I've so much work load these days and I can not update this on my daily happenings, anyway I've found this article about Harry Potter Book Six and I couldn't resist posting it...Harry Potter’: A cauldron full of hot, strong love
By Marie JamoraThe Philippine STAR 07/31/2005
This Week’s Winner Marie Jamora is a freelance director and a third-year MFA film student at Columbia University, New York. She has directed music videos for bands like Sandwich, Imago, itchyworms!, Kjwan, Sponge Cola, and the Eraserheads. Her short film, Quezon City, starring Jeffrey Quizon and Julia Clarete, was in competition at last year’s Cinemanila International Film Festival. At night, she also gigs around, playing drums for her bands Blast Ople and Boldstar.
The Muggle Liaison Office has its hands full right now. Non-magical folk everywhere are gobbling up Harry Potter books like Wonka candy bars, yet no one seems to be getting satisfied. No, this does not mean that the new book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, is not gratifying. Au contraire. The series’ staggering story and Marvolous narrative makes the reader want more, even revert back to the previous books to fulfill that Potter craving.
Call it H-fever, but it astonishes how a book can out-hype even a Spielberg-Cruise summer blockbuster pairing: Internet pre-order book sales numbered in millions all over the world; on July 16, kids under 10 lined up in bookstores everywhere past their bedtimes to get their sixth book at 12:01 a.m. There was even a site on the BBC that had their book reviewer blogging his reactions to the book hourly as he was reading it from midnight onwards. H-frenzy is more like it.
So here is a question some Muggles love to ask: What is so special about Harry Potter? It is no secret that J.K. Rowling is not the most original author in the world. With the recent Lord of the Rings films (and, we shall discover, with the upcoming Narnia films), children’s books have had their fair share of heroes and villains very similar to Harry and You-Know-Who. Even I admit, when the books came out in 1997, and Harry Potter mania first swept the globe, I was very, very skeptical. Harry Potter is such an ordinary name, after all, and I thought the lighting-bolt scar was similar to the 666 mark on the head of The Omen’s Damien Thorn.
Nevertheless, growing up with books by Roald Dahl, Enid Blyton, Diana Wynne Jones, Susan Cooper, and C. S. Lewis, I was no stranger to fantastical tales and I was quite the kiddie Anglophile. I admit to watching the press conference of the initial casting for Harry, Ron, and Hermione with a simple interest – like one watching the casting for the next Robert Zemeckis picture – for the reason that I was no huge fan of Chris Columbus.
But very soon, something kicked me in the head and made me see the light. One day, I was in a movie theater and a certain teaser trailer was projected for the first time. The John Williams melody filled the air and suddenly, a peephole like a mailbox slot opened, an angry man yelled out, "There’s no such thing as magic!" and slammed the slot shut. There was an excited murmur in the audience like no other murmur I had ever heard before. There was excitement and anticipation in the air – this from a Filipino audience, who is usually too cool to show emotions during movie trailers, busy texting last-minute messages to their friends or occupied by their movie munchies. But with the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone trailer, it was different. It was not the media hype of the Harry books that got me to read. It was the reaction of the Pinoys during the trailer that made me go, "Hmmm, I think I shall check this out to see what all the hubbub is about." And, Merlin’s beard, I’m glad I did.
Reading Book One was rather difficult. It took me four sittings to get through the first two chapters, do not ask me why. I am not the only person this has happened to, though. To a Harry Potter novice (who has also not seen the movies yet), the first book is the most difficult to start. But once you get through the first four chapters, it is smooth sailing to the next five books.
There I was, in bed at approximately 3:30 a.m. with The Half-Blood Prince in my hands. I started and DID NOT STOP reading until I was finished – eight hours later – with no sleep and no breaks.
After getting the results of his O.W.L.s and preparing for his N.E.W.T.s in his sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry is older, wiser, and much calmer. He does not yell half as much as he did in Book Five (where his adolescent rage-aholic-ness seemed to reach its peak) and yet his girl instincts seem to be as clueless as ever. Harry Potter, the Chosen One, the Boy Who Lived, is torpe? As for the faithful more-than-just-sidekicks Ron and Hermione, they seem to be at each other’s throats all the time as a result of their sexual tension, but it is a relief that Ms. Rowling never had the temptation to put Hermione in the middle of Harry and Ron. In fact, Harry even seems to have more sexual chemistry with Draco Malfoy than he ever had with Hermione. No, I am not alluding to any homosexual subtext; I am just saying that Ron and Hermione have been made for each other since Book One; you can re-read and check this fact out.
I will not reveal any spoilers about Book Six, but I will make some very opinionated opinions. Yes, people say that Ms. Rowling is very derivative and they sometimes take an underhanded stab at her being richer than the Queen. But I say, "Bloody good for her." If she can get kids these days (kids who are saturated by MTV and video games) to READ and be EXCITED about BOOKS, then she has truly given the world a great gift. And this is not just about kids – this is about kids of ALL AGES. Magic and fantasy have been reborn, and not just because of Peter Jackson’s cinematic interpretation of Tolkien’s opus, but because she made the idea of "magic" magical once more.
