So long (almost) Mr. Potter – Why I will go see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I’m ashamed to say it, but sometimes film critics can be incredibly pretentious. When I was in university, I can’t tell you how many times my fellow film studies students would begin their arguments with “this film reminded me of this obscure Cuban filmmaker from the 1950s…” After I tried to make some sort of counter-argument, fellow student would proceed to sneer at me with contempt when I admitted I didn’t know who said filmmaker was  and hadn’t seen  his six hour documentary on striking factory workers.

Don’t get me wrong. While I may not be able to do math to save my life, I am fully confident in my knowledge of some of the most obscure film trivia out there. Ever since I watched Annie on a continuous loop as a child, films have been my life. I loved going to Cinemania recently and seeing a bunch of great films that I know will never make it to the regular theatres. (Btw, I plan on doing the same next week with the Montreal Brazilian Film Festival- watch out for my report coming soon).

But on the other end of the spectrum, I also enjoy some of the bigger and more conventional offerings that come out of Hollywood. While my Forget the Box colleagues and probably some of you readers out there in cyberspace are guaranteed to mock me for it, I declare that I am a lover of the pop culture phenomenon known as Harry Potter.

There, I’ve said it. It feels good to come clean every now and then, doesn’t it? Always keeping an eye on the pop culture radar I remember initially dismissing Potter when I heard about it in High School. What can I say I was a teenager, when everything and anything under the sun sounded awful and lame. It’s funny how things can change in your life, isn’t it?  Nowadays you can find  me sitting on the metro or at my local coffee shop in Montreal West partaking in my ritual of re-reading the book before the latest film version comes out.

When I heard the last installment of the Harry Potter film franchise, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, would be split into two I didn’t mind a bit. I fully accept that it’s a ploy by the studio to milk one more time the millions upon millions of dollars that these films have brought. I don’t go and see films like Harry Potter because I want to see high art. I go to Harry Potter for the experience of sitting in a theatre with my popcorn and losing myself in amusing fantasy for two hours. It’s something me and pretentious film studies people could never agree on in class. They wanted every film they watched to be packed with meaning and purpose. While I love watching and re-watching certain films trying to analyse certain moments or scenes, sometimes I just want to watch shit blow up. Or in this case watch  kids fly around on brooms with cool looking CGI effects.

So this weekend I’ll be at the theatre watching Harry Potter, happy knowing there’s still one more taste left for me in the future.

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