Cuaron Talks POA DVD
May 15, 2004
The August issue of Fantasy Worlds magazine has a 12 page feature on POA. One new topic covered in the inverview with Alfonso Cuaron is the subject of the POA DVD. Alfonso Cuaron says:
..”They’ve been working on the DVD ever since I began shooting this movie, so I hope there’s some cool stuff in there,” he says. “I have to confess that I’ve been so busy with post that I haven’t really seen what’s going to be included. But everybody has been sending me stuff, and I’ve told them, ‘Oh yeah, that looks cool.’ Everything is coming together beautifully.
There are going to be many cool games, but what I’m happy about-and I think this is a first for a Harry Potter DVD – is they’re doing a bit on how the film was created. In the past, they were afraid if they showed that, the movies would loose their magic. I think audiences are now so sophisticated that some of them want to see how Harry Potter is created. So you’ll see the genesis of the Dementors – from the early underwater puppet tests to the computer-generated [final design ]. I have to say, though, that I’m not crazy about directors commentating on their movies. Sometimes I listen to the commentary for great films that I love, and I almost get disappointed about the whole thing. “
Most of the material we’ve already seen, but there are a few interesting quotes from Alfonso Cuaron, which you can read below.
On the actors:
“Cuaron also addresses rumors that a certain lycanthropic character had to be toned down to avoid frightening younger moviegoers. ” I don’t want to reveal too much, but yes, there was real concern about how scary the werewolf should be,” he says. “David Thewlis is amazing as Professor Lupin. [Lupin] is the emotional support and the sweetest guy- the uncle you would like to have – but then there’s an interesting twist…”
Another twist nvolves a major revelation about Black, and those events basically unfold the same as they do in the book, although a few new clues have been added to make matters interesting. ” For the audience that already knows about it, they’ll find new clues, and for the audience that doesn’t they’ll have to think about[ those hints they might have missed ],” Cuaron says. ” The way the exposition plays, everything makes sense.
This film is so emotionally charged, that even if you already know the truth, you’ll still enjoy the moments in which the big information is revealed. I think the important thing is that it creates a whole new twist: ‘Even thought we know the Titanic is going to sink, lets see how they carry on.’ And we still have the Time-Turner, which creates a whole other dynamic and relationship to that information. Whether you know [the secret ] or not, the Time-Turner is going to blow everybody’s mind.”
On Harry in POA:
” Prisoner of Azkaban marks a major emotional shif for Harry, who has to deal with some weighty issues relating to his deceased parents and a godfather he didn’t know existed. Radcliffe has gone on record as saying the Harry of this movie is angrier, as he is in book five. “It’s a natural progression,” Cuaron remarks. “It isn’t darker for the sake of dark, and I don’t even know if it’s anger. There’s an anger at that age, and I think kids will relate to that. I’m surprised that Daniel said that about number five, but I agree with him, because they are so connected. It has to do with Harry coming to terms with his male energy, his father and what his father is. Harry understands that even if his dad is dead, that fatherly energy is inside himself and he needs to figure out how to work it out. In the other one [ Order of the Phoenix ], there’s a dissappointment about the father figure, so I think the third and fifth [books] are connected.”
On the film:
“I’m not trying to do anything unique,” he maintains. “Actually, the funny thing is I’m trying to service the story, but, at the same time, I’m a different mind than Mike [Newell, who is directing the fourth film] and Chris, so I operate in alternative ways and respond to different things than them. I made some decisions on this film, not trying to stand out, but because I thought they were right in my understanding of how to serve the story. Some of it has to do with very wide angles and shots. I love the amount of close-ups[ in Azkaban ]. I’m trying to make this thing flow and have a visual connection between on shot and another. Sometimes by restraining yourself and surrendering to the material, you do your best work.
That being said, there were certain sequences which the director knew he would have to do justice to, or risk the wrath of countless Potter fans. “For me, the whole thing that comes into terms with everything – the feel and spirit of the film – is the Time-Turner,” Cuaron says. “In a way, it condenses the entire theme of the movie, and [represents ] the emotional and thematic resolution. It’s almost like a little movie inside the movie. It captures all the different elements: the humor, scares, emotions and mystery. Everything is pulled together, and what I love is not only do Harry and Hermione learn from the experience of reliving what they went through, but so does the audience. They’ll learn how everything makes sense, and ultimately, that everything always makes sense. “