Hide background
READ THIS!

Welcome to the Otherkinphenomena forum.

You really have to follow these instructions! Instructions will update as you progress.

If you wish to post on, or access most of the content of our forum and our community, please click here to register first, then follow the instructions below. If you have already registered, please log in, in the above "Hello There, Guest!" box.

Thanks for understanding and see you around.



Post Reply 
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Harry Potter: Movies vs. Books
Elinox
Member is Offline
Professional Pirate
Kintype: Lupine & Feline
Otherkin: Yes
Gender: chaotic good
Reputation: 1
Posts: 2,412
Points: 12397.00
Contribution: tick tick tick tick tick tick tick 

.
Post: #1
Harry Potter: Movies vs. Books
The obligatory Harry Potter thread. It's been in discussion on the Bad Movies thread but since there's a lot of talk over there about it, I thought it warranted it's own thread. That and I like Harry Potter. <!-- sWink --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- sWink -->

So please discuss your likes/dislikes about the movies and the books here. Felix Felicis!

Knock yourself out Archer, and discuss away!

[Image: sGaXcqG.png]
Banner by me. If you want one too, see here.

"You're the best kind of crazy." -Murphy, The Dresden Files
2008-04-02 18:32
Find
Quote
Give Thanks
Archer
Member is Offline
Suing You
Kintype:
Otherkin:
Gender:
Reputation: 0
Posts: 2,813
Points: 14165.00
Contribution: tick tick tick tick 

Post: #2
Re: Harry Potter: Movies vs. Books
(Note: for "writer" perhaps read "auteur", ie the driving creative force; or simply the creative time in general. Also note this is personal opinion and probably flawed as I haven't consulted any reference books while typing.)

Novels - present conflict in the context of internal struggle (man vs himself)
Plays - present conflict in the context of personal struggle (man vs man)
Movies - present conflict in the context of external struggle (man vs world)

Novels - reader and writer interact to control sensation of time passing; a page can take a second or a day and be read fast or slow; the reader can stop, speed up, jump ahead, reread
Plays - the writer completely controls the sensation of time passing; time passes as in reality (while breaks between scenes may take hours or even years, if a play is two hours long the audience see two hours of events)
Movies - the writer completely controls the sensation of time passing; time does not always pass as in reality as slow motion fast forward and other techniques can be used

Novels - content limited only by imagination of writer and reader
Plays - content limited by physical and temporal constraints of theatre; suspension of disbelief important due to highly artificial nature of theatre, therefore imagination of audience crucial
Movies - content limited by economic constraints; imagination of audience not crucial as filmmaking techniques provide for high potential realism and thus suspension of disbelief is easy

Novels - no firm structure necessary; sometimes chapters and parts present, sometimes not
Plays - usually but not always a formal intermission structure forming two units which are inter-reliant but somewhat independant
Movies - usually but not always written with a 5 act structure

What you can say about all drama in common, though, is in general drama aimed at an older audience will be more subtle than drama aimed at a younger audience - not to patronise the audience, but simply because an older audience has to an extent "seen it all before" and recognises clues. As an example of this - in Star Wars Episode 3 (which I think is a magnificent piece of filmmaking, really) there is a great conversation between Anakin and Palpatine in which Palpatine recounts the story of "Darth Plagus the Wise." The majority of adults I discussed it with - even ones who knew only the most vague details about Star Wars - not only immediately realised Darth Plagus had been Palpatine's mentor, but didn't even need to realise it, because it was effectively said right there in the open. On the other hand - many teenagers and young people I discussed it with enthusiastically asked *if* he was, and treated it like a great revelation.

Did the younger people miss the point? Nope, they just hadn't seen enough good movies to immediately recognise the manner of the conversation as being a big red flag that identified Plagus.

The second thing common to all good drama is the notion of conflict and inner and outer conflict. The outer conflict is what a story is most obviously "about" - so Star Wars is about a war between the Empire and Rebellion, or a political drama, or a love story, or however you see it. But what it's really about is Anakin's relationship with assorted father figures, and how this eventually enables him to properly become a father.

Now, where am I going with this?

Simple - good drama is always going to entail two things - the more experienced the intended audience, the more subtle it will be, and there must be both inner and outer conflict present.

