2005-07-18

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Hello everybody!
Many of you have already started to read and some have already finished ( ;-) ) "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince".

Maybe you can remember that I once posted the link to my Harry Potter Forum (here it is again: http://kittyconfused.proboards38.com/index.cgi) "Harry Potter United".

Now, I want to invite you to join the discussion about the latest Harry Potter book, if you are interested! Here's the link to the board about the Prince:
http://kittyconfused.proboards38.com/index.cgi?board=prince

I hope to you see you there! *g*

Won-Won fan (also from Harry Potter *g*)

2005-07-11

Mysterious Code solved - finally...

Hi everybody!

I wanted to tell you about a book I recently read...

You surely remember Miriam’s presentation of “Angels and Demons” by Dan Brown. Perhaps you already heard of his latest novel “The Da Vinci Code”.

It had real good press (“Fascinating and Fun ... exceedingly clever ... Read the book and be enlightened.” – The Washington Post Book World) and was discussed all over the country – do you remember?

I sum up the plot shortly:

Robert Langdon who we already know from Brown’s first novel “Angels and Demons” is in Paris while the curator of the Louvre, Jacques Saunière, is murdered inside this museum. Langdon, Harvard symbologist, is awakened in the dead of night and brought inside the museum. Inspector Captain Fache makes him believe he could help the police finding the curator’s murderer by deciphering numerous hidden clues. What he is not told is the fact that he is Fache’s primary suspect because he was supposed to meet the Louvre curator the same evening inside the Louvre – in fact there where the murder had taken place.

A young French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, who happens to be Saunière’s granddaughter, warns him and helps him to get rid of the tracking dot for guarded observation. She is convinced Langdon did not kill her grandfather because he left her a message on the floor instructing her to find the symbologist. Together they discover a trail of hidden clues and by following these instructions find a peculiar key, which bears the symbols of the secret society Priory of Sion. Obviously, Sophie’s grandfather was one of the leading members of this group whose members included Isaac Newton, Victor Hugo , and Da Vince, among others. Together Sophie and Robert leave the Louvre and try to get away from the police. They even manage to solve a riddle to get hold of a wooden box, which contains the Holy Grail – Robert Langdon supposes.

Their flight from the police is interrupted for a short time when they arrive at Sir Teabing’s castle in Paris, one of Langdon’s colleagues. The whole story develops even faster when an albino monk named Silas appears. They kidnap the monk and leave France illegally by plane with Teabing’s help...

What makes the book so highly exciting is the fact that Brown tells each chapter from another point of view. He does not only refer to current events but reports the reader also the characters’ past.

I promise you will read it within few hours because the short chapters and the mixture of past, present and future nearly force you to go on.

What is perhaps even more important than the plot is the information the novel contains concerning the secret society Priory of Sion, the quest for and existence of the Holy Grail and Leonardo Da Vinci’s life and art.

Last but not least I quote a passage from the book, which is mysterious – in my eyes:

Many have made a trade of delusions and false miracles, deceiving the stupid multitude.

Blinding ignorance does mislead us. O! Wretched mortals, open your eyes!

– Leonardo Da Vinci –

Well, I think the book is worth reading, it’s exciting from the first page to the last and you will be very astonished at the fact that even Jesus Christ plays an important role in the solution of all the hidden clues.

In my opinion, the book does not criticize the Vatican or Christianity in general, but is to be seen fictional.

See you soon, Caro

High Society - The Philadelphia Story

Hi everybody!
As we watched the second part of "High Society" today, I looked for some critics about the film and found some very interesting facts which I want to tell you:

High Society is based on The Philadelphia Story, filmed by MGM in 1940 and starring Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant and James Stewart.
A completely new score was written for the film by Cole Porter and one tune, "True Love," was nominated for the Best Song Oscar of 1956.
The ring Grace Kelly displayed in the movie as her's character engagement ring was actually Kelly's own, given to her by her fiance, Prince Rainier of Monaco.
Crosby, Sinatra, Kelly and Armstrong recorded the soundtrack album for Capitol Records in 1956.
It was recorded in stereo, but because stereo LPs did not hit the market until 1958, it was originally released in mono.
The album was Crosby's first after his 20-year exclusive recording contract with Decca Records expired and he chose not to renew. His and Kelly's single of "True Love" became a gold record.
The film was the biggest money-maker of 1956.
(http://www.classicmoviemusicals.com/hisoc.htm)

