Some links and thoughts to break blog silence
Sorry for the blog silence, but the past week was spent on family vacation in Rhode Island. Not much more to say, but a few links for your trouble:
First, I highly recommend The West Side, a new serialized online video co-created by a former student of mine, Ryan Bilsborrow-Koo. The program is a contemporary urban western with an excellent sense of visual style and genre playfulness – imagine Deadwood meets The Wire in highly-stylized black-and-white. Not the standard YouTube shtick, but a more ambitious sense of what online video might enable – check it out!
In today’s New York Times, they published four potential endings for the Harry Potter series from a range of writers. My favorite & most interesting is Damon Lindelof’s commentary about the pressure to provide closure through a happy ending versus Harry’s death – the conventions of storytelling demand Harry to survive, but we want the dramatic stakes raised via his death. It’s interesting in light of Lost, as clearly Lindelof is contemplating the expectations & possibilities of the show’s now-announced ending. Do they give us what will provide pleasures of closure, or pleasures of surprise? Given how Lost has proceeded over the years, my money’s on the latter.
In terms of Harry Potter, I’ve been thinking a lot about it lately, both in anticipation of the final book and because I’m reading the first book to my daughter. The speculation about the final book seems centered around Harry’s fate, but that’s less interesting to me – I find that the series is more intriguing in its narration of what happened in Voldemort’s first reign, rather than the narrative present of Harry’s battle. So for me, the most engaging questions I’m looking forward to resolving are how Voldemort was first defeated with the specific roles of Snape, Voldemort, Harry’s parents, etc. – I think Rowling’s most successful narrative achievement has been her ability to simultaneously tell/reveal the stories of present and past in such an intertwined and compelling fashion.
Another aside about the Harry event – what’s the window of necessary secrecy about its plot? The book will be devoured quickly by many, but not simultaneously like with a TV series – many families will need to rotate reading it and some folks will need a few weeks to get through it. So when can we assume that everyone who wants to be sheltered from the secrets has had adequate opportunity to read it? One month? Will the media oblige by sheltering spoilers for that long? I’m doubtful…
And finally, via Chuck, YouTube has seen the return of the 5 Second Movie, wrapped in (correct) fair use claims. They can be hit-or-miss, but excellent at their best. My favorite – a radically-condensed Fargo:
Filed under: Books, Narrative, New Media, Spoilers, TV Shows | 4 Comments
Tags: Harry Potter, Lost