HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS/PART I
FILE UNDER: CRACKULA MEETS DUMBLEDORE !!
. . . UNDESIRABLE No. 1 – GHOST OF NANCY PAST – AKA CRACKULA – WANTED . . .
CONTACT THE MINISTRY OF MAGIC IMMEDIATELY IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION . . . . CONCERNING HER WHEREABOUTS.
FAILURE TO REPORT WILL RESULT IN IMPRISONMENT. REWARD 10,000 GALLEONS
wow – “these are dark times – there is no denying . . ”
straight up from the intro – we are off and running . . .
and for love-starved, action-starved artists of all kinds – the magic literally begins with the first title graphics. the letters – grow large and eerie – rusted old iron gates – and we are inside the action and transported right up – onto the big screen – ourselves – before we knew it. talk about absolutely thrilling, perfectly calibrated animation. nice fonts, too. the whole production ticks this way – brilliant, and subtle. fire on the lowdown. it almost plays out in black and white – as the fingers of evil, entwine their clammy little paws – around your throat.
helping make this, the 7th in the series – esp earmarked for visual artists – are the huge horizontal screenshots of unbelievably breathtaking mythical British landscapes – and the gorgeous light that subtly changes from day to night, and flickers – albeit with an eerie cold heart – from season to season. a shout out has to go to EDUARDO SERRA – the film’s Director of Photography. in fact this is the first film in the beloved franchise – to take our 3 heros away from Hogwarts and its familiar surroundings. in fact Hogwarts is never seen, Dumbledore is referenced but with growing conflict and doubt, and so – the film casts its spell in a whole new realm of sets, and mind-sets !! this is esp powerful and haunting – as it lets the 3 young Brits – Danile Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint – who we’ve watched grow up – through the series – really ‘grow’ into, or ‘become’ as they say – the fictional characters who may have taken over their real lives, or is that visa versa . . . hard to say. what’s most def – is that their new dynamics still hold forth on the big screen, larger than life – and most magically telling the story. Daniel Radcliffe’s Harry has become more of a nerd !!
trying to become more of man-boy and less of a wizard. but still just as intuitive. and ready to go for it. all. Hermione Granger is just awesome. Emma Watson, even . . . Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander – brilliant as she is – has nothing on you. where you walk in the film – there goes my heart – on tiptoes of fear. and Rupert Grint – oh my god – what a hunk, Ron Weasley grew up to be !! of course Alan Rickman scores as the dark Severus Snape, and Brendan Gleason, is the sad Mad-Eye Moody – straight out of Mad Max – or Brooklyn’s own Black Label tall bike club – whichever comes first to your mind – who gets knocked out pretty much from the get-go. does that guy remind of me – of the Enger bros – or what ? kind of a twisted out made evil but good – version of a midwestern Army brat – gone underground and highly skilled – who likes to party hard – gone batty and mad – but brilliant, street-wise and military hardened.
. . . but my absolute fav is the long haired – straight to his shoulders, white-haired and gorgeous – RHYS IFANS – as the new character – XENOPHILIUS LOVEGOOD, the father of the moonstruck for real – Luna, who else ? what a name . . . what a brilliant stroke of casting. absolutely eccentric, creative, revealing, and deceiving – it is he – whom the whole story turns on . . . at this point. we first meet him at the wedding . . . where is just slightly dwelt on – as the father of Luna. but turns out his was wearing the symbol – yes, the code !! – a circle within a triangle with a line through the middle – the symbol of the DEATHLY HALLOWS – as a charm on a chain – around his very neck.
p.s. talk about production details – for artists – not just kids – there is a credit to GUCCI – “for letting the filmmakers base Fleur’s wedding dress – on the work of ALEXANDER McQUEEN” !! I thought there was something unearthly and absolutely fashion-forward happening there – as soon as I saw it . . .
p.s.s. Luna makes some small talk at the wedding – that would make many a gallery-goer blush !!
did I mention – he is also an editor !!
yes, Xenophilius Lovegood – is the editor of THE QUIBBLER an “underground publication that bravely champions Harry . . .” and in their search for the answer to the code – of the DEATHLY HALLOWS – that they remember as the pendant he wore around his neck – Harry, Ron and Hermione journey to his house. another great part of the visual impact of the film – are these ghostly eccentric patchwork houses conjured up on lonely moors – where we are treated to the detailed chaos of a creative mind – a storehouse of fable and witchery – gone the more crazy as we are to learn – by the dark side – suits if suits were bad wizards – who have kidnapped his precious Luna. oh no. oh yes !!
there is his early century printing press on the tumbling-in topsy-turvy ground floor – the walls lined with art work by Luna. (the equally magical in real life too,we suspect – EVANNA LYNCH. yep. real name . . in fact I believe it was she who wrote the winning essay – in a contest to gain a role in the film – and thus: Luna Lovegood – comes to life most strangely, is it not) . . . but, back to Xenophilius – did I mention – several people have already told me – his hand knit garments, some patched and most creative to say the least – and esp his knit fringed overcoat – reminded them of my handiwork – 0 what a babbler. and he is one too. not just an editor and writer. keeper of secrets. champion of good. he draws.
. . . he draws and explains the code – with a nib pen in ink – the symbols. the magic symbols of the Deathly Hallows and it is he – who opens the way for the most beautiful animation almost ever – the fable of the Deathly Hallows – itself – the ancient tale of three men who try to cheat death. done in animated hand puppets – ala Kara Walker – if she hadn’t already mined the genre – the invisibility cloak being the most sublime graphic to come to mind, almost forever . . . while all the while – seeping tea in pots without water – he is thinking that when push comes to shove – Harry Potter aside – justice does just trickle down to him, and beloved lost Luna. his daughter.
the very last thought: XENOPHILIUS LOVEGOOD – the very first blogger !!
if I ever did see one – weren’t those guys who ran the early one-man printing presses – bloggers ? come on. yes, they were.
and he drew. and he told stories. and made tea. and held keys to secret codes !! not to mention wore hand-knit eccentric one-of-a kind pieces !! and had a talented lovely daughter he loved and doted on – to no end.
(hope Kate doesn’t read this. don’t tell her I said so.)
how great that J.K. Rowling – let this guy wear so many hats !!
and that long white hair – is so divine – I think he’s gonna start a trend . . . oh how I yearn to change my name from Smith to Lovegood – though it’s close. Brit like. and all.
but, what do you think – should I change artlovers for . . . . THE QUIBBLER, or what !!
so o.k. – long story short:
action junkies and young men, even older men film reviewers, I’ve found – might find the telling a tad extended, and maybe too intense – “get me to the finale” !! the big face-off.
but, anybody with even half-an0artist in their souls – will be lost spellbound . . . up to the very last blood drop. if not even the very last font of the closing credits.
and oh yeah. I did see two quilts in the movie !! yes. real antique ones – a testament to the great and ingenious British handicraft tradition that came with the very first wave of colonists to
populate our country of USA. the first was an old patchwork bed quilt – looked to ca. colonial times – a tiny diamond pattern – kind of genre we call – postage stamp. the othr was a victoan era Crazy quilt.
and I liked the music too. just brooding enough. chilly and underplayed, yum . . . here’s a final and closing shout-out to the movie’s composer – ALEXANDRE DESPLAT.
the whole production team & esp the animators and graphic artists, set designers. you name it, they did it.
all pix – generated from the official HARRY POTTER WEBSITE.
yep, look around – you too, can make an interactive WANTED poster !!
archival photo of NANCY SMITH – ENEMY No. 1: copyright NANCY SMITH