Potter late than never

 

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WILD ABOUT HARRY | By growing up on screen in the role, Daniel Radcliffe has the audience vested in his fate.

Final installment of ‘Harry Potter’ makes a fitting end to a decade-long series that even a Muggle can appreciate

ARNOLD WAYNE JONES  | Life+Style Editor
jones@dallasvoice.com

There’s a tonal shift in the final installment of the Harry Potter series, part 2 of The Deathly Hallows, that’s almost arrestingly apart from what has preceded it. Maybe it’s the sense of finality that the story is truly coming to an end, a sentimental summing up that resolves most of the plot threads, explains just why Harry is so important and how Voldemort will finally be defeated. That coda gives us a sense of closure.

That the film works so well is astonishing, considering that Part 1, which came out eight months ago, was so disastrously heavy and convoluted. This one, dark as pitch, benefits from well-conceived set pieces and a streamlined arc.

Still, this Potter is a good 20 minutes shorter than the average for the series, and includes an epilogue well after the slightly unsatisfying climax. Given how it serves as the grand capstone to a popular series,  you’d think they could have found time to, for instance, remind us what the deathly hallows of the title are. (None of the films has ever recapped important plot points, the way the Lord of the Rings series did — and that was just three films, not eight spread over 10 years.)

So, prepare to go in either expecting to have to relearn some facts: Voldemort divided his soul into several “horcruxes” which Harry, Hermione and Ron are trying to find and destroy; meanwhile, the Death Eaters are ruling Hogwarts under the iron thumb of Snape.

There are still some nearly insurmountable incongruities that only the most devoted fans could heedlessly overlook (how is it Voldemort and Harry can see inside each others’ brains, but never know where the other is? If they can fly instantly through space-time, how does a creaky metal fence act as such a devastating barrier? etc.). And Steven Kloves’ script is problematic and cliché-filled (Snape actually delivers the line, “Some of you are probably wondering why I summoned you here at this hour”).

But director David Yates has assembled some thrilling action sequences and added a Gothic flair that add weight and urgency. The siege of Hogwarts is a special effects extravaganza that evokes some real thrills and awesome moments, such as a phalanx of stone warriors defending the school against an onslaught of giants. It also affords some of the long-standing characters the opportunity to emerge from the shadows of the series, including a defiant Prof. McGonagall (Maggie Smith) and the dopey Neville Longbottom as a surprise hero.

The thrust of the film, though, is explaining just why Harry is so special, and Daniel Radcliffe, who literally grew up before our eyes in the role, shows a remarkable maturity amid all the hoo-ha. I still maintain that the movies border on incoherence, but you can’t deny the sincerity with which Radcliffe has always tackled the material, often sharing screen-time with some of the preeminent British actors of their age. When all is said and done, you cannot help but care for Harry and be vested in what happens to him. On that score, The Deathly Hallows Part 2 does not disappoint.

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On the inside with a wizard: Dallas’ gay-friendly Harry Potter club

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Dallas Voice intern Drake von Trapp (fourth from left) found acceptance in this Potter’s field.

For some people, the Harry Potter series amounts to a good read, a franchise to criticize or a childish fantasy blown out of proportion. For others, though, it’s a way of life, the basis of friendships, even a social necessity.

For me, Harry Potter was the cornerstone of my adolescence. Prior to reading the series, I was little more than a home-schooled recluse. A three-month trip to Australia left me without much to do but read, and during my banishment, I devoured the entire series within weeks.

After returning to the Dallas, I joined the Harry Potter Dallas-Fort Worth club (HP DFW), an LGBT-friendly group of like-minded fans who shared my passion for the series. The group meets twice a month to discuss aspects of the books and movies. I was soon absorbed in the family-like atmosphere of the club and the intricacies of the fandom.

Members get together to not only argue over the pros and cons of house elves, but also to dress up as our favorite characters, attend Potter conventions and hold our own Potter-related parties.

I’m now the co-organizer for the group (“Filch of the Forums” is my formal title), and one of the many LGBT-identified individuals who are active in it. Like the characters in the series itself, HP DFW is an open-minded and supportive family of accepting nerds. And even Muggles are welcome.

— Draconis von Trapp

For more information, visit Meetup.com/hp-dfw

 

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 15, 2011.

 

—  Kevin Thomas

Neil Patrick Harris to return as Tony Awards host

Neil Patrick Harris is known to most of his fans as the womanizing Barney on the unwatchable How I Met Your Mother sitcom, but to many others, he’s the openly gay song-and-dance man who turned coming out into a career renaissance. Last year, he did an excellent, camped up job as the host of the Tony Awards, and he’ll be back again this year.

In addition to Harris, scheduled presenters and performers, announced today, include Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe (currently on Broadway in the revival of How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying), Oscar winner and Broadway producer Whoopi Goldberg, gay Tony winner David Hyde Pierce and his TV brother, Kelsey Grammer, who recently left the musical La Cage aux Folles, gay Emmy winner (The Big Bang Theory) Jim Parsons, currently in his Broadway debut of the AIDS play The Normal Heart, co-directed by  Oscar winner and fellow presenter Joel Grey.

