Saturday, 2 January 2010

Harry Potter Day and American idol

14.00 April4th 2008 It has been a satisfactory three hours since rising, and which ended with a ham and cheese salad plus two slices of brown bread, a banana and coffee. I have played chess, and coming over drowsy I had the first checkmate against me in a couple of months if not more. Excuses poor excuses. I worked hard at the preparations and organisation for April project set and registration and the work will continue during the day.

I then decided to watch a DVD of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I am not a great devotee of Master Potter and his adventures, however skilfully crafted the books and brilliantly acted and produced the films, and which rightly in this instance the author has insisted that the films follow the books such is the audience fan base. My reason is that the books are intended to satisfy the needs of children of all age for adventures which are large than life and which have a bitter sweet quality about them. Underpinning all the books and films is the sadness of an orphan so that even the key sentiment of this film, "those that love you are always with you" helps but does not fill the void, having close friends helps, being good and what you do, helps, having an exciting life helps but the void is always there. The other aspect of the films is something which perhaps the average book reader and film goer and their parents, and grandparents who take them to the theatres or watch the DVD’s with them may not fully appreciate is the message that whatever you make of yourself and others help to make of you, you are your parent’s child, and they of theirs.

16.00 One of the features of the series (unlike The Lord of the Rings where all the films were shot over one period of 15 months although the planning and preparation went on for several years beforehand and the after work may be continuing, if the throw away comment of Peter Jackson, see you for the 21st or 25th anniversary editions, if not before, means what I suspect that it does, given the quantity of unused material than is stored) is that it is possible to watch the real development of Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson as they grow up from children into adolescents and on to young men and a woman. As with the cast and crew of the Lord of the he Rings, they appear to have genuinely bonded and look forward to working with each other again. The cast of quality actors, some providing cameo performance becomes endless with Robbie Coltrane, Alan Rickman, Michael Gabon, Robert Hardy, Maggie Smith, Julie Walters Richard Griffiths, Dawn French, Pam Ferris, Lenny Henry Gary Oldman, Timothy Small, Emma Thomson, and Julie Christie in this episode alone. Each film is part of the journey for the three principal young people in which they train to become fully fledged Wizard, practicing only in the best interests of their fellow beings, some human, and for Harry to find out the truth of what happened to his parents and why he is regarded as special, and appears to have a destiny different from the others, but which in turn bring him into constant peril. The genius of its creator J K Rowling is that she makes the young people normal, they break the rules doing what they have been told not to do, usually for good reason, and which gets them into serious trouble, they are interested in things which interest young people at their chronological age, and they often needs the help, understanding and forgiveness of adults to prevent situations becoming worse. They are also self reliant, creative and resourceful, but also panic, mess up and are constantly afraid. Each film solve mysteries and answer questions posed and leave those participating with the sense that good triumphs and injustice is righted, but also looking forward to next book or film. It is was amusing that the one thing the managing editor in the Devil Wears Pravda was able to prove to her kids she loved them,(although she was rarely with them) was to arrange for them to have advance copies of the final book in the series. On one bargain hunt antiques show type programme, a Scottish woman explained how she and her children had come to know J K from attending the same playgroup before she had been the internationally famous author and millionaires today and the lady and her children had received mementoes of their relationship which were being sold at auction to raise essentials for the children and family household, such is the scale and extent of the enjoyment and economy which the works are giving. Having said all this they, as with most films for young people I ait to watch on TV or DVD rather than go to the cinema to experience. Tis an age thing.

17.30 Taking the DVD’s to the post box I noticed how fine a day it was still and regretted not considering a trip, which was reinforced as the weather forecast is for deteriorating Friday the day and wintry conditions over the weekend. Hopefully there will be next week or the week after, but if something happens to me, there is always Tolkien’s concept of the undying lands to wish for! He, Tolkien, that is, did not, think a film could be made of his books so the film rights were sold for peanuts, although for a lot more than I paid for little bowl portion I eat with my glass of wine while considering the rest of the evening. I put off decision about food, knowing it is American Idol at 8pm then Question Time after the News and then the Political Programme of the week. I am making 50 artman signature cards for the first part of the month and will complete the task while I watch American Idol.

18.00 The regional evening programme features a former Councillor that I know and her husband who are on a cruise ship which has been held by police because a dispute between companies, Later on the programme we learn the ship as been released to continue its journey. It is alright for some I say.