I remember watching the first showing of the first film at the Rockwell cinema and I saw a 30-plus-year-old woman waiting in line, clutching onto the hardbound Sorcerer’s Stone as if Rowling herself was coming to the showing for a book signing. It made me think of Moses, holding one of the tablets of the 10 Commandments. Sure, cradling the book like a two-month-old baby to its own movie showing is a crazy idea, but who cares? I would rather it be a book than a video game or a DVD.
The Half-Blood Prince is an amazing read because it has everything lovable in the other books, while adding to the darkness of Harry’s world. Ms. Rowling is writing for kids, knowing that the readers are getting older as Harry gets older. She never talks down to her audience; actually, it is as if she doesn’t care if the readers get nightmares. Here, she has her own version of zombies and vampires; she is relentless in making Harry an independent young man, preparing him for the greatest battle to be fought. As we all know, Harry is an orphan fighting the man who killed his parents – a modern teenage superhero with magical powers, but who is not just Peter Parker in New York City. He is Spider-Man in a city full of Spider-Men, where everyone has a magic wand.
In this book, the comfort zones of Hogwarts are challenged once again – the trips to Hogsmeade have lost their fun, Harry must learn how to Apparate, he needs to think of non-verbal spells, and Quidditch is different when he is the Captain and not just the Seeker. Thanks to the Half-Blood Prince, Harry is now the top student in Potions, previously his worst class, and since ex-Potions master Snape is teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts, Harry inevitably drops from outstanding to worst student.
What I love about Ms. Rowling is that she is contemporary and has wonderful tastes that leak into her books. True, she is not as original as the early writers of the first half of the last century, like J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis, but she has integrated the pop culture of recent decades to appeal to both kids and geeky grown-ups. We see the orphaned plight of Luke Skywalker, Clark Kent, and Peter Parker in Harry. We see the chemistry of Han Solo and Princess Leia in Ron and Hermione. We see the Gandalf-and-Frodo or Obi-Wan-and-Luke relationship in Dumbledore and Harry. We see Roald Dahl’s Matilda family in the Dursleys. We also see different fonts and typesets within the text, as in Michael Ende’s The Neverending Story. Harry is "the Chosen One," just as Buffy the Vampire Slayer is, awakened to his powers in his early teenage years and devoted to fighting evil, although occasionally yearning to live a normal life.
Ms. Rowling is so hip that she can even integrate a magical rock band, the Weird Sisters, into the story (who will be played in the film by members of the Brit bands Pulp and Radiohead). Or she can incorporate European football fervor into a magical sport like Quidditch. Another modern element to her story is the Holocaustian implications of the Purebloods-vs.-Mudbloods mentality of the wizarding families. Even Voldemort’s "Greatness inspires envy, envy engenders spite, spite spawns lies" speech reminds me of Yoda’s "Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering" speech. But it is all good. This is what makes her a modern-day writer – the pop culture that peppers her stories.
Another thing that makes the Harry Potter franchise unique is its intertextuality – the books being written with the movies being produced consequently and simultaneously. Surely, the Harry Potter films influence the writing of the books, and the films are affected by the books that come out. It is something that has never happened before in this modern age – literature being written at the same time its films come out, one complementing the other. Furthermore, the books (hand in hand with the movies) are like jigsaw puzzles that you can re-read and re-watch to find clues that you did not notice the first time – clues that Rowling scattered, knowing its place in later stories, but which one may gloss over at first.
The multi-media Harry experience will go on for at least another five years. We eagerly await the final installment of the Harry vs. Voldemort saga, hoping against hope that Ms. Rowling will not just stop there. Not since Roald Dahl’s Augustus Gloop or Henry Sugar have there been such tongue-twisting, giggle-inducing names such as Grubbly-Plank, the Care of Magical Creatures substitute professor; Won-Won’s ex-girlfriend, Lavender Brown; least popular Hogwarts Headmaster Phineas Nigellus Black; and ex-Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge. If the series indeed ends at Book Seven, I will miss the eccentric writing that named a cat Mrs. Norris; that made an 11-year-old live in a cupboard under the stairs; that made the Weasley twins quit school in a glorious E.T. moment with their brooms; and that chose to make a Ford Anglia car fly in the air.
What is to come? Will Snuffles return? Did a brother from the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black write that letter in the end? The Half-Blood Prince: Good triple-crosser or evil double-crosser? Will any of the three friends end up as an Auror? Will Harry end up with the girl who does the best Bat-Bogey hexes, or will he do the Bruce Wayne thing and end up alone?
Right now, if the movies maintain the standard of excellence that the Prisoner of Azkaban achieved, then all the fans will probably jinx themselves with joy. The Harry Potter series awakens the child in each of us, who would love to own a magic wand and fly on a broomstick. Reading the books is like chugging down a bottle of Felix in one go. Just swig it, and savor, and listen, as Fawkes the Phoenix sings you his lullaby, as you relish the ending and dream of what is to come