Sunday, November 11, 2007

Filmed in Technicolor

Don't forget to vote regarding the continuation of the HNT Mystery Guest! It's over in the sidebar. If you missed the post, go here.
Proving that I live an exciting life, I spent Saturday night watching "The Wizard of Oz" on TBS (only after spending the day only watching the variety of college football that piqued my interest). I've watched this movie I don't know how many times over my lifetime. As have we all. I mean, it's "The Wizard of Oz". And after so many viewings, I've probably let most of it just pass through my brain. But for some reason, I watched it last night in a different way. Some observations:After nearly 70 years, it stands up as great movie-making.
  • I don't know who was smoking what back then, but the entire fantasy land of Oz is incredible. I'm sure that L. Frank Baum had some illustrations, but to put it on the screen is a major bit of work!
  • The colors are incredible. Though it wasn't a commercial theatrical success, audiences had to have been in awe when Dorothy opens the front door after she lands in Oz, going from the sepia of Kansas (hey Jess--is Kansas really sepia?), to the quite vivid colors of Oz. Filmed in Technicolor!
  • The special effects were pretty good for the day. The faces in the crystal ball, the characters in flying around in the tornado, the appearances and disappearances of the Wicked Witch of the Witch (after 40 years of watching this, I still don't know how they could smoothly use a trap door...)--all of these and more were pretty hi-tech for the day. Even the mattes and backgrounds were seamless with the live action. Think of the first time you saw "Star Wars" (those of us who remember the late 70s).
  • We've all heard of/seen the yellow brick road. Did you know there was a red brick road, too? Where did that one lead to?
  • Don't even get me into the whole idea of bringing in all the midgets!
  • Speaking of midgets--Rachel's dog's name is Midget, and she's the white-ish version of Toto. Rachel's kind of a midget too! ;-)
  • I hadn't realized that the film used a snippet of Mussorgsky's "Night On Bald Mountain" during the chase in the witch's castle!
  • The flying monkeys are still just creepy.
  • I think the make-up for all of the characters was remarkable, and hold their own to the various masks and effects of today's movies.
  • 1939 was an incredible year for movies. Check here to see what movies were up for Oscars that year and which ones won!

In my mind, the Christmas season really starts only after I've seen my two favorite cartoons on TV--"It's a Charlie Brown Christmas", and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas". Imagine my disappointment in seeing the Grinch on TBS tonight. NOVEMBER 11th. I'm going to have to come up with a new way to start the season.
More about my football teams later--but my two college teams and my old HS team have a combined win/loss record of, well, I don't know exactly, but there's only been one loss among all three. I'll probably make mention of another HS in the county this week too. They'll be playing for the state championship for the 6-Man Football division. A totally different brand of game for them!

No comments: