Thursday, July 28, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Harry Potter ja kuoleman varjelukset,osa 2 / Harry Potter och dödsrelikerna: del 2. GB/US © 2011 Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. EX: David Heyman, Lionel Wigram. P: David Barron, David Heyman, J.K. Rowling. D: David Yates. SC: Steve Kloves - based on the novel by J.K. Rowling (2007), in Finnish by Jaana Kapari-Jatta / Tammi 2008. DP: Eduardo Serra. PD: Stuart Craig. COST: Jany Temime. M: Alexandre Desplat - Harry Potter theme by John Williams. AD dept big. Makeup dept big. Art dept big. Special effects dept big. Visual effects dept huge. S: James Mather. Sound dept big. ED: Mark Day. - Cast descriptions copied from the English Wikipedia:

Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, the film's main protagonist.
Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley, Harry's best friend and Hermione's romantic interest.
Emma Watson as Hermione Granger, Harry's other best friend and Ron's romantic interest.

Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange, a Death Eater and Sirius Black's cousin/murderer.
Jim Broadbent as Horace Slughorn, the Potions master at Hogwarts.
Robbie Coltrane as Rubeus Hagrid, Harry's half-giant friend and a former staff at Hogwarts.
Warwick Davis as Filius Flitwick, the Charms master at Hogwarts; and Griphook, a goblin and former employee at Gringotts Bank.
Ralph Fiennes as Lord Voldemort, an evil, power-hungry wizard, and the leader of the Death Eaters. The chief antagonist of the series.
Michael Gambon as Albus Dumbledore, former headmaster of Hogwarts killed two films earlier by Severus Snape.
John Hurt as Ollivander, a wandmaker abducted by the Death Eaters.
Jason Isaacs as Lucius Malfoy, Draco Malfoy's father and a disgraced Death Eater.
Gary Oldman as Sirius Black, Harry's godfather. Killed in battle three films earlier by Bellatrix Lestrange.
Alan Rickman as Severus Snape, former Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher and the new headmaster of Hogwarts.
Maggie Smith as Minerva McGonagall, the Transfiguration teacher, Deputy Headmistress and future Headmistress at Hogwarts.
David Thewlis as Remus Lupin, a member of the Order of the Phoenix and a former Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts.
Emma Thompson as Sybill Trelawney, the Divination teacher at Hogwarts.
Julie Walters as Molly Weasley, the Weasley matriarch and a mother figure to Harry.

130 min. Released in Finland by FS Film with Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Timo Porri (relying on the Jaana Kapari terminology) / Janne Staffans. DCP 3D, system: Dolby 3D. Viewed at Killa, Savonlinna, 29 July 2011.

Technical specs (IMDb): Camera: Arricam LT, Cooke S4 Lenses, Arricam ST, Cooke S4 Lenses. - Film negative format: 35 mm (Kodak Vision2 200T 5217, Vision2 500T 5218). - Cinematographic process: Digital Intermediate (master format), Super 35 (source format). - Printed film format: 35 mm (anamorphic) (also Technicolor 3D), 70 mm (horizontal) (IMAX DMR blow-up) (dual-strip 3-D) (Kodak Vision 2383), D-Cinema (also 3-D version). - Aspect ratio: 2.35:1.

The last film in the Harry Potter series is a world-class phenomenon of global popular media culture. Again I'm a stranger in the screening of a film of the phenomenally successful series. The attendance is good, but we are the only ones to watch the ten minutes of end credits of over a thousand artists and professionals (we spot three Finnish names among them) and listen to Alexander Desplat's variations to the Harry Potter theme by John Williams (one of the all-time best theme tunes). I can repeat the remarks I made last year about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1: much of the film is bleak, slow and of low intensity. A wonderful cast of Britain's top actors perform vividly in their roles, but the leading trio is curiously somnambulistic. They seem like strangers, too, not like heroes in their own lives. Critics have commented on the quality of the 3D created in post-production, but I have nothing against it. More generally, I find the low definition, the absence of full colour and the absence of the warmth of the sun in all the Harry Potter films curious.

The climax is the Battle of Hogwarts. Harry Potter sacrifices himself, is almost dead already, is resurrected, destroys the Elder Wand, and having restored peace in the wizard world returns to normal life.

The Harry Potter saga covers some 40 years of a parallel existence with minimal links to reality. Perhaps that is the point, to create a compelling fantasy world which may be escapism for some and a counter-image for others. And perhaps to understand Harry Potter I would have to read the books, of which the films may be but reflections.

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