Apart from this I also found some critics which weren’t very positive, here’s one of them:

I know it's not really fair to compare the two movies, but if you're going to film a remake of a classic you'd better make it different enough to stand on its own. Just adding songs and changing the faces isn't enough. I'm sure they thought this would be the perfect way to get these three stars onscreen together and initially I'd have to agree. This story gives Kelly the chance to flirt with both men while rediscovering her one true love and her imperfect nature. What saddens me is this role turns her into the cold blond goddess she managed to avoid for most of her short career. Sure she may look that way, but in most of her films her intelligence, passion and vulnerability shine through. Here, she never looses that icy reserve, even when her dialogue and actions are supposed to show differently. There's no fire behind those eyes, no matter how much she tries to light it. Hepburn finds strength, redemption and acceptance from her foibles, willing to start anew under her own steam with her eyes open. She doesn't need a man to be happy, but is thrilled when Dexter gives her another chance to prove what a great wife she can be. Kelly just seems resigned to her fate, glad that Dexter decided to rescue her from her clearly unfit behavior and a boring future. It's funny how much sexual tension Kelly has with both Stewart and Grant in earlier pictures and how little with either of the men here. Maybe she was too involved with her upcoming nuptials to Prince Rainier to put much effort into her acting.
I have to admit that this is the first film with Crosby that I've see all the way through. I was not impressed. He's going through the motions of being charming without any of the effort, relying on his voice to get him through. His Dexter seems to only want Tracy because she's the prettiest girl in the movie, not because she's a kindred spirit. He may be a great singer, but his acting leaves much to be desired. Sinatra, who I enjoy more as a performer, manages to give his character a little pizazz, but none of the indignation or intelligence that Stewart gave the role. Celeste Holm was horribly miscast as Liz, Sinatra's eventual love interest. She's far too innately intelligent and classy for a lug like him. The music is wonderful with songs composed by Cole Porter and played by Louis Armstrong. However, they really don't add anything to the story and really slow down the pace of the film. The dialogue makes this a screwball comedy, needing a certain timing to be funny and effective. By altering that, the film just seems tiresome and dim-witted. If you're a fan of any of the leads, you'll probably enjoy this outing...as long as you haven't seen the original. They do a decent job, but it just doesn't compare to the triumvirate of Grant, Hepburn and Stewart. If you haven't seen either, do yourself a favor and watch THE PHILADELPHIA STORY. That's how romantic comedies are supposed to be made. (http://crazy4cinema.com/Review/FilmsH/f_high_society.html)

Well, after having read this article, I’m very interested in "The Philadelphia Story". Perhaps we could also watch it?

See you tomorrow!

Harry-auf-Deutsch-Forum Translating Harry Potter into German

Hello ELKs,

As I promised today, here are two links concerning the translation of "Harry Potter" books into German.

This is where you can see all the threads (groups of topics) of the forum (the language of communication is German):

Harry-auf-Deutsch-Forum: Willkommen im Forum

And this is where you can announce your willingness to translate one (or two, three) pages of the new "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince". Remember that you are expected to buy the English version yourself, and you ought to be able to have it in your possession by Saturday afternoon at the latest - maybe you can buy it at one of the Amberg bookshops on Saturday morning, or have it delivered to your doorstep via Amazon or one of the other online bookshops:

Anmeldung zur Blitz-Übersetzung

Before you can enter any contributions to the forum, you must go through a (short) registration process. If there are any questions about this, don't hesitate to ask.

Potterish regards,
PR

P.S.: The above-mentioned forum is *terribly* slow at times, so don't be frustrated if it takes a while. But once you're registered as a translator, you'll get the address of a temporary forum which was specially opened only for the "Blitzübersetzung", and that's pretty fast. Very fast, in fact.

2005-07-05

Telegraph | News | The pupil shrieked: 'Don't make me hurt you. I swear to God I'll do it'

An interesting look at some British schools. Alex Dolan worked "undercover" to find out what it's really like inside the state school system.

Telegraph | News | The pupil shrieked: 'Don't make me hurt you. I swear to God I'll do it'