(Note on subtlety - there are some truly excellent films like, say, Shrek which work on multiple levels and play to all audiences; kids and adults laugh at different jokes because there are different levels of subtlety on top of one another.

Note on inner and outer conflict - the character whose inner conflict is discussed and resolved is generally the hero; Macbeth is the hero of the eponymous play because even though he's an absolute murderous bastard, we go on his psychological journey and not Malcolm's.)

Now, where else am I going with this?

Simple - a novel and a movie are such fundamentally different art forms that I don't think a direct comparison works. It's like saying - "What do you prefer - this Beethoven symphony, or that Tennyson poem?"

What I might find as a fun project would be to take a proper look at Prisoner of Azkaban (specifically it because it is relatively short, has a dense narrative, and has some specific and coherent themes) and do a proper "compare and contrast" with regards to symbolism, theme, and structure.

Symbolism for example is one thing that film does incredibly well but novels have to work at - every word in a novel is specifically placed and "HERE IS A SYMBOL!" does not work because it utterly lacks subtlety, but in a movie the viewer does not give everything full attention so symbols can be almost subliminal. The symbol of clocks is straightforward in the PoA movie and IMO very much helps emphasise the sensation of time running out, time controlling people, time stalking people; one way or another time is running out for everyone in the story and the good guys win only by refusing to play by time's rules. I reckon there's a good lot in there about being trapped inside brick walls and "culture" and "civilisation" in general as a symbol for imprisonment.

On the other hand, novels do exposition very very well. Nothing gives good backstory like a novel, and a novel can often be more precise and detailed than a movie simply because the reader can take time and go back if needed.

The difference between symbolism and backstory is IMO very noticable in the Harry Potter books and movies. As I noted in the other thread, to learn how evil Death Eaters are in the books we can have a long, long list of horrendous crimes they have committed; in the fillms we can have them wearing pseudo-KKK outfits. One gives the history, the other gives something that stands in for it.

A specific example of this is from OotP - in the book Moody shows Harry the picture of the original Order, and Harry reflects on how many have died, how young his parents looked, how some people in the current order look the same age as people who died; how Voldemort ripped so many lives apart. In the film, we don't have access to Harry's thoughts - so instead Sirius shows him the photo, and all of that is conveyed by two things: by how melancholy it makes Sirius, and by how young and strong people in the photo (Lupin especially, who gets a focus) looked. Same outcome - Voldemort is an utter, utter bastard; he tore apart countless lives; 15 years later his actions are STILL tearing apart lives; and that one day, Harry and his friends might well be as old and haggard and broken as Sirius and Lupin. Same outcome, completely different methods.

In general I find people who detest movie adaptations don't like the different mechanics; not always, but very often they are unwilling to look at the movie as an interpretation of the idea that the novel stemmed from, and would like the movie to be a word for word translation. The problem is that the sheer mechanics of the difference between a novel and film mean that in very, very few circumstances, a direct "word for word translation" will utterly lose the spirit of the thing.

If there's anything I dislike about the movies, it's that I don't think there's a great deal of emphasis just yet on the idea that even "nice" wizards can be as outright racist and discriminatory as Death Eaters, just to a different target. If there's anything I dislike about the books, it's that (strangely enough) Harry as a character doesn't grow and change so much as get over his angst; Luke Skywalker goes from "whiny farmhand" to "I'm a Jedi" in a process of learning both how to make sacrifices, and how to take on responsibilities to other people. I could write books on Anakin's development. Yet the Harry of DH is very much an older, calmer version of the Harry of PS, rather than someone fundamentally changed by his experiences.

This is a digression, but Bob Shaw was a science fiction author whose work I think would work excellently on film, as it tends to be very visual and external; his best known character started out brash and young and someone who would fight anyone for anything but ended up middle aged and tired and willingly sacrified himself, finally realising that "it is far better to die and want to live, than it is to live and want to die" - in other words he underwent a tangible process of growth and change that spawned directly from his experiences in the books.

Harry on the other hand, I dunno, I kind of get the feeling that all he learns is that he shouldn't judge people by his immediate reaction to them - be it love or hate - and that people he loves have flaws while people he hates have reasons to feel sympathy.

