Posts Tagged ‘David Yates’

As it is a long pubic holiday weekend I thought that I would take the opportunity to review a few film adaptations of past book club picks.

First up is J.K. Rowling‘s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2001), which was my book club pick for November 2016.

I first saw Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them while on holiday in Kolkata, India. An interesting viewing experience. The film was in English with English subtitles and there was an intermission where staff brought around food that had been preordered.

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Rowling wrote the book Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them, along with Quidditch Through the Ages, as a supplement to the Harry Potter series. Profits from both books benefited the charity Comic Relief.

The book was designed to be a reproduction of the textbook written by magizoologist Newt Scamander owned Harry Potter, and first mentioned in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

The film written by J.K. Rowling, and released in 2016, features Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander, who in 1926 arrives in New York City from England en route to Arizona with a suitcase full of magical creatures.

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Newt (Eddie Redmayne)

Within hours of arriving Newt accidentally switches suitcases with Jacob Kowalsi (Dan Fogler), a No-Maj (the American term for a Muggle). Inevitably several of the magical creatures escape and begin to cause havoc on New York City.

Stuart Craig, production designer on all eight Harry Potter films, creates a dark and gothic 1920s Manhattan. The set design is one of my favourite elements in the film.

Newt also attracts the attention of Porpentina ‘Tina’ Goldstein (Katherine Waterston), a disgraced demoted Auror for the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA), who sees him as a threat to magical society.

We are also introduced to Tina’s sister and roommate Queenie (Alison Sudol), who is a Legilimens, which is a magical person with the ability to read feelings and memories from another person’s mind.

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Newt (Eddie Redmayne) and Jacob (Dan Fogler)

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Tina (Katherine Waterston) and Newt (Eddie Redmayne)

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Queenie (Alison Sudol)

While Newt is searching for his magical creatures the wizards of MACUSA have their owns concerns about the infamous dark wizard, Grindelwald – one of the most dangerous dark wizards of all time, second only to Voldermort.

Director of Magical Security Percival Graves (Colin Farrell) accuses Newt of conspiring with Grindelwald.

There is also the threat of exposure from Mary Lou Barebone (Samantha Morton), who believes there are witches and wizards in New York City. Graves is working in secret with Mary Lou’s eldest abused adoptive son Credence (Ezra Miller) to find an Obscurus, a parasite that develops inside children if they suppress their magical abilities.

The real stars of the film are the magical creatures. I can’t decide if my favourite is the mischievous Niffler, or the tree-stem sized lock-picking Bowtruckle named Pickett.

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Mary Lou (Samantha Morton) and Credence (Ezra Miller)

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Credence (Ezra Miller) and Graves (Colin Farrell)

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Niffler

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Pickett

The film is directed by David Yates, who directed the final four films in the Harry Potter series. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them also stars Johnny Depp, Carmen Ejogo, Ron Pearlman, and John Voight.

A sequel Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald was released in November 2018. Another three films are expected in the Fantastic Beasts series with the third film scheduled for release in November 2020.

 

Book Club Pick: November 2016

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Book Details:

Title: Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them

Author: J.K. Rowling

Series: Accompaniment to the Harry Potter series

Country: Great Britain

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

First Published: 2001

Pages: 88

Publisher’s Description:

A copy of Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them resides in almost every wizarding household in the country. Now Muggles too have the chance to discover where the Quintaped lives, what the Puffskein eats and why it is best not to leave milk out for a Knarl.

Proceeds from the sale of this book will go to Comic Relief, which means the pounds and Galleons you exchange for it will do magic beyond the powers of any wizard. If you feel that this is insufficient reason to part with your money, I can only hope that passing wizards feel more charitable if they see you being attacked by a Manticore.

Albus Dumbledore

Review:

Coming out later this month is the fantasy feature film Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them directed by David Yates, who directed the last four films in the Harry Potter film series.

The film is the debut screenplay by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. It is inspired by her book Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them, so in celebration of the release of the upcoming film it is a fitting choice for this month’s book club pick.

Rowling wrote Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them, along with Quidditch Through the Ages, as a supplement to the Harry Potter series. Profits from both books benefited the charity Comic Relief.

It is designed to be a reproduction of the textbook owned Harry Potter, first mentioned in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. It includes several handwritten notes and doodles by Harry, Ron and Hermione.

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The textbook is written by magizoologist Newt Scamander. Rowling originally published the book under the pseudonym Newt Scamander without her name on the cover. Later additions were published under her name though.

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The book is set out like a traditional academic textbook with a foreword, introductory notes and scholarly footnotes. The main part of the book is written similar to an encyclopaedia and features in alphabetical order 85 magical creatures from Acromantula to Yeti.

The foreword is written by Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry headmaster Albus Dumbledore.

The only downside is the book is not illustrated. It would have been interesting to have seen illustrations of the various magical creatures but I guess you will just have to use your imagination.

The upcoming film, the first in a series of five films, stars Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander. Carmen EjogoColin FarrellDan Fogler, Ezra Miller, Samantha MortonRon Perlman, Alison SudolJon Voight, and Katherine Waterston also star.

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Links:

J.K. Rowling Official Website

J.K. Rowling on Facebook

J.K. Rowling on Twitter

Pottermore

 

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Official Movie Website

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie on Facebook

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie on Twitter

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie on Instagram

 

Source: I borrowed a copy of this book from my public library.