Spangler’s From Sentence to Screen: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001) is a fantasy film directed by Chris Columbus and is rated PG. The film stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson who are a trio of actors that have become widely recognizable since being in the Harry Potter film series. The story is about a boy whose parents are killed by an evil wizard, who also wants to kill Harry (Daniel Radcliffe). For the first decade of his life he grows up living with his neglectful and mental abusive aunt and uncle. Eventually he is accepted to a prestigious school where he learns to use the magic he was born with. Harry must learn to use his powers in order to protect himself and find the secrets hidden in his school. Along the way Harry meets his best friends Ron Wealsley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson).  Most people know the story of Harry Potter, so I won’t take too much time talking about the actual events of the movie in this post. Instead I will look at some changes made, which would only be recognizable to those who were readers of the original book by J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

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Banner Art by Christy Lee Rogers!

Christy Lee Rogers’ work will be appearing in Jet Fuel Review’s Issue #19, which is coming soon!

Evolution by Christy Lee Rogers

Christy Lee Rogers is a visual artist from Kailua, Hawaii. Her obsession with water as a medium for breaking the conventions of contemporary photography has led to her work being compared to Baroque painting masters like Caravaggio. Boisterous in color and complexity, Rogers applies her cunning technique to a barrage of bodies submerged in water during the night, and creates her effects using the refraction of light. Through a fragile process of experimentation, she builds elaborate scenes of coalesced colors and entangled bodies that exalt the human character as one of vigor and warmth, while also capturing the beauty and vulnerability of the tragic experience that is the human condition.

Rogers’ works have been exhibited globally from Paris, London, Italy, Mexico City to Shanghai, Sao Paulo, South Africa, Los Angeles and more, and are held in private and public collections throughout the world. She has been featured in International Magazines, including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar Art China, Elle Decoration, Global Times, The Independent, Casa Vogue, Photo Technique, Photo Korea, and others. Rogers’ “Reckless Unbound” is currently housed at Longleat House in the UK; the stately home, which is the seat of the Marquesses of Bath and also home to Renaissance gems of the Italian masters, like Titan’s “Rest on the Flight into Egypt.” She is a two-time finalist for the Contemporary Talents Award from the Fondation François Schneider in France, and has been commissioned by Apple to create underwater images with the iPhone 11Pro, as well as being featured in one of their behind-the-scenes process films. Rogers’ art has been featured on several album covers, including “Orchesography” for the 80’s band Wang Chung, and her images were selected for the 2013–2014 performance season of the Angers-Nantes Opera in France. In 2019 she won Open Photographer of the Year at the Sony World Photography Awards.

Antonio’s The Rare Review: A Look at Sci-fi/Drama–Waco: A Relevant Tragedy in Trying Times

In the current pandemic crisis, tensions are running high. This is true in a general sense as people deal with cabin fever and economic hardship, but relations are especially strained between conservative groups protesting stay-at-home orders and the government forces trying to account for the loss of life. There is a rising tide of anti-establishment sentiment based around the idea that individual freedoms hold supreme authority, not government edict. Though I did not start watching the mini-series Waco thinking of parallels between past and present, the 2018 show is strikingly relevant given current events. 

Growing up in the 90’s I knew of the Waco, Texas siege and could remember bits and pieces of information I probably saw in the years after it, but it wasn’t until recently that I read about the full extent of the incident and the group at the center of the conflict. In short, a religious cult known as the Branch Davidians came to the attention of the ATF (bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms) because of suspected illegal activities related to weapons. Their leader, David Koresh, painted himself as a prophetic and messianic figure leading his followers in what they believed to be the end times foretold in the Book of Revelation. Another point of concern for the ATF was that Koresh had taken multiple wives, in fact mandating that only he could have sex with the wives of those who had joined the group, and some of those wives were younger than 18. 

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Meet the Bloggers: Steven Zeko

For our final “Meet the Bloggers” of the semester we are introducing our Science/Film blogger Steven Zeko. Zeko uses his blog to evaluate the science accuracy in a variety of films such as Outbreak, Contagion, Sam Mendes’ Skyfall and more. He blogs under Steven’s Science in Cinema, so check him out!

