Porpentina at MACUSA
Our first look at the wizarding world of 1926 is a darker one than we might imagine. Tina Goldenstein, an employee at the Magical Congress of the United States of America, walks through a crowded hall to explain to the governing body what happened after magizoologist Newt Scamander arrived in New York and to tell us the basic setup of the plot.
It’s worth noting that as Tina explains to MACUSA what happened after Newt Scamader arrived, she’s standing on a pentagram, a symbol with various meanings over the course of history. Some occurrences of the five-pointed star are undoubtedly virtuous, as we see in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Though, the symbol’s connection to more sinister occults is more widely known.
Some Fancy Headwear
At the end of the hall, Tina stands before a woman in a fabulous bedazzled headdress, played by Selma actress Carmen Ejogo and who may or may not be the president. Behind her is the seal of the MACUSA, a phoenix emblazoned with the stars and stripes of the American flag. Phoenixes are an important symbol of magical life in the States, as they are used as remembrances of those who died during the Salem witch trials, a watershed moment for relations between American wizards and No-Majs.
The Woolworth Building
The building exterior we see in this shot is that of the Woolworth Building, the tallest building in the world from 1913 to 1930 and the home of the MACUSA. Visitors to the American wizarding goverment enter through a hidden, high-speed revolving door.
“Yesterday, a wizard entered New York with a case — a case full of magical creatures.”
Here we have the single piece of luggage that’s set to cause a whole mess of trouble for Newt and his companions. The suitcase, like Hermione’s handbag, is much larger on the inside than it appears from the outside. Within a hidden compartment, Newt has housed many magical and exotic creatures from his travels.
The suitcase also contains habitats for all of the beasts. Newt isn’t cruel afterall.
And here is our first look at Colin Farrell’s character, Graves, standing in the blown-out remains of a building. Graves is a powerful auror and advisor to the MACUSA’s president. We don’t know yet what caused the destruction in the room, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it is the work of an escaped beast.
'Just a Smidge'
The trailer builds toward the introduction of Newt himself, and the brief moment we get with Eddie Redmayne is a charming one. It would appear that Newt is a bit careless or at the very least, looking to sugar coat the incident.
The Magic Is Back
The only bit of magic we actually see comes at the very end of the trailer, as Newt casts a spell right in front of Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler). Kowalski is a No-Maj, but Newt doesn’t seem to have any qualms about using a wand in front of him… or letting him hold the suitcase. Was Jacob holding the suitcase when it opened just a smidge?