I haven't really had much of a chance to update of late because I have been quite busy. This past week and a half has been full of rather nice events grafted on to really grueling days at work, including roof jobs, cable runs and faulty equipment. Those responsible for the invention and adoption of the TA3000 mux deserve to be anally raped by a rhinoceros with elephantiasis (thank goodness they're no longer being installed).
I do need a new flashlight, and my manager told me to just buy one and put it in as car fare. I'm going to buy a really nice one (I'm actually considering one of those forehead flashlights, as it would free my hands, which would be very helpful).
I hosted cookie_girl last weekend, and we ended up going to no less than three museums in four days: the Cloisters on Friday, the Museum of Natural History on Saturday and the Queens Hall of Science on Monday.
While these were all engaging (although one finds that it is a good thing that meteorites probably spend so much time in space because they stink), I have to say that the Museum of Natural History proved once again to be an endless treasure trove of interesting stuff. The new exhibit "Extreme Mammals" is absolutely fascinating. It is also one of the few cases where one can see live animals as part of the exhibit; in this case some rather cute Sugar Gliders.
In addition to working on finishing up The Early Mixes, a new and very different project appears to be immanent, and Dan and I are working to ensure that once we're finished with the one, we're going right to work on the next. I can't discuss much about it right now for a myriad of reasons (sorry), but it looks to be a great opportunity on several different levels.
I caught Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and was rather surprised (especially after the pacing mess that David Yates made of the fifth movie) that it was quite an enjoyable and almost graceful adaptation of the book. No, it doesn't have everything I might have wanted to see (for example, the Gaunts are not included, although given how long it would have taken to explain all of that, I understand why they were cut) and there is a scene in the middle that really seems to be more of a studio-requested action sequence than anything else, but it does a very good job at honing the characters' emotional journeys into concise arcs. I have no doubt that the streamlining will bother many, but the most important aspects are all here.
While Jim Broadbent doesn't look or act much like the Horace Slughorn I pictured, he was nevertheless a very legitimate interpretation of the character, and once I saw where he was going with his performance, I found him quite entertaining. I've heard a reasonable argument from more than one person that it hurts the character a bit that he is never identified on-screen as a Slytherin. I kind of agree, as it is kind of a main point in the book that Sluggy is the first Slytherin that Harry has met that doesn't fall into the creepy (or worse) category. On the other hand, I'm not sure if they avoided mentioning it or that it just didn't come up, al which is honestly how I perceived it while I was watching the movie.
The nature of this story meant more screen time for Michael Gambon and Alan Rickman, which I never really have a problem with. Their work here is exemplary, with the climactic scene playing well on several different levels (there is a moment when Dumbledore asks Harry about his relationship to Hermione; given what we now know about Dumbledore, it is almost a shame that he didn't then ask about Ron). Tom Felton also puts in some good work here.
Nicholas Hooper's work is also a distinct improvement over his work on Order of the Phoenix as well, the Dumbledore material centered around a rather attractive choral piece "In Noctem," which was apparently written for a sequence that didn't make the film. Hooper also incorporates the "Quidditch: Third Year" variation on the "Double Trouble" theme that John Williams composed for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, giving those sequences a rather nice continuity with the previous films. I'm still not particularly taken by his suspense music, nor his "bouncy" sound, but his prettier music ("Farewell Aragog," "When Ginny Kissed Harry") can be quite attractive.
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One can't help but consider the poetry of his passing in the shadow of the 40th anniversary of what he considered to be the finest moment of his career.
COMPLETELY WORK SAFE