The Punch presents an exclusive peek at Harry Potter author JK Rowling’s first foray into writing for grownups, following her announcement she is excited about exploring “new territory”.
Harry peeled his head off the Formica tabletop, wincing as his brains audibly bounced against his aching skull. He fumbled then palmed his smeared glasses onto his face and scanned last night’s wreckage – a shattered bong on the carpet, ice crystals clagging up the bottom of a plastic baggie, cigarette butts floating in beer bottles.
Ron was clawing at the couch in his sleep, groaning. Last night’s vomit matted his hair, which glinted a sickly red in the mid-morning light.
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Took my daughter to the Harry Potter exhibition at Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum on the weekend. She loved it. Great day out. No arguments with the exhibition at all.
We pre-booked a $95 family ticket, then queued to get into a queue which led to the queue at the start of the exhibition. Not ideal, but again, no arguments. You’re always going to get crowds with something this popular.
The exhibition was terrific, with all kinds of artefacts, costumes and props from the Potter movies. And then the thing ended, in the world’s most expensive gift shop.
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There’s no escape from the boy-wizard. On this day in 2000 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was released, smashing publishing records. Again. Author JK Rowling set off on her ‘Hogwarts’ promotional tour. But that was practically small bikkies next to the movies created from this bookish phenomenon.
And overnight was the world premiere of the final instalment of the movie, the second part of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. People camped out, people said ‘end of an era’, people will soon find their next obsession.
Are you potty for Potter? Will you rush out and see the last film? Feel free to talk about something (anything) else here.
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About 15 years ago, Nick Cave’s The Ship Song became the preferred Australian bogan wedding waltz.
The song entered the Australian public consciousness, but the artist behind it remained lesser known and considered something of a fringe dweller, kicking cans on the outskirts.
His gentle song Into My Arms, from 1997, has likewise slowly grown into a national song which can be played on any radio station and will see grandmothers pausing briefly to remember a personal moment from long ago.
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I have a confession to make. This isn’t easy, but I feel the time has finally arrived to come clean.
No doubt, my actions will bring shame upon my family, friends, colleagues and various stores I frequent, but I can no longer hide in the shadows. If there is a God, I pray he forgives this twisted soul and all its hideous imperfections.
Here goes: I don’t care much for Harry Potter.
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Now this whole Harry Potter thing has rounded the turn and headed for home, I, for one, worry for the welfare of the (boy-)man himself, Daniel Radcliffe.
Sure, he might well be the richest thing in glasses this side of Bill Gates.
But does DanRad have a fighting chance of staying on our screens once he no longer has a wand to wave in self-defence?
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Welcome to a new week @ The Punch.
Today in 2007 JK Rowling completed Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It was the 7th novel in her series.
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Hollywood Director Michael Mann probably never dreamed he would grow up and inspire movie-goers around the world to knock over a few banks with their mates.
But seriously, I’m positive anyone who’s seen the latest Mann spectacular, Public Enemies, walked away thinking how cool they’d look robbing a bank with a band of Johnny Depp looking outlaws.
In its first weekend at Aussie cinemas Public Enemies pulled in $3,151,046, knocking the latest wand-swishing Harry Potter installment from its number one spot.
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Last weekend marked the launch of the sixth in the now eight-part movie saga that is Harry Potter. As is surely apparent by now, the movies sit not as a substitute for the books but a complement to them. They succeed where they can visualise magic that cannot be done in words - the creatures, the castle and a large part of the action. But they fail where the books have their most significant: in the complex characters and the deeper moral issues.
But in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince one of those deeper but unstated moral issues arose neatly and somewhat humorously in the movie: the role of academia. It came in the form of Professor Slughorn, a marvelously imagined character who is a teacher who cares only about the best in the class and seeks them out to the exclusion of all others. He, in turn, is a character that is perhaps the most instrumentalist of at least the “good” guys in the saga. Slughorn, at various points, commits self-interested acts claiming “academic purposes”. For instance, he is caught removing valuable leaves from a plant, claiming their scientific merit but we know being motivated by the black market value.
That, however, is not where this issue comes to the fore. It is hard to describe it without giving away too much of the plot but Slughorn cites the very same “academic” disclaimer when handing over clearly dangerous knowledge to a young Voldemort. Slughorn later clearly realises his error and attempts to cover his tracks but the message is clear: there is a danger to the academic shield.
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