I was interviewed by Coeli Carr of ABCNews.com about the Deathly Hallows movie. Reporters only have so much room to work with, so I thought I’d use this space to expand a bit on the quotes that were used. In particular, the article, which you can find here, focused on the added “sex scene”.
I was asked if I thought Harry Potter fans would be upset by it. My mind flashed quickly to the Harry Potter conferences, and my first response was, “Some might be, but most of Harry Potter fandom won’t be bothered by it.” Carr followed up by asking, “Why will some people be bothered?” My answer, in full, was this: J.K. Rowling steered very clear of the subject of sex in her books. No sex scenes, no blatant references to sex. If Rowling stayed away from the subject, why does the film have to go there? This, I think, is why some will have trouble with the scene.
Regarding imagination, I wanted to focus on the primary imagination, a la Coleridge: when reading, our imagination is engaged in a creative process, visualizing the scenes and symbols as we read them. While I do believe film-making, along with all visual art, is a legitimate form of artistic expression and has the potential for human edification, there is a certain disengagement that happens when the image is put before us as opposed to created by our own minds. So adding a Harry/Hermione “sex scene” to Ron’s struggle could cause an unhelpful intrusion into that very potent and symbol-filled scene. (This potential exists with the entire film, of course, not just this scene.)
Finally, for what it’s worth, I do really think Yates does a nice job of summing up a whole lot of stuff with just a few images or lines. While I’ve yet to see the film, and I don’t know how successful he was in this one, I think his track record is good, and I’m looking forward to seeing it tomorrow.