously. She's like Narcissa's alternative Goth sister whereas with Book Bella you feel her implacable cruelty and obsessiveness more. Movie Bella seems to treat everything like a game.)

Snape looks positively ... wounded by Bella's taunting use of the word 'coward'. This to me was almost giving too much away (but I concede the point that perhaps a non-book member of the audience would have seen that differently). And while I would not be without the hints of humanity in Alan's Snape (he hints at the depths beneath), it would have been awesome to see more of Snape in super-cool mode, sneering about Harry and giving all the appearances of being thoroughly 'evil', as he does so convincingly in the book.

Alan's performance is so ambiguous that you can read into it anything you like. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, necessarily. Just that after we saw Snape lose it with Harry in OotP, it would have been good to see more of Snape in 'nasty' mode.

The emotions in Yates's HBP are all a bit muted. Too much British understatement.

I never thought I'd say that.


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Old January 26th, 2010, 3:39 pm
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Re: HP Movie "Chapter-a-Day" DVD Discussion V2

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Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
More emotional and dramatic 'oomph'. Helen as Narcissa is great, but she needed to be more emotional and weepy, pleading more for Draco. Bella needed to be nastier, putting more pressure on Snape, taunting him a bit more. (I like Helena's Bella, but I sometimes find it hard to take her seriously. She's like Narcissa's alternative Goth sister whereas with Book Bella you feel her implacable cruelty and obsessiveness more. Movie Bella seems to treat everything like a game.)

Snape looks positively ... wounded by Bella's taunting use of the word 'coward'. This to me was almost giving too much away (but I concede the point that perhaps a non-book member of the audience would have seen that differently). And while I would not be without the hints of humanity in Alan's Snape (he hints at the depths beneath), it would have been awesome to see more of Snape in super-cool mode, sneering about Harry and giving all the appearances of being thoroughly 'evil', as he does so convincingly in the book.

Alan's performance is so ambiguous that you can read into it anything you like. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, necessarily. Just that after we saw Snape lose it with Harry in OotP, it would have been good to see more of Snape in 'nasty' mode.

The emotions in Yates's HBP are all a bit muted. Too much British understatement.

I never thought I'd say that.
Well, I've never heard the word oomph before, it looked like a comic book expression or an abbreviation of some sort.

Actually I disagree with you about Narcissa. I think the muted performance made the emotional impact much stronger than the rather "theatrical" (for lack of a better word) version we got in the book. Having Narcissa being more muted also shows the audience her higher class background much more strongly.

I agree about Bellatrix in this scene, because the way she acted was overdone. The way she's sneaking around and whispering seems very affected and out of place.

With Snape I find it too be more 50-50. His actual performance I find superb, but I agree that the scene could have been extended a little to show more of his total register and how he presents himself as a supporter of the dark side.
Still we have seen a lot of the sneering Snape before, it's very interesting to see another angle to him in this film, just like we get another view of Malfoy.

And by the way I love how they use understatement in this film It seems like one of several conscious decisions to differentiate the film from OoTP.


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  #1047  
Old January 26th, 2010, 4:12 pm
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Re: HP Movie "Chapter-a-Day" DVD Discussion V2

Quote:
Actually I disagree with you about Narcissa. I think the muted performance made the emotional impact much stronger than the rather "theatrical" (for lack of a better word) version we got in the book. Having Narcissa being more muted also shows the audience her higher class background much more strongly.
Yes, but in the book (I hate to begin a sentence like this, but in this case I must!) we know everything about Narcissa, when it comes to the this scene, because we fans read about her in GoF, we read paragraphs about her in the HP lexicon, or Potter Wiki, and thousands of fanfictions, and in the HBP book there's a very intense dialogue between her and her sister Bella, establishing who's who, even for a casual reader.
A casual viewer instead just sees: 'Oh...Alan Rickman, Tim Burton's wife and a X blondie, wait is she blonde? in a library, what the heck are they talking about?'
That's why we need real drama!


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  #1048  
Old January 26th, 2010, 4:52 pm
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Re: HP Movie "Chapter-a-Day" DVD Discussion V2

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Originally Posted by KlausBaudelaire View Post
Yes, but in the book (I hate to begin a sentence like this, but in this case I must!) we know everything about Narcissa, when it comes to the this scene, because we fans read about her in GoF, we read paragraphs about her in the HP lexicon, or Potter Wiki, and thousands of fanfictions, and in the HBP book there's a very intense dialogue between her and her sister Bella, establishing who's who, even for a casual reader.
A casual viewer instead just sees: 'Oh...Alan Rickman, Tim Burton's wife and a X blondie, wait is she blonde? in a library, what the heck are they talking about?'
That's why we need real drama!