The Tonys air on CBS June 12.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Trevor Project honors Radcliffe

Daniel Radcliffe, left, with costars Rupert Grint and Emma Watson in a scene from ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1′

I readily admit that I am a huge Harry Potter fan. I love the books. I love the movies. And I love the young actors that portray the characters in the movies — especially Daniel Radcliffe.

Radcliffe makes my list of favorites not just because he plays the heroic Harry Potter, but also because of his dedication, as a straight ally, to making life better for LGBT teens.

Obviously, I am not Radcliffe’s only fan. The Associated Press reports today that Radcliffe has been honored by The Trevor Project with the Hero Award for his work with the organization. Since first learning about the Trevor Project in 2008, he has worked to support the organization through public service announcements and other public statements. Radcliffe has also been very vocal and public in his support for LGBT equality.

Radcliffe told AP  he considers it “an honor” to have the chance to support the Trevor Project, and that he believes, “The people that are doing the heroic things are the people answering phones 24 hours a day in the Trevor call centers.” He said that supporting the Trevor Project is “absolutely one of the most important, if not the most important, thing that I’m associated with.”

Previous winners of the Trevor Project Hero Award are Nathan Lane, Dustin Lance Black and Vanessa Williams.

The final installment of the “Harry Potter” movie series — Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 — will be released in July, and Radcliffe is now starring in the Broadway revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

—  admin

See the new Harry Potter movie early, support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

OK, how many Harry Potter fans do we have out there? And how many of you are chomping at the bit to see the new movie, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1″?

It comes out at midnight on Thursday, Nov. 18, but here in the Metroplex, you have a chance to see the movie four hours early and at the same time contribute to a good cause: The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

I think it is a fitting fundraiser, considering the commitment that the film’s star, Daniel Radcliffe, has made to The Trevor Project and the many times Radcliffe has spoken out for LGBT rights.

The screening will be held at the Rave Theatre in Northeast Mall in Hurst. Tickets are $16 each and are available online at MugglesForLife.webs.com.

—  admin

Daniel Radcliffe speaks out on teen suicides in PSA for The Trevor Project

Lots of celebrities have been speaking out over the past week or so on the subject of the teens who have killed themselves after being bullied. Daniel Radcliffe, star of the Harry Potter film series, has added his voice to the discussion in the form of a public service announcement for The Trevor Project, a national 24-hour, toll free confidential suicide hotline for gay and questioning youth.

Because I am a Harry Potter fan, I am sharing Radcliffe’s video here:

—  admin

Radcliffe: "No, I am not gay"

Daniel Radcliffe

Daniel Radcliffe

Daniel Radcliffe, the British actor famous for portraying everybody’s favorite boy wizard Harry Potter, again denied persistent rumors that he is gay. He doesn’t care if people think he is, but he isn’t.

Radcliffe once again addressed the rumors during a recent interview with Mtv in which he talked mainly about his work with The Trevor Project, a program that works to prevent suicide among LGBT teens.

Radcliffe told Mtv: “If people want to say that, they can. But I’m not. I’m straight. … My favorite thing I saw was a guy on the Internet that said, ‘Of course he’s gay. He’s got a gay face,’ which I thought was kind of an odd thing to say anyway. A ‘gay face’? That’s a very worrying thing, like they have sat at home and have got pictures of me next to other famous, gay [people] — Elton John, I don’t know — just comparing across the years. I’m not sure. It’s very, very odd.”

Radcliffe, who has often talked about growing up around a lot of gay people and about his support on LGBT issues, also told Mtv that he believes that if he were gay, he would not have let his fame as “Harry Potter” keep him from being out.

There is a video of the interview with Radcliffe on the Mtv site that was I going to post here. But it isn’t working right now. You can go here to read the story and see if they have the video working yet.

—  admin

Daniel donates

Daniel-Radcliffe

Daniel Radcliffe, the handsome young actor who has portrayed teen wizard Harry Potter in 6 movies so far, has reportedly made “a major donation” to The Trevor Project, a non-profit organization that operates a nationwide crisis and suicide prevention helpline for LGBTQ youth.

A press release issued by The Trevor Project says that “the 20-year-old actor joined The Trevor Project’s Circle of Hope, a community of major donors which plays an essential role in providing the financial leadership that makes the organization’s lifesaving work possible.”

Other celebrities who are currently listed as members of The Trevor Project’s “Circle of Hope” include Jodie Foster, Sasha Baron Cohen and Anne Hathaway.

Included in the press release was this statement by Radcliffe himself: “I am very pleased to begin my support of The Trevor Project, which saves lives every day through its critical work... I deeply hope my support can raise the organization’s visibility so even more despondent youth become aware of The Trevor Helpline’s highly trained counselors and Trevor’s many other resources. It’s vitally important that young people understand they are not alone and, perhaps even more important, that their young lives have real value.”

They didn’t say what the actual amount of Radcliffe’s donation was.

—  admin