Anyway.

I told ya I could talk <!-- sTongue --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_razz.gif" alt=":P" title="Razz" /><!-- sTongue -->

Ubi Dubium, Ibi Libertas

Quote:"I have suffered from being misunderstood, but I would have suffered a hell of a lot more if I had been understood."

[Image: neverforgetm.png]
2008-04-02 19:22
Find
Quote
Give Thanks
Qarael
Member is Offline
Eager beaver
Kintype:
Otherkin:
Gender:
Reputation: 0
Posts: 328
Points: 1720.00
Contribution: tick 

Post: #3
Re: Harry Potter: Movies vs. Books
Continuing from the bad movies thread:

Archer Wrote:Who the hell is polyjuiced Moody . . . we knew exactly who he was, the character had been seen multiple times before; conjuring the Dark Mark, consorting with reborn Voldemort, being sent to Azkaban.
Well, we knew who he was, yeah... but we didn't know who he was. Why is he there? What's his deal? It's all explained (terribly) at the end of the film, sure, but in such a way that it felt like he was carelessly thrown into the HP universe, when the book made his role make much more sense.

Quote:Remind me - is the "That's not the Irish" joke in the book, the film, or both? (On hearing explosions go off the kids think it's Irish partying, but Arthur realises it's more serious and utters an immortal line to that effect.)

To any Northern Irish person of any age and probably any British person over the age of 30 or so that has layers of spectacular meaning <!-- sWink --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- sWink -->

True true, buuuuuuut... most of the viewing population doesn't hail from nor'n ire. Any meaning behind that would've been lost to the majority of us.

[Image: qbanner.jpg]
2008-04-03 4:19
Find
Quote
Give Thanks
Archer
Member is Offline
Suing You
Kintype:
Otherkin:
Gender:
Reputation: 0
Posts: 2,813
Points: 14165.00
Contribution: tick tick tick tick 

Post: #4
Re: Harry Potter: Movies vs. Books
Palmer Wrote:
Quote:Remind me - is the "That's not the Irish" joke in the book, the film, or both? (On hearing explosions go off the kids think it's Irish partying, but Arthur realises it's more serious and utters an immortal line to that effect.)

To any Northern Irish person of any age and probably any British person over the age of 30 or so that has layers of spectacular meaning <!-- sWink --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- sWink -->

True true, buuuuuuut... most of the viewing population doesn't hail from nor'n ire. Any meaning behind that would've been lost to the majority of us.

The films and books alike are, however, very unashamedly British. It's entirely appropriate for an Englishman of Arthur's age to make a joke (even in a stressful situation) about Irish violence; I don't know if it slips in unnoticed to younger Brits or non-Brits, but it adds humour and authentic colour to a very British series.

Ubi Dubium, Ibi Libertas

Quote:"I have suffered from being misunderstood, but I would have suffered a hell of a lot more if I had been understood."

[Image: neverforgetm.png]
2008-04-03 18:00
Find
Quote
Give Thanks
Elinox
Member is Offline
Professional Pirate
Kintype: Lupine & Feline
Otherkin: Yes
Gender: chaotic good
Reputation: 1
Posts: 2,412
Points: 12397.00
Contribution: tick tick tick tick tick tick tick 

.
Post: #5
Re: Harry Potter: Movies vs. Books
Archer Wrote:The films and books alike are, however, very unashamedly British. It's entirely appropriate for an Englishman of Arthur's age to make a joke (even in a stressful situation) about Irish violence; I don't know if it slips in unnoticed to younger Brits or non-Brits, but it adds humour and authentic colour to a very British series.

Really? Because I got the joke just fine in both the movie and the book.

[Image: sGaXcqG.png]
Banner by me. If you want one too, see here.

"You're the best kind of crazy." -Murphy, The Dresden Files
2008-04-03 18:17
Find
Quote
Give Thanks
Archer
Member is Offline
Suing You
Kintype:
Otherkin:
Gender:
Reputation: 0
Posts: 2,813
Points: 14165.00
Contribution: tick tick tick tick 

Post: #6
Re: Harry Potter: Movies vs. Books
Elinox Wrote:
Archer Wrote:The films and books alike are, however, very unashamedly British. It's entirely appropriate for an Englishman of Arthur's age to make a joke (even in a stressful situation) about Irish violence; I don't know if it slips in unnoticed to younger Brits or non-Brits, but it adds humour and authentic colour to a very British series.

