In 2016, Tim Stiefler edited all eight Harry Potter films into one single 78-minute movie. It’s a great work of editing, telling one lean story instead of seven busy ones. This is the tale of Harry versus Voldemort. That’s not to say it’s all Voldemort-centric scenes - by no means! But that’s the core, and that’s the story ’Wizardhood’ serves.
It’s edited together with incredible economy, cutting out anything that doesn’t sell the overall narrative of the series. The entire second half of 'Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone' (2001) is cut. The film sets up Harry at Hogwarts, Harry vs Snape and Harry vs Malfoy - but the whole climax, the confrontation with Quirrel and Voldemort is deemed unnecessary. I was surprised, but it works. That’s part of the joy of watching ‘Wizardhood’ - finding out how little you can get away with. ‘The Chamber of Secrets’ (2002) and ’The Prisoner of Azkaban’ (2004) are over almost as soon as they begin. We don’t need all the details. We just need the core.
|I'm glad to say Minerva McGonnagal still gets plenty of good bits|
I’d recommend this to anyone interested in making films, and learning how shots and cuts tell stories. It’s a chance to see how much can be removed from familiar scenes, and how this lets them serve a different purpose and mood. Harry’s first experience with brooms is included, with a large portion of the action cut from the middle. There’s room in the movie for action, but not here. It still serves its purpose - though the students’ cheer at the end feels a little unearnt. However, cut forward 30 minutes and 6 movies, and the same students cheer for Harry in the room of requirement, in a way which seems far better merited. I’m glad the earlier celebration stayed, so the latter moment could echo it.
|Just as gradual and intense a build-up. This is the midpoint of the film|
Huge swathes are cut away. Lupin and Sirius and Rita Skeeter are gone. The Dursleys are never seen. But they’re no more ‘missing’ than Ludo Bagman. This is Harry Potter without any Deathly Hallows. They’re important to the books, but they’re details ‘Wizardhood’ can do without.
|Harry grows old before your eyes. It's like watching the beards grow in 'Das Boot' (1981)|
Tune in next time for a review that isn't by me that isn't of a film!