Sunday, May 30, 2010

a real truly live place

There’s so much that is not quite right about the Wizard of Oz.

The farm girl whose aunt chides her to stay out of the way because she’s worthless on the farm and yet knows instinctively how to vamp when the Twister hits or the camera strays to her sparkly heels.

The middle-aged men who cozy up to our 12 year old heroine and accompany her on her travels in a way that the creep factor would prohibit in any film made today.

And finally this: the idea that a girl who longs to be anywhere besides Kansas, and then finds herself at last over the rainbow in a “real truly live place” where “most of it was beautiful” would spend the whole of her marvelous adventure wanting only to be home, like some ugly American, and to decide after all that wonder, once she returns again to Kansas, that “I’m not going to leave here ever ever again.”

Really? That’s our moral lesson? Not: Travel has opened my eyes and expanded my mind to make room for new people and new experiences entirely foreign to my own?

(Maybe my bafflement is especially keen because of the unhappy hours I spent in Kansas this last week.)

And yet: It’s a magnificent film, which I was reminded of on Friday when I saw it on the big screen, digitally remastered with the full orchestration of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra behind it and cried -- yes cried -- when Dorothy sang of melting lemon drops away above the chimney tops.

That’s where you’ll find me.

Bonus material, aka "Only bad witches are ugly." -- Glinda the Good Witch


anniemcq said...

I'd never thought of it in that way before. The thing that resonated was more about running away won't solve your problems, but all of your observations are right on. And as for the tears, well we saps have to stick together.

suttonhoo said...

hadn't occurred to me either until this last screening. still: enjoyed every minute.

saw it with a girlfriend and the guy sitting next to us commented at the intermission that we were having more fun than the kids in the audience.

p2wy said...

Oh how I love this film... just watched the new Blu-Ray and extras. I'd not really thought about the "lessons" of it but it's very different than the book which I believe was an allegory about the gold standard of all things.

Heart the technicolor most of all.

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