News headlines today seem to be strangely dominated by The Boy Who Lived – J K Rowling’s famous creation, teenage wizard Harry Potter. Recently it was announced through a mailing list to all users of Pottermore that the Harry Potter books will now be available as E-book downloads from various distributors, with several companies also making the announcements themselves. Since then, it seems everyone has something to say about the popular series!
A conference takes place today and tomorrow at St Andrew’s University titled “A Brand of Fictional Magic: Reading Harry Potter as Literature”, where over fifty lectures will be given concerning the literary values, successes, and failures of the books. Comparing them to work by classic authors and exploring why they have been so well-received are just some of the topics that will be looked at.
One of the movies showing at Cannes this year, ‘A Fantastic Fear of Everything’ by director Crispian Mills, apparently only came to be when Mills found a camera lying in the street outside of his house. After returning it to its owners – who turned out to be the Harry Potter production team – he was rewarded with a new friend, producer Geraldine Patten. It was this friendship that led to them working together, and the development of Mills’ directing career.
Ralph Fiennes’ new film, ‘The Invisible Woman’, began work on set last month; with a plot concerning the life of Charles Dickens, it needed an appropriate location. But where could Fiennes shoot that would give the right feel? The answer, apparently, is the old Harry Potter set, since so little of Dickensian London remains the same for exploitation.
Finally, breaking news is that Daniel Radcliffe, former boy wizard, wishes to play a bad guy next. He says that “I come across as quite good in my parts so far and I want to change that.” Don’t worry, Daniel – there are many who never thought you were all that good anyway.