18.50 Peter Jackson and his partner Fran Walsh first came to international attention with the film Heavenly Creatures and which also first brought Kate Winslet to everyone’s notice. This brought the couple an academy award nomination for screenwriting and it is said New Zealanders were not as critical as they feared, apprehensive about a film based on a notorious murder of the 1950’s, just as I imagine most Jersey folk are apprehensive what the publicity over its child care scandal will do for the image of an Island enhanced through the Bergerac series although it was about murder and other crimes, including a male fraternity in control of the island and not afraid to bend the rules out of self interest. Jackson’s introduction to film was through splatter movies, low budget horror comic weird work. Among projects to look forward to is a remake of the Dam Busters with Sir David Frost and a three dimensional animated film with motion capture of Tin Tin with Steven Spielberg. While consideration has been given to the Hobbit there have been problems but this project has not been closed.

19.15 And what of the others, what has happened to them. Elijah Wood who plays Frodo the Ring Bearer keeper, is an American from Cedar Rapids who parents operated a delicatessen and whose family has English, Irish, German and Polish ancestry. He had a long pedigree as a promising child actor appearing in a succession of films with established actors such as Mel Gibson and Jamie Lee Curtis, Melanie Griffith, Don Johnson and Kevin Costner He was the Artful Dodger in Oliver Twist. Determined not become typecast he has accepted a variety of parts in films such as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 2004, Sin City 2005, Everything is illuminated 2005. Green Street Hooligans, Bobby 2006, and a voice in Happy Feet, and Day Zero 2007. New projects include The Passenger a biopic of Iggy Pop and the Oxford Murders. He has formed his own record Label and singed to co produce a film. He tries to keep his personal life private and has the One Ring presented to him by Peter Jackson.

20,00 At the start of American Idol an announcement is made that the programme has had to be cancelled because of industrial action. April Fool. A good one. This is the first week of star coaches and none comes bigger than Dolly Parton who has created 3000 songs including I will always love you, sung by Witney Houston and a host of number 1 and 125 in the USA charts, countless albums and films. After listening and rating performances I came up with the following order:-David Autchuleta came back from the doldrums to return to the kind of performance which marked him out as a potential world star and gave him 9, Seyescha Marcardo attempted I will always love you and although the panel did not rate the performance unlike the audience and me, I gave her 8.5 and second on the night ; Carly Smithson - Here you come again, was good but not great 8/10; David Cook has been the revelation and after his two dramatic rock performers another similar would stand him accused of being a one trick pony, so instead he tried his own arrangement of the sad song Little Sparrow which worked well and I give him 8/10;David Johns gave a solid performance but not memorable at 7.5-8; Christy Lee Cooke did a coat of many colours which I give 7.5 and this bring us to my prediction for the bottom three; Jason Castro was also OK although Simon was negative I think going with the public vote I guess. I though it merited 7. Brook White performed Jolene which was heartfelt and adequate but not outstanding or show stopping. I have to give 6/10 and think she could be in the bottom three, although the others are yet to perform Ramielle Mumba is a nice girl but her performance was also below par so II will only give another 6. So my prediction is either Brooke White or Ramielle be voted out.

22.00. I watched the news, Question Time and the politics show which covered Harriet Harman’s performance on PMQ’s. One of the Panellists was Clare Short, now an independent Labourish candidate for Birmingham. Who had to change her politics or lose her seat because of the Muslim majority. I have mixed feelings about her. I once encountered a member of her staff who had been to a Whitehall Party who indiscreetly spoke very positively about her Minister’s performance within her office and fighting for overseas aid, of which she was the Minister. I wish I was confident members of my former staff would speak of me in the same glowing way after having enjoyed a sherry party. I was however very upset my the way she turned on Tony Blair and she had as unlearnt streak in her nature which appears to enjoy turning the [political knife. It will be interesting to see if she ever makes a Ministerial comeback given her undoubted abilities. The most important issue for those of good faith and humanitarian concern is how Robert McGarvie will respond to losing the Presidential elections and failure of his Government and Party to announce the results. We will not intervene I mean the UN and the all its member if he decided to stay in power calling in his murdering thugs which he has used before, Sadly there is no oil or other essential energy or wealth supplies for other nations to worry about so he can continue to practice autocratic exploitation and political racist and murder. What a gutless, immoral and impotent organisation is the United Nations and the African collective body of nations! How do they sleep at night? I know they have eat and dined well at our expense and sleep with their Swiss bank accounts tucked under their feathered bedded pillows.