Monday, January 14, 2008

'Harry Potter', Daniel Radcliffe and the magic circle

Dear Friends:
I don't often circulate Show Biz news, but the two items below, one from the Jerusalem Post, the other from The Observer, are useful for the insight they provide into the way "Stars" are created by the owners of the Entertainment Industry. (The emphases in the reports have been added by me.)Providing one is able (and willing!) to read between the lines, one can see why the people with the power in that industry love to implement the dictum of the Max Bialystock character in the film The Producers : "If you've got it -- flaunt it!!" (Yes -- you remember that film, or at least the song: "Springtime for Hitler"!)
Daniel Radcliffe may not be a Hogwarts magician any more, but he is certainly a member of a -- correction -- the magic circle which picked him out and projected him as a star since he was a 9 year old and which has ensured that promotional ballyhoo attended his every career move since then.After you've read the two reports, you may care to peruse my footnotes.
P.S.: How many of you can remember the real name of the ginger-haired lad who played alongside Radcliffe in the Harry Potter films? (I can't -- but then I've never seen any of them.)
Many fans of those films say he contributed at least as much as Radcliffe to their success, yet for some reason, does not seem to be getting the career-promotion treatment accorded to Radcliffe. I wonder why?=================================================== Post - Updated Jan 3, 2008 21:37 IST » Jewish World » Jewish Features » Article
Harry Potter star donates glasses for Holocaust exhibitionby Associated Press, Manchester, England
"Harry Potter" star Daniel Radcliffe, who captivated moviegoers as the bespectacled schoolboy wizard, has donated the first pair of glasses he wore as a child to an art exhibition marking the horrors of the Holocaust. The British actor joins several other celebrities and members of the public whose spectacles will be linked together in the shape of a railway track, recalling the trains that carried many of the Nazis' victims to concentration camps throughout Europe.
An estimated 6 million Jews died. The exhibition in Liverpool will open January 21. The port city in northwest England will host Britain's Holocaust Day commemorative service on January 27, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Muslim leaders are set to attend the multicultural service, which is the culmination of a series of lectures, exhibitions, stage shows and musical events recalling the Nazi atrocities and more recent genocides. Jason Isaacs, who stars as the sinister Lucius Malfoy in the "Harry Potter" films, will also take part in the service.
The 18-year-old Radcliffe, whose mother is Jewish, sent the oval, gray metal-framed pair of glasses he wore as a 6-year-old. [ MW emphasis]
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, US chat-show host Jerry Springer and Yoko Ono, the widow of Beatle John Lennon, have also donated glasses to the exhibition. "[It is] such a symbolic piece of artwork, which will help people to learn how important it is to never forget the horrors of the Holocaust and to challenge hatred and prejudice wherever it arises," Ono said in a statement released by Liverpool City Council. Organizers are seeking a total of 110,000 pairs of eyeglasses. When installed inside Liverpool Town Hall's main ballroom, organizers hope mirrors will multiply the number of spectacles and give the appearance of 330,000 pairs - the estimated number of Jews in Britain at the time of the Holocaust.
"We wanted to remind people of the horrors of the Holocaust, but we wanted an artistic response and not just want a mound of spectacles," Jean Evans, the project's director, told The Associated Press. The exhibition will also offer a legacy of its own.Within weeks, it will be dismantled. The glasses of the famous will be auctioned for charity while the others will be sent to people in developing nations through the charitable group Vision Aid Overseas. =================================================The Observer - Sunday 39th December 2007, page 3. [extract]Wizard to play the magician of Somalia
Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe lands role as a war photographerwhose work has been widely acclaimed since his tragic death
by David Smith, New York
FROM HOGWARTS school to the hell of Somalia's civil war, Daniel Radcliffe is to make his biggest career leap yet.
The Harry Potter actor has seen off competition from Hollywood's A-list to star in the true story of a young British photographer who met a tragic end.
The film, Journey, will see Radcliffe play Dan Eldon, a 22-year old who was among four journalists stoned to death by a mob in Mogadishu in July 1993. Eldon left behind 17 journals, thousands of pictures and a legacy that has won admirers including Madonna and Julia Roberts.
His mother, Kathy, says that she has rejected numerous bids for film rights to the story, and met by turned down leading actors including Orlando Bloom, Heath Ledger, Ryan Phillippe and Joaquin Phoenix, all of whom were eager to play the part.
But then she sat down with 18-year old Radcliffe and his parents at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles."The timing is right and the person is right and I couldn't ask for more," said Kathy, a journalist, producer and activist. "He has portrayed a magician for years and my Dan was a diferent kind of magician.
There are parallels in the two Dans' lives. Daniel Radcliffe is a poet, he keeps journals and he's half Jewish.
He has a puckish sense of humour and energy inside him which remind me of Dan."....[snip]....Eldon was born in Hampstead, north London, to Kathy, who is American, and a British father, from whom she is now divorced.....[snip]....=============================================================
M.W.'s footnotes:"....and the person is right ..... he's half-Jewish".
In fact, as Radcliffe's mother is Jewish, he is fully Jewish since Jewish identity is conveyed via the maternal line, according to Jewish religious law and the Israeli 'Law of the Return'.
But why would the fact that he is Jewish make Radcliffe the "right person" to play the saint and martyr Daniel Eldon?
One must conclude that Eldon was "half Jewish".
His birth-place, "Hampstead, north London", has long been a noted Jewish area -- so much so that ten years ago a large part of it was incorporated within the first Jewish Eruv to be established in Britain.
I wouldn't mind betting that Radcliffe and Kathy Eldon, like other members of their Magic Circle, are devout "anti-racists".

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