Really? Because I got the joke just fine in both the movie and the book.

As I said, every Brit of the right age will get the joke, but non Brits or younger Brits might not. You'd only be contradicting me in any way if you were, say, a 40 something Englishman who didn't notice it <!-- sTongue --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_razz.gif" alt=":P" title="Razz" /><!-- sTongue -->

Ubi Dubium, Ibi Libertas

Quote:"I have suffered from being misunderstood, but I would have suffered a hell of a lot more if I had been understood."

[Image: neverforgetm.png]
2008-04-03 21:10
Find
Quote
Give Thanks
momo
Member is Offline
Elephant in the room
Kintype:
Otherkin:
Gender:
Reputation: 0
Posts: 917
Points: 4642.00
Contribution: tick tick 

Post: #7
Re: Harry Potter: Movies vs. Books
Archer Wrote:but younger Brits might not.

To support your point further, it had slipped past me unnoticed. *shrug*

Thanks to Elinox for the banner!
[Image: momobanner2ok0.png]
Fear the Lishie, Blake and Rizumu.
2008-04-03 21:28
Find
Quote
Give Thanks
lemur
Member is Offline
Copy cat
Kintype:
Otherkin:
Gender:
Reputation: 0
Posts: 232
Points: 1260.00
Contribution: tick 

Post: #8
Re: Harry Potter: Movies vs. Books
Archer Wrote:
Elinox Wrote:
Archer Wrote:The films and books alike are, however, very unashamedly British. It's entirely appropriate for an Englishman of Arthur's age to make a joke (even in a stressful situation) about Irish violence; I don't know if it slips in unnoticed to younger Brits or non-Brits, but it adds humour and authentic colour to a very British series.

Really? Because I got the joke just fine in both the movie and the book.

As I said, every Brit of the right age will get the joke, but non Brits or younger Brits might not. You'd only be contradicting me in any way if you were, say, a 40 something Englishman who didn't notice it <!-- sTongue --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_razz.gif" alt=":P" title="Razz" /><!-- sTongue -->

I totally got it and I'm young and not British! But then again I'm... slightly... guilty of dorky-ness. The whole "unashamedly British" thing definitely is something I like about the series, actually.
Also, although I can see Archer's point about being difficult to compare and so on, I still think in a lot of aspects the movies could be so much better. The first two I had no pickle with, they were fine and I think Chris Colombus was great to do it. He didn't terribly butcher anything and kept all the important parts, while still adding colour and detail to it. The third movie was a lot of fun to watch, I enjoyed many of the small funny details (for example, the way they portrayed Hogsmeade was amazing), but there were things I didn't agree with -- such as moving Hogwarts around -- that I could understand why they had been done, and things I just didn't get (for example, the Trio spends a great deal of time prancing around in Muggle clothing). The GoF movie was really quite good in some aspects -- the ball, the visual aspects, etc were superb -- but it mantained many smaller things while cutting out important plot points. For instance, it made a HUGE deal out of Harry's fight with the dragon, turning into a dramatic all-over-Hogwarts combat, yet they cut out Rita Skeeter's part -- which of course means there wan't the whole "Let's-blackmail-Rita-to-be-in-The-Quibbler" thing later in the series. I mean, I understand that being a movie it needs lots of action and so on, especially having many younger children and potentially indifferent parents and older siblings. But most people who watch the movies have read the books anyways, and I think major (or close to) plot points shouldn't just be randomly overlooked. The 5th movie was really good, I loved Luna Lovegood, I loved Umbridge's office, and of course I loved Sirius. Did I mention that I loved Tonks? I hated how they kept her hair PURPLE through the whole movie, pink would be SO much suited because I think it says a lot about her as a character.

