ABC News Article on Deathly Hallows Movie

I was interviewed by Coeli Carr of 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.

16 thoughts on “ABC News Article on Deathly Hallows Movie

  1. I thought that the scene between Harry & Hermione in Ron’s head was quite well done, and I thought Rupert did a fantastic job portraying his inner struggle. The scene helps the movie goer who did not read the books to understand what Ron is going through. I need to go back and re-read the whole book now that I have seen part 1 of Deathly Hallows. I was pleased that the movie stayed true to the book for the most part, and IMO the acting was excellent!

  2. I read the transcript instead of watching the video, so I’m intrigued by an unanswered question: How does Coeli Carr pronounce her first name? (Offhand I’ve got half a dozen phonetically tenable guesses…)

  3. I thought it was done well. And it’s not really a sex scene. Yes, they’re naked and kissing, but it’s not like they’re groping each other.

    What bothered me about that scene in the movie was how Harry didn’t explain to Ron that Hermione had cried every night since he’d left (or something that that affect. I don’t have the book on my right now, so I can’t search for it.) I mean, Harry didn’t really help quash Ron’s fears.

    Also, the reason why Ron needed to be the one who killed the horcrux wasn’t explained too well, either. They didn’t say that it was because he was the one who found the sword and that the magic would be more effective that way. Instead, it was presented as overcoming one’s inner demons, which is partially but not fully accurate.

    I still really enjoyed the movie though. 🙂

  4. I concur with those above who commented on the scene… it isn’t a sex scene. They are naked, and kissing, but not remotely having sex. No “parts” are showing, and I think it was incredibly well done, because anyone who has let their inner demons get the better of them especially in the jealousy realm, would agree that for Ron, what he saw come out of the horcrux is his concrete fear combined with and what happens when that fear is fed and made to grow into something grotesque.

  5. I commented before I read the article. My comment still stands, but it is a criticism of the article’s angle on the scene, not on any of those who were quoted in it (Travis included). In fact, the commentary in this article on this particular moment in the story, is quite good. It just perplexes me as to why the journalist is calling this a “sex” scene when it isn’t.

  6. Travis, your comments in the article were fine but your full explanation is exceptional. I wholeheartedly agree.

    I loved everything about the Horcrux scene right up until the moment when they were obviously naked. And even though nothing really showed, it felt intrusive, distracting, to me. I think a clothed kiss would have been good enough.

    Also: Donna, you’re right–it’s not a true sex scene. It’s a scene that shows enough to express Ron’s terrible fear and jealousy at the thought of the woman he loves being with his best friend.

  7. Jenna, this is the scene from the book: ” ‘Who wouldn’t prefer him, what woman would take you, you are nothing, nothing to him,’ crooned Riddle-Hermione, and she stretched herself like a snake and entwined herself around Riddle-Harry, wrapping him in a close embrace. Their lips met.” (DH, 377). I remember reading that scene for the first time and thinking how sensual it was. In a sense, the entwined embrace here in the book is almost more than what you see in the film. I just think Yates used a slightly different way of portraying the sensuality of the scene, and I didn’t find that it bothered particularly. I mean, it is twisted, and dark, and it is sensual, but that is the whole point of the scene, Ron’s fear projected and twisted by Voldemort’s soul.

  8. thebardling, yes–and perhaps I should have been more clear. It was not the kiss itself that I found intrusive and distracting. It was the sudden presence of a great deal of skin, in which I could see a bit more of Emma Watson than I’d show of myself.

  9. everyone in the theatre laughed at that scene. I’ve yet to talk to one person who took it seriously. It was more of “WTF” moment than anything else.

  10. Saw DH1 at midnight opening…no laughter in our theater at the Horcrux Hermione-Harry scene. I thought it represented the passage in the book beautifully. Going to see it again; liked it; too much to fully appreciate in one showing.

  11. Hmmm. A fair number of people in the Harry Potter fandom will find it extremely tame. I gave a talk at my college on Thursday and in the discussion, we touched on fandom and “shipping.” I pointed out that in the actual books, there is almost no sex at all. I can’t remember any pre- or extra-marital sex, and the chaperonage is very strict; good-humored, but strict. I think a few of my students blinked at me in disbelief, but it’s absolutely true, and it’s why I don’t think parents have to be concerned about any sexual material in the books.

    I thought the kiss scene went a little bit over the top. It made my inner nine-year-old somewhat uncomfortable.

  12. Just to point out i read an article about when they interviewed emma watson and infact they were not naked at all since the faog was around them it gave that illusion when infact daniel radcliffe was in jeans and shirtless and emma watson had on jeans and a strapless bra so it gave off the effect they were both naked because the directer wanted it to look that way but thought it wasnt necessary to make both of them strip nude

  13. Oh my god, I love Ron in this scene. I thought that it really showed his worries and fears, and how much he loves Hermione. I wanted to scream at him, “HERMIONE LOVES YOU!!!!!” Ron is the ultimate favorite character.

  14. Does anyone know of a way that scene could have been shot while:
    1. Keeping the integrity of the book by revealing the lies in Ron’s head. (an oxymoron)
    2. Refusing to strip Daniel Radcliff down to his skimpies?

    I can’t think of one…

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