Yes. When Bella and Narcissa are walking through the streets you just don't know who the hell are they, so all their talk about trusting Snape or not falls flat.

Another thing I miss in this scene is a moment for Snape to declare his devotion for the Dark Lord and establish his allegiance. I don't know if you really get that Snape is (seems to be) one of the bad guys.

Also, does every viewer know who "Draco" is?


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  #1049  
Old January 26th, 2010, 7:05 pm
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Re: HP Movie "Chapter-a-Day" DVD Discussion V2

That's why a match cut from the newspaper "Lucius Malfoy Imprisoned!" and "Wife and Son leave court" to Narcissa's face in the muggle street, would have brought non-readers up to speed.

Basic storytelling.


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Old January 26th, 2010, 7:19 pm
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Re: HP Movie "Chapter-a-Day" DVD Discussion V2

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Originally Posted by KlausBaudelaire View Post
Yes, but in the book (I hate to begin a sentence like this, but in this case I must!) we know everything about Narcissa, when it comes to the this scene, because we fans read about her in GoF, we read paragraphs about her in the HP lexicon, or Potter Wiki, and thousands of fanfictions, and in the HBP book there's a very intense dialogue between her and her sister Bella, establishing who's who, even for a casual reader.
A casual viewer instead just sees: 'Oh...Alan Rickman, Tim Burton's wife and a X blondie, wait is she blonde? in a library, what the heck are they talking about?'
That's why we need real drama!
Hmm, I wouldn't pretend to know what the casual viewer sees, but what I know is that most directors of blockbusters overdo the exposition to the point of being tedious. Also at this stage the film makers shouldn't care at all about those viewers who haven't seen the previous films, or at least the last two. I make exceptions for quick artistic flashbacks like the ones at the start of the film.

I agree that Narcissa hasn't been seen for a while (Bellatrix most people would remember), so she might not be recognized at first. However it's quickly established that they are talking about Draco, and then it shouldn't be difficult even for a non-book viewer to add two and two (who Narcissa is I mean).

As an example my oldest sister had no problems understanding what they were talking about, though, and although she likes Harry Potter, has read a few of the earlier books and is not just someone who's in the theatre because she's been dragged by a friend, her memory isn't particularly good.

I think this scene could have been extended a little to show more interaction, yes, and show more of Snape. But I don't think the audience need to be told everything at once, when you can unfold the story more gradually.


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  #1051  
Old January 26th, 2010, 10:10 pm
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Re: HP Movie "Chapter-a-Day" DVD Discussion V2

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Hmm, I wouldn't pretend to know what the casual viewer sees, but what I know is that most directors of blockbusters overdo the exposition to the point of being tedious. Also at this stage the film makers shouldn't care at all about those viewers who haven't seen the previous films, or at least the last two. I make exceptions for quick artistic flashbacks like the ones at the start of the film.
There's a minimization of exposition via visuals and sometimes there's just a whole bunch of nothing. This scene was the latter. It's a shame though, it's almost like Yates actually read into the whole "mystery" and "crypticness" of who or what the Half Blood Prince was, but improperly applied being "tight lipped" about it here. Snape's usual on screen wit is lacking which lead me to conclude that Rickman was just phoning it in most of the film and perhaps Yates shouldn't have applied the hush hush to every single aspect of the film.

Granted I've always been a supporter of minimal exposition, this amount is pretty ridiculous. It's like someone's trying to connect the dots with a basting brush and the lightest touch, even though their intention means well, it's clumsy.
Quote:
I think this scene could have been extended a little to show more interaction, yes, and show more of Snape. But I don't think the audience need to be told everything at once, when you can unfold the story more gradually.
Sometimes there's being able to unfold gradually and just missing key points entirely.


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  #1052  
Old January 26th, 2010, 11:00 pm
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Re: HP Movie "Chapter-a-Day" DVD Discussion V2

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Hmm, I wouldn't pretend to know what the casual viewer sees, but what I know is that most directors of blockbusters overdo the exposition to the point of being tedious.
I can't think of any examples. Most blockbusters, in my experience, hit the ground running - and keep running. Star Trek is a good example. What tedious exposition did that film include? Besides, no-one on here seems to be advocating loads of exposition. What some of us are advocating is good clear storytelling. How difficult would it have been to cut from Narcissa's face in the newspaper to Narcissa's face in the street? Or to have the camera close enough so that we know who is saying what to whom?


