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Warning: This Post Does Not Contain Harry Potter Spoilers

By Rob Christopher in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 19, 2007 5:00PM

2007_7freshfilms.jpg Ever wanted to be in the movies? Well here’s your chance. Fresh Films, a national filmmaking project for teens, is holding a casting call this Sunday for a short film. Needed are males and females in their early twenties; a total of five roles are up for grabs. More info here but it says that previous experience is not required. A casting director as well as the teen filmmakers themselves will be present. The completed films will be judged by a jury of professionals, including industry heavyweights such as actor John Lithgow and Katherine Brooks of MTV’s “The Real World.” The experimental short film being made here in Chicago is described as a comedy about Lucifer’s son.

Speaking of the devil, let’s talk about Harry Potter for a moment. Some of us here at the Chicagoist offices will be lined up tomorrow at midnight, ready and eager to fork over the dough to buy a copy of the new tome. And some of us couldn’t care a flying fig. (Guess which group the writer of this post falls into). Judging from the “news” stories in the MSM you’d think that keeping the details a secret was a matter of national security, on par with the way Dick Cheney runs his office. In fact, we have a few words we’d like to get off our chest about this whole rabid anti-spoiler peer pressure phenomenon.

Truly great storytelling is rarely supported by the crutch of an eleventh-hour plot twist. A few examples from the world of movies. Knowing beforehand that Janet Leigh gets stabbed to death in the shower doesn’t make Psycho any less gripping, just as knowing beforehand that The Village actually takes place in modern times doesn’t make that film any less sucky. Hitchcock himself often pointed out that suspense is much more powerful than surprise; the shock of a plot twist or a revelation only lasts a few moments, but suspense, if skillfully handled, can last almost indefinitely. And even once the suspense is over, the story’s attraction shouldn’t be. Call us a bunch of meanies, but it’s our conclusion that if J.K. Rowling is worth her salt as a writer then there ought to be more enjoyment gleaned from reading the new book besides simply finding out who dies, who gets married, and who lives happily ever after. So spoil away.