Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Hottest Reading On Earth

B and I went to a reading in Brooklyn at Cleopatra's: ESS ESS Sunset Series No.2 with Jo Ann Beard and Jibade-Khalil Huffman. The picture to the left is of Beard reading. Cleopatra's is a really small space. I'm not sure exactly what it is they do there. You can see the (possibly backward-facing) tower of fans attempting to cool the audience/reader off. It didn't do much good. They offered beer and popsicles and it was so hot everyone seemed to be dripping sweat. Luckily, both readers presented their work quickly and without much fanfare. I recently read an article about the horrors of literary readings. Some writers have no clue what they're doing when they read, or else they have no understanding that an audience doesn't want to sit through 30 or 40 minutes of droning.

So I appreciated Beard and Huffman's efficient delivery. Not being familiar with their work, I can't say much about it, but I was happy to attend a reading so close to where I live.

After the reading B and I went home and watched Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. We've been on a HP marathon lately, preparing for a trip to the theater to actually see the final HP film. I've never read the books and don't think I ever will, yet the completion of Harry Potter's story (in film form) touches something in me. I don't identify with any of the characters really - if I did I would probably guess someone like Hagrid or someone silly like that. I also don't have a particularly deep passion for wizards and witches, etc. But, the completion of the story, of the EVENT of Harry Potter makes me love what it is. Has there been any other film series which has consistently used the same cast so successfully? Or what about the scenes in which Alan Rickman, Gary Oldman, and David Thewlis go to head to head in The Prisoner of Azkaban? All are serious (and seriously good) actors. I could almost forget I was watching a movie where these actors were not the main event. Add in Helena Bonham-Carter, Michael Gambon, Maggie Smith, Emma Thompson. The list could go on and does.

I guess I shouldn't be amazed that the Harry Potter series drew so many of the best actors to its casts. But for some reason looking back, it seems like the completion of the series is some sort of historical event in film.

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