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Old January 26th, 2010, 11:04 pm
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Re: HP Movie "Chapter-a-Day" DVD Discussion V2

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Or to have the camera close enough so that we know who is saying what to whom?
I'm quite sure that dialogue between Narcissa and Bella is dubbed, their mouths are even hard to see under those hoods.


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  #1054  
Old January 27th, 2010, 2:25 am
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Re: HP Movie "Chapter-a-Day" DVD Discussion V2

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I'm quite sure that dialogue between Narcissa and Bella is dubbed, their mouths are even hard to see under those hoods.
DUBS? DUUUUBS? OMG POLYJUICE POSHUNS! Sneaky...and innovative! Yates you've done it again.


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  #1055  
Old January 27th, 2010, 10:48 am
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Re: HP Movie "Chapter-a-Day" DVD Discussion V2

Previous Chapter Posts:
Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3
Chapter 4



At last the movie starts to crawl towards something at least mildly intriguing. The visit to the joke shop was a necessary evil, they're far too afraid of the fans to cut this out, though aside from Fred and George pestering Ginny about her boyfriend, it doesn't do much else, I suppose Lavender and Cormac appeared briefly. Plenty of callbacks here though, the Umbridge toy with voiceover, the Hungarian Horntail cooking the chestnuts (they're getting they're moneys worth out of that CGI model), and once we get out of the shop, Ollivander's is commented on. Now, I will give Yates some credit here, he managed to capture the deserted Diagon Alley quite well, and the sequence where they spy on Draco was well shot, the little moment with Greyback was very good. Still, we're about 20 minutes in, and the movie hasn't really set up anything approaching a dramatic premise. Yes, Draco seems to like stroking cupboards, but nothing has really been highlited as MAIN PLOT. That doesn't happen for another 20 minutes.

Any other business:
  • Dreadful delivery from the twins on their '10 galleons' bit. Totally messed up the joke.
  • Instead of using Track 6 'Wizard Wheezes' over this scene, they inexplicably use OOTPs 'Fireworks'. The first of several times where they cheapen out with the score.


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Old January 27th, 2010, 10:53 am
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Re: HP Movie "Chapter-a-Day" DVD Discussion V2

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I can't think of any examples. Most blockbusters, in my experience, hit the ground running - and keep running. Star Trek is a good example. What tedious exposition did that film include? Besides, no-one on here seems to be advocating loads of exposition. What some of us are advocating is good clear storytelling. How difficult would it have been to cut from Narcissa's face in the newspaper to Narcissa's face in the street? Or to have the camera close enough so that we know who is saying what to whom?
It's a long time since I've seen anything of Star Trek, but what I've seen I have liked.

Hellboy I is a good example of a big film with quite an amount of exposition as well as cliched character interaction. There are many other films with the same faults, but I prefer not to dwell on them. What I know is that Rowling's major fault as I see it is a tendency to use too much exposition, so how to handle this will always be a challenge for the director.

I'm not going to argue about this ad nauseam, because I see that this scene could have been better or more interesting if they extended it a little. Your suggestion of guiding the audience from one scene to another is of course one way of making sure that we understand who Narcissa is right away.

My point was rather that not everything has to be understood at once, it doesn't make the scene weak just because some things are revealed later in the scene or left unexplained. I like to use my own imagination when seeing a film and therefore what is perceived as good and clear storytelling by one person will often be too formulaic in my book. It depends very much on the mix of the theme, the characterization and acting as well as the cinematography.


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  #1057  
Old January 27th, 2010, 11:32 am
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Re: HP Movie "Chapter-a-Day" DVD Discussion V2

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I like to use my own imagination when seeing a film and therefore what is perceived as good and clear storytelling by one person will often be too formulaic in my book. It depends very much on the mix of the theme, the characterization and acting as well as the cinematography.
Well, it's like putting together a mess of words without any logical sense, and expecting someone to understand that it's a sentence.

