Oz in the News 2.18.12

  Follow the Yellow Brick Road Back to ‘Oz’  We incorporated a lot of this subtext, and the basic themes of the Oz books, into our film. Dorothy Gale is a successful writer living in Manhattan. Initially, she believes that her popular books based on the world of Oz are just the product of her imagination. She quickly discovers that her books are based on her childhood memories, and that nothing about her life is what she has been led to believe. In the end, she has to look inside to find the answers and defeat the evil that threatens not only her, but our entire world! Stylistically, we aimed to make the film reminiscent of the great, fun, family-friendly adventures of the 1980s. Basically all those great movies produced by Steven Spielberg at the height of his magic, films like “Gremlins,” “The Goonies” and “Back to the Future.” Plus, we added a little bit of the sass and comedy of “Ghostbusters” (as an inside joke, The Wicked Witch of the West actually lives in “Spook Central”). We cast actors known for their work in that time period, and matched the camera work, musical score, and limited some of our visual effects to make it a perfect complement to my personal favorite era of Hollywood.

New ‘Wizard of Oz’ restoration coming — with 3-D to follow? Warner Home Video announced this week that “The Wizard of Oz”  is going on a video moratorium in North America on May 1, except for the “70th Anniversary 2-disc DVD,” which will remain on the market until October. New shipments in all formats will then case until the fourth quarter of 2013, when a new digital restoration of the 1939 classic will receive “a multi-platform, unprecedented rollout…with major sponsorships and branding, as well as massive media support.” As I’ve been reporting for years, Warners has long been looking at tests for a 3-D conversion of the 1939 version. The last time I asked, at the premiere of the 70th anniversary restoration at the 2004 New York Film Festival, I was told by executives that the results were disappointingly headache-inducing.

Russell’s Wizard night on stage  RUSSELL Grant hasn’t stopped dancing since he took part in last year’s Strictly.  But his old Strictly friends haven’t forgotten him, and they turned out in force for Russell’s first appearance on the London Palladium stage as the Wizard.

10News Explores Legend Of La Jolla ‘Munchkins’  “According to the legend, they came to live in the Munchkin houses in the late 1930s,” explained Carol Olten of the La Jolla Historical Society.Olten said there are two parts of the legend — why the homes look small and whether the actors really lived in them.Renowned architect Cliff May built four homes in that architectural style in the 1930s.Today, only one home remains on the original street.

Yellow Brick Road ends at the Schuster  If you have children of your own, or grandchildren, or if you just have a child’s sense of wonder, plan to be at the Schuster Center this Friday and Saturday night for this wonderful blend of Hollywood’s best with the live sound of a your own Orchestra. For more information and tickets of this wonderful family event visit www.DaytonPhilharmonic.com

Alliance Theatre stages ‘Wizard of Oz’ with folk-art bent Set to open next week, the Midtown theater’s version of “The Wizard of Oz” will feature a folk art concept in details large and small — from a Toto made of spools to flying sock monkeys and a found-object Tin Man. “We spent a lovely afternoon going through the High Museum. I did discover the Emerald City in this tiny wind chime,” said Set designer Kat Conley, referencing the museum’s folk art collection. “The whole story is about coming home and finding joy where you are. It’s very much an American story and this is a very American style.” Much of the production is inspired by the work of Georgia artist Howard Finster.

Judy Garland’s different shoes in The Wizard of Oz  Judy Garland is famous for wearing the ruby slippers, but she also wore different types of footwear during the making of The Wizard of Oz. She wore black shoes in the Kansas farm scenes, and when she arrives in Oz before Glinda gives her the ruby slippers. When her feet was out of camera range, she wore boots, shoes and sandals in order to minimize wear and tear on the ruby slippers and also to make her appear smaller than her friends.

Dorothy and the Witches of Oz – Movie Review  Scott peppered the film with nods to other movies that helped influence this type of genre. The opening of the film feels very much like The Wizard of Oz, and there are plenty of other moments where you will get a chuckle if you pick up on the reference (such as a taxi driver being referred to as Short Round from the Indiana Jones films or a mention about Planet of the Apes as the flying monkey attack New York City).

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