I REALLY love the books, ever since the first one came out. My favourite has to be the 5th, because it introduced two of my favourite characters -- Luna and Tonks -- and further develops on Sirius' life, his childhood home, Buckbeak, etc. (and because I admit, it made me uber sad when he died). Of course, these characters still appear in the next books, but not so candidly as in the 5th, I thought. Besides OotP was far enough from the beginning to have more action and secrets but not TOO far to know that closure was close. I also really enjoyed GoF and HBP, I found them very colourful books in the details they supply and character construction... I don't think PoA was too remarkable (probably why I liked the movie, because it made it much more colourful) and surprisingly, neither was the DH for me -- I think the epilogue is far too much like something out of fanfiction, where everybody gets married and have super predictable and cutesy names. I liked how it provided a change from the usual "trio runs around Hogwarts finding out about things then fights Voldemort" format and sort of showed new settings, introduced new characters and made us more familiar with people who up until then seemed like just random pawns in the game. Also, the fast-paced action and the part where Harry dies except not is wonderful... just the epilogue ruined the book for me, what can I say? I would much rather have something more... JKR than everybody marrying, making babies and becoming all the people we'd imagine them to be. But, yes, my favourite is definitely OotP.
2008-04-18 13:01
Find
Quote
Give Thanks
simim23
Member is Offline
Eager beaver
Kintype:
Otherkin:
Gender:
Reputation: 0
Posts: 739
Points: 3895.00
Contribution: tick tick 

Post: #9
Re: Harry Potter: Movies vs. Books
Honestly, books 1-4 were only setting up the scene for me. There were little "mini-plots" but all in all they only cleared the way for a much more dramatic plot in 5,6, and 7.

I couldn't reread PS, CoS, PoA, or GoF without shrugging. It'd be more like skimming the pages. But the other 3? Brilliant. I've reread each twice so far(I like to wait about a month or 3 between rereading books so I don't remember everything play-by-play) and still, I read little things I didn't notice at all the first or second time I read the book.

I.love.the.seventh.book.the.most. Because people die, a lot. You think of it as a crude reason, I think of it as surreal. Here you have magic and broomsticks and thestrals and half-giants and house-elves and wands and goblins.... and death, and war, and selflessness, and treachery and romance and everything that makes things REAL.

You've taken a fantastical realm, one that no one could take seriously, and made it serious. It's realism in the unreal. That is amazing.
And you really don't see it to such a degree in any of the other books. Just the final one.

Frankly, I think the movies are a load of crap. It's not because they're not direct from the book. I expect all movies-from-books to be altered in some way. It's just... they're so campy. o.O Each movie so far hasn't reeked of epic win, so much as reminded me of Scooby-doo:

Movie:

Harry: Voldemort's at it again, but how?!?!
Hermione: Jinkies, Harry, we have to solve this mystery!
Ron: Zoinks! I'm freakin out!
Hagrid: Rooby-rooby roo!!
*they run around and find clues and solve the mystery*
*Harry stops it*
Voldemort: And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for you meddling kids!

Then again, I heard that they're making the 7th movie a 2-part, Dunno about the 6th one.
I can't really judge it until, well, they finish. THEY BETTER NOT SCREW THE NEXT TWO UP.
Because it really didn't get epic anyway until the end.

Simim: Rainbow poop at your disservice.
[Image: 313pq88.png]
2008-04-27 8:56
Find
Quote
Give Thanks
momo
Member is Offline
Elephant in the room
Kintype:
Otherkin:
Gender:
Reputation: 0
Posts: 917
Points: 4642.00
Contribution: tick tick 

Post: #10
Re: Harry Potter: Movies vs. Books
simim23 Wrote:Movie:

Harry: Voldemort's at it again, but how?!?!
Hermione: Jinkies, Harry, we have to solve this mystery!
Ron: Zoinks! I'm freakin out!
Hagrid: Rooby-rooby roo!!
*they run around and find clues and solve the mystery*
*Harry stops it*
Voldemort: And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for you meddling kids!

*wipes away tears of laughter*

Thanks to Elinox for the banner!
[Image: momobanner2ok0.png]
Fear the Lishie, Blake and Rizumu.
2008-04-27 13:14
Find
Quote
Give Thanks
Post Reply 


Forum Jump:


User(s) browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)