Joe L. presented North by Northwest today. The students had some questions for him before the movie covering his long and illustrious career reviewing films. Joe has been at it for more years than the students have been alive. He even has a book out called Guide to Essential Movies You Must See: If You Read, Write About, or Make Movies. It gets four stars on Amazon.com.
The question was posed about which movie that had made a lot of money did he just not like or understand why it had made so much. It was a convoluted message that made sense at the time. When he mentioned the first Harry Potter film, there was an audible gasp from some of the kids on the back two rows. He then pivoted when reminded of the Twilight films, so Harry Potter was saved for all in the lecture.
Personally, I love the set design and art design for the Harry Potter films. They are also great ways to cure insomnia. If I can’t sleep, I just need to turn on a Harry Potter film and I’m out like a light before the opening credits. Harry is a child of privilege who is never truly in peril. The knowledge of the number of books in the series and the intention of the filmmakers to shoot all of the books is sort of a give-away that nothing is going to happen to Harry until book 7. And, oh, nothing does. There is manufactured danger, but you know it will be resolved by the end of the film only to have its return be hinted at in the close. Sure come characters are killed, but they are killed only because of the gross incompetence and pig headedness of the adults in the pictures. I’m sure there is a metaphor or two in the movies or the original books, but I just don’t care enough to even look for the meaning. Sure, you could say that the continued refusal of the faculty (the ruling class) to recognize the growing threat of Voldemort (nazism, communism, radical Islam, scientology, global warming) causes irreparable damage to the student body (free states, the environment, the free market) and that only by listening to the student body will we ever truly be free from oppression by the ruling class.
Of course, it’s much easier to simply go to sleep during the opening credits and not worry about it until you develop such a pain in your neck from falling asleep in the sofa that you are forced to wake up and realize the metaphor in your own life. The pain in you neck is symbolic of the suffering people must go through in order to ignore the ever-present onslaught of popular culture and its simplistic versions of complexity.
Oh, the kids liked the film today.