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Posts tagged "Harry Potter"

The Blessing of The Cursed Child

The Blessing of The Cursed Child

A quick disclaimer before reading: I will be giving a positive review of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I will, in the words that follow, go so far as to recommend Harry Potter fans read it. So there. If you’ve already decided that the seven books will be the only books, that you will never touch the apocryphal supplements that come via screen or stage, I will not call you a pureblooder…that decision, to close eyes, ears and hands to some idea of magical purity–that’s entirely your decision. A rather pretentious one, I’ll grant, but your decision nonetheless. Everyone…

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The Seven Sacraments of Harry Potter

The Seven Sacraments of Harry Potter

In honor of the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, here is another essay from our new anthology of movie essays, Mockingbird at the Movies, available in print here and on Kindle here. 

Before anyone calls bluff on a Harry Potter essay found in a book about movies, let us first consider a fact about the Harry Potter movie franchise. As of July 2015, total movie sales for the eight Harry Potter films had almost surpassed total Harry Potter book sales, a ridiculous feat when you consider how much money that is (over $7 billion). And when you consider…

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Another Week Ends: Turklean Empathy, OK GO, The Cursed Child, Religious Skepticism, Couples Fooling Themselves, and Hail, Caesar!

Another Week Ends: Turklean Empathy, OK GO, The Cursed Child, Religious Skepticism, Couples Fooling Themselves, and Hail, Caesar!

Click here for the accompanying episode of The Mockingcast, featuring JR Rozko, Aaron Zimmerman and EKR.

The new OK GO video is amazing! Click on the image to watch.

Sherry Turkle, at it again, people. In The New York Review of Books, Jacob Weisberg samples a troop of tech-related books released this year, one of which is Sherry Turkle’s new one, Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age. Turkle, who we’ve talked about quite a bit on Mockingbird, is an MIT clinician and an ethnographer, and has focused her expertise in the last two books on the rise…

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Star Wars’ Finn Awakens: The Troopers, The Traitors, and Me

Star Wars’ Finn Awakens: The Troopers, The Traitors, and Me

 I don’t remember how old I was when I first saw Star Wars: A New Hope. The film came out the year I was born, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t catch it at the theater. All I remember is an image from my early childhood, a procession of characters down an aisle toward a princess on our TV screen. Even though they didn’t give Chewie a medal, and despite (or maybe because of–I’m still deciding) the existence of Ewoks, I was hooked on these stories populated by characters who were at once iconic and accessible: a peerless warrior packaged…

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This Ain’t No Garden of Eden

This Ain’t No Garden of Eden

Five years ago, I became a grownup. The process involved the following steps: leave New York City, get married, buy a house in the suburbs, have two kids. Recently added into that mix is the forsaking of narrative-driven TV for shows like House Hunters (or House Hunters International, if you’re nasty), the Food Network (love you, Ina), and, for the love of fanny packs, Rick Steves travel shows. With two small kids, I simply have less time and brain space to devote to character development, slow-burn romantic entanglements, and complicated plotlines. Not to mention the emotional toll: The Walking Dead depressed…

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The Nerdy Pharisees

The Nerdy Pharisees

When I was in college, a group of pledges from one of the socially-elite fraternities on campus painted “NERDS” in large capital letter on the roof of my fraternity’s house. It was a pejorative statement.

Until that act of vandalism, we didn’t know that we were nerds. We dressed nicely. We drank a lot. We were involved in campus activities. We weren’t the glasses-wearing, teetotaling, social pariahs portrayed in movies like Revenge of the Nerds. We were nice people.