Steven’s bio:

Steven Zeko is a senior at Lewis university, working towards a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education. He is currently involved in immunology research and Chem-ED research. Following his education, Steven wants to teach biology, chemistry, and physics at a high school level. In his free time, Steven enjoys playing video games, reading, playing golf, and watching movies. He is typically reading two books at any given time, with one book being a science book and the other being any good book that he can find. Currently, Steven is reading Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson and Educated by Tara Westover. His fascination with science began when he was a kid by watching the works of Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson. Both being wonderful STEM educators, he hopes to invoke their ability to energize a crowd just by educating people about science. 

Below is our Q&A with Steven:

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Antonio’s The Rare Review: A Look at Sci-fi/Drama–Hostiles: A Western for the Modern World

For many of us growing up in today’s world, we are children of concrete jungles. We are more familiar with subways, skyscrapers, strip malls, and carefully manicured suburban lawns than forests. Venturing out into true wilderness is risky and incomprehensible by our cushy standards. Yet many years ago, this continent was not quite conquered. The West was once a vast place full of possibility; a place for adventure, for starting over, and for exploration. That is the world showcased in the film Hostiles.

Set in 1892, Hostiles portrays an America that is quite unrecognizable by today’s standards. The country was still recovering in some ways from the Civil War roughly three decades earlier. Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico were still territories. In New Mexico, Hostiles explores relations between Native Americans and the American army. Specifically, some sentiments in the country that have shifted to favor less harsh treatment of the native population. Protagonist Captain Joseph Blocker (Christian Bale) has fought many native groups for decades of his career with the army. One of the men he fought is Chief Yellow Hawk, a Cheyenne leader who has been imprisoned with his family at Fort Berringer for seven years. Orders have been given from the president himself to transport Chief Yellow Hawk from New Mexico to Hawk’s homeland, a valley in Montana, to live out his few remaining days. 

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Modern Cinema From Around the World: A Review of Andrey Zvyagintsev’s “Leviathan [Левиафан]”

Leviathan (2014) Poster

*Spoilers Ahead*

The 2014 drama film Leviathan, directed and written by Andrey Zvyagintsev, brings a Russian landscape to life in a bureaucratic battle between a fisherman and the corrupt mayor of his town. The film’s wide-open scenic landscape seems to play a central role—from the cliffs near the Barents Sea, to the bones of a washed-up whale, to Kolya’s family home, and finally to the run-down church used as a hangout by local boys including Kolya’s son, Roma. All of these locations outwardly demonstrate the isolation and distance felt by our family, as they are far away from the town with not many neighbors and almost swept under the rug by the town’s mayor. The whale bones could be an additional sign of decay and gradual loss felt by Kolya, or the bones could be a symbol of helplessness, particularly with his alcoholism and imprisonment later on in the film. The story revolves around Nikolay ‘Kolya’ (Aleksey Serebryakov) who lives in his ancestral home, with his wife and son. He can be found occasionally doing car repair for acquaintances, and moderately drinking early in the film. We are introduced to Kolya as the subject of an arduous legal battle to keep his property— a property he helped construct and where he is passionately rooted. The film portrays Kolya as the common man who is wrapped up in the bureaucracy of his country. To demonstrate this common man idea even further, Zvyaginstev has Kolya arrested for simply questioning a crooked police officer’s motives, which shows a definite power imbalance between authority and people. The film seems to criticize the current state of Russia’s bureaucracy and the country’s political corruption by using Kolya as an example.

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Musings of a Future Librarian: The beast in “Bestiary” by Julio Cortazar.

Bestiary Cortazar

Bestiary: a collection of descriptions or representations of real or imaginary animals.

Last week in my creative writing lecture, my peers and I were assigned,  “Bestiary” by Julio Cortazar– A short-fiction that begins with our protagonist, Isabel, being sent by her sister, Inés, and their Mother to the Funes, in order to keep the youngest Fune, Nino, company. Though we are never told how old Isabel is, we know she is old enough to relay what she sees clearly,  but also naive enough to believe should she give into Aunt Rema’s demands, she can escape interacting with The Kid.  Throughout the piece, we are given a variety of beasts who parallel the subjects in the Funes’ home. Who exactly parallels who, we can never be sure, as Cortazar embeds just enough ambiguity that one can never render their conclusion absolute. However, it’s fun to try.

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