Anyway, I can't understand for the life of me why the WWW was even there, as yoshi pointed out, they were to afraid to cut this to upset the fans, but honestly who cares about talking toys?
We have plenty of them in the Muggle World.
This is proof that when you shoot a scene as if it was a book chapter you get...this.
Even the '10 galleons' joke fell flat on the big screen, and what's worst the scene daes not bring the movie on.
The Instant Darkness Doom could be introduced in another way, or just have Harry use his Invisibility Cloak to hide in Draco's compartment.
If Yates didn't want to upset the fans by cutting book parts, well then why cut the scene in Madam Malkins in favour of this?
At Madam Malkins happened three interesting things:

a) Draco calls Hermione 'Mudblood', so we are reminded that the Wiz World is slip in half, and in the HBP!film everyone seems to forget this. The racism is completely lost.

b) Narcissa kicks some serious **s by having an angry talk with Harry, and is finally introduced properly as Draco's mother: some real drama!

c) HeRon and Harry vs Narcissa and Draco, how could it not be a pleasure to watch? it even foreshadows the Malfoy Manor scene, and we're reminded by Narcissa that Sirius is dead, you remember Sirius right? That guy everybody was afraid of two films ago.

So, what I don't understand is why Yates lost a powerful scene in favour of this, is it just the visual appeal of some talking toy?


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  #1058  
Old January 27th, 2010, 1:05 pm
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Re: HP Movie "Chapter-a-Day" DVD Discussion V2

I dislike this chapter. Firstly, I find the Joke shop sequence painfully unnecessary. The twins are bad, Lavender and Cormac's cameos are sweet but forgettable, and Harry's eavesdropping of Ginny saying she's with Dean Thomas isn't pronounced enough, perhaps he should've appeared more curious - shyly asking Ron/Hermione, how long they've been an item or something. Harry is just so passive throughout the movie.

And frankly, where's the dread? The street just seems abandoned, a few weeks ago it was attacked by Voldemort's forces who could return at any moment!

Why is there no fear? Why is Harry allowed to wander around Diagon Alley unprotected? Voldemort is supposedly out in the open. But the film never suggests genuine terror of this.

A dozen more wanted posters plastered around the walls could be a nice idea; suggest something frantic and crazed about people's behaviour now V has returned. Perhaps show an Auror or two, have Hermione comment on them being stationed there to keep an eye on Harry most likely, a few "CURFEW" signs around the place to suggest actual tension.

The scene just doesn't emote anything to me, because the characters so lamely walk through it.



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  #1059  
Old January 27th, 2010, 1:41 pm
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Re: HP Movie "Chapter-a-Day" DVD Discussion V2

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Why is there no fear? Why is Harry allowed to wander around Diagon Alley unprotected? Voldemort is supposedly out in the open. But the film never suggests genuine terror of this.

A dozen more wanted posters plastered around the walls could be a nice idea; suggest something frantic and crazed about people's behaviour now V has returned. Perhaps show an Auror or two, have Hermione comment on them being stationed there to keep an eye on Harry most likely, a few "CURFEW" signs around the place to suggest actual tension.

The scene just doesn't emote anything from me, because the characters so lamely walk through it.
That's really interesting! I never thought about that before, but that would have been great. I totally forgot that Harry was guarded during most of this scene in the book. Would have been great to see Hagrid there.

I actually really like this scene. It is definitely an eye-opener. Makes you look around, in hopes that you don't mess everything.

My favorite part of this scene is the introduction of Cormac. It's quite funny, and I laugh every time I see it.

Other then the forementioned fact that I would have loved if there was just a bit more... eerieness in this scene, I really like it.


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Old January 27th, 2010, 5:33 pm
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Re: HP Movie "Chapter-a-Day" DVD Discussion V2

The Weasley Twin shop was a scene I liked quite a lot on my first viewings. As times passes it doesn't hold the same attraction anymore, but I cannot say that it annoys me either. I agree with Yoshi that it was a bad idea to replace "Wizard Wheezes" with "Fireworks", as the former fits the scene better and is less repetitive.

As others have mentioned the joke shop scene actually includes and introduces a number of different things. Its main function is the continuation of the teenage romance theme and comedy, which Yates decided would have a markedly more noticeable place in this film than in OoTP, partly to balance the feelings of sadness and hopelessness in other parts.

The last part of the scene, with the walk through the alley and spying on Draco I still enjoy very much. I particularly like how the deserted Diagon Alley is shot and the lighting of the shop with the dark artefacts (was it called Borgin and Burkes?). The music which plays when they look down from the top of the roof was very suggestive - does anyone which track this is?

I have never thought of HBP as having one MAIN plot. The film is consciously structured around several major plotlines and characterization, all of which are essential to the film as a whole. This is different from the structure of the book which almost uniquely focuses on Harry's point of view and is coloured very much by his tendency towards obsessive thinking and behaviour. (I haven't forgotten the horcruxes, but that's mainly exposition).


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