My name is Mickey Mouse
I built a house of clay
Donald duck came over and said
What the fuck let's smoke it all away

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Harry Potter (2011) [The End?]

So I went and saw the last Harry Potter. For half price no less, but exactly why that is, is a secret (if you must know you can find the answer to all your half price questions in the anarchist cookbook). And it was…underwhelming.

Note: nothing.

The movie tried to carry the message that the Harry Potter books do—that good can overcome evil through perseverance, companionship, compassion, sacrifice, and love. These are transcendent qualities, all the power to them!

There is, in such a profoundly absolute sense that no amount of well-deserved hyperbole can qualify it, nothing especially unique about the story of Harry Potter in literature or film. I don’t mean this as a criticism, exactly. There is not much that is especially unique, anywhere, ever. It’s nice when a vehicle comes along that everyone can hop on. Harry Potter is not something that needs to be understood.
Still, it feels as though there could have been more effort involved. Maybe it is extremely difficult to pretend like you exist in a land where magic is real; where it is just when the imagination dims that childhood ends. So to see the breadth of absence in the creation of the environment (I’m referring to the actor’s here, the CGI was, well…weak, but leaving that aside…) could be particularly, shocking, scarring. To want it, perhaps, to be real so badly, and to only see it constructed like a toy model, all the mystery stripped away.

There’s one dissonant part of the movie, right towards the end, that I am going to jump on. There was a rumble in the jungle of the magical world that all the moviegoers were trying to escape to.  (a side note: there were some communal laughs at different parts of the movie, particularly the one I’m about to discuss, which totally destroyed any suspension of disbelief: something absolutely crucial to the enjoyment factor of a movie like this).

When Harry is talking to Dumbledore, after he has “died” and the topic is about where Harry is, the question of mind comes up. I almost expected Harry to wake up in a mental institution. And the film does in fact suggest this, it suggests that the possibility of transcending the moral ambiguity of “magic” is farcical; the actors make a poor play of the magic.

“Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.”

If the viewer were to walk out at this point, when Harry is in, literally, limbo—between life and death—the film would end and Harry Potter would end without carrying anything, any message, any possibilities. The question of whether magic is an allegory or a metaphor falls on deaf ears. That world in the film could not possibly real, because, after all it is just a film: that Harry is able to re-enter life, after death, that he transcends the void (Christ like? Or is that too much?), is simultaneously the death of doubt (that this is all in his mind) and the life of doubt: that none of this is real—because there is no life after death outside of the film, outside of the screen. This one act, this death-defying act, twists the message Harry carries, just as it twists He Who Shall Not Be Named (which is a great name by the way).

The twirly gig ate a fig and shat out a fat pig.

The occult is more than this movie—as an end the movie is like the emptying of the well (or the closure of a book). The occult, well, I’d drink to that.

So, Nicole, on and on it goes, and where is stops nobody knows.

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