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the film criticism aspect of cyber | by maryann johanson

10 years of Flick Filosopher: the thing about Harry

I can’t believe it’s been five years already. From my review of Harry Potter and the Scorcerer’s Stone:

I envy today’s 8-year-olds.

Oh, I was positively aquiver with anticipation in the days leading up to the advance screening of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone I attended. Like a kid waiting for Christmas morning, I was — the day couldn’t come soon enough. And now, Friday can’t come soon enough: I’m going again on opening night. I’m glad I bought those tickets two weeks ago.

I figure when I want to see a movie again right then, instantly, the moment it’s over, that movie has done its job in entertaining me.

So it’s not the childlike sense of excitement about something as silly as a movie that I envy — I’ve certainly got childishness to spare (I plan on wearing my quidditch jersey in Gryffindor colors on Friday night, dorkiness be damned). I envy kids the discovery they’re about to make, about the power of movies to dominate the imagination, to air our secret fears and desires, to become cornerstones of our psyches. I was 8 when Star Wars was first released, and it warped my brain forever. Harry Potter is this generation’s Luke Skywalker, and the Potters will be this generation’s Star Wars saga. Sorcerer’s Stone isn’t Great Film any more than Star Wars is, but it’s a great movie like Star Wars is: it’s visually clever and sweetly old-fashioned and funny and sad and exciting and scary. Voldemort may be a cheesy special effect, but he’s gonna give kids nightmares the way that Darth Vader did. Hell, his hissing gave me the heebie jeebies.

review of Harry Potter and the Scorcerer’s Stone, posted 11.14.01

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