But our niceness was precisely what made us nerds. The ever-evolving landscape of social distinctions can be difficult to discern. And, unless you’re one of…

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Another Week Ends: Flannery Prays, Calvin Outsells Luther, More ‘Millenials’-ism, Next-Next-Gen Gaming Consoles (PSILOVU), Backfiring Discipline, Zombie Impressionism and Noah: The Movie

Another Week Ends: Flannery Prays, Calvin Outsells Luther, More ‘Millenials’-ism, Next-Next-Gen Gaming Consoles (PSILOVU), Backfiring Discipline, Zombie Impressionism and Noah: The Movie

1. Well, we knew about Mary Flannery’s early life of training chickens to walk backward (1932); it appears that God marked O’Connor out as different from pretty early on. We remember the short stories of violent grace and brilliant essays, and we even got to read some excerpts from her year-and-a-half-long prayer journal (written while still studying for her MFA at Iowa) in September. Well, three days ago the full work was released, edited by her friend William Sessions, and The New Yorker posted a great review/primer for anyone interested in fiction, O’Connor, prayer, the South, grad school, wooden legs, etc:

She reckoned that her success…

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The Freedom of Robert Galbraith

The Freedom of Robert Galbraith

As we all know, expectations can be crippling. Success breeds expectations for more success and higher, sometimes unfair, scrutiny can be placed upon a person. This scrutiny can be debilitating, and after an acclaimed bestseller – well, what do you write next?

Last year, J.K. Rowling published her first book since the finale of Harry Potter, called The Casual Vacancy, under her own name. The book received mixed reviews, but almost all of the negative reviews (e.g. in The New York Times and The LA Times) used Harry Potter as the baseline – the standard – by which to evaluate the…

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Hopelessly Devoted: Colossians Chapter Three Verses Three and Four

Hopelessly Devoted: Colossians Chapter Three Verses Three and Four

An amazing devotion this morning comes from Lynn MacDougall, who shares a reflection on both the Fall Mockingbird Conference and its cornerstone concept–the hope we find in death. 

“For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”

Since my time at the recent Mockingbird Conference in Charlottesville, I have been thinking about death. A lot.  Suffering was the heart of the matter, but “death” was the “piece de resistance.”   Questions that emerged: What does it mean to live? What does it mean…

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The Devil Within: A World Without Voldemort

The Devil Within: A World Without Voldemort

In a recent NY Times article, A.O. Scott has conducted a fascinating survey of the movie villains of the last year. For Scott, the death of Lord Voldemort marks the end of an era in the American characterization of evil. The rise of the Harry Potter franchise and Voldemort coincided with the rise of terrorism and Osama Bin Laden in the national consciousness. Within the world of Harry Potter, Voldemort embodied evil without qualification in the same way that Bin Laden gave a face to the mercurial threat of terror. Both men offered the possibility that good and evil, right…

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A Harry Potter Heresy? In Defense of Draco

A Harry Potter Heresy? In Defense of Draco

Who would think of naming someone other than the belovedly scar-ridden H.P. the hero of J.K. Rowling’s famous tales of witchcraft and wizardry? This is precisely the claim coming from the mouth of Jason Isaacs, who plays Lucius Malfoy, father of privileged bad boy and Slytherin typecast, Draco, in the film adaptation of Harry Potter. Don’t curse us just yet, Gryffindor. Isaacs’ comment isn’t meant to derail the entire Potter fantasy, nor take away from the golden child that is Harry Potter, but to reinstate the luster lost within a character so commonly perceived as sinister. Isaacs sheds light [Lumos!]…

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Another Week Ends: Divorce Delusions, FNL, KJV, Natural Family Planning, Pastafarianism, Harry Potter and 30 Rock

Another Week Ends: Divorce Delusions, FNL, KJV, Natural Family Planning, Pastafarianism, Harry Potter and 30 Rock

1. New Mbird favorite Heather Havrilesky hit another home run in this past Sunday’s NY Times Magazine with her column “The Divorce Delusion,” in which she exposed the current sunny pop-climate about divorce for what it is, namely, delusional. Or at least very naive. She also took the opportunity to muse on the underlying narcissism:

The moral to this modern divorce story? If everyone involved doesn’t emerge stronger, happier and more productive, well, then, in the vague parlance of today’s progressive preschool, someone is making bad choices.

The notion that there’s some “right” choice for every life challenge fits neatly into the…

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