Oz in the News 3.10.13

denslowwizard-620x409“Oz” Artist Denslow: The Who Would Be King  In a 1904 report headlined “American King”, one California newspaper said: “There is a pretty little island off the southern coast of the United States, in the Atlantic Ocean, one of the Bermudas, which, unknown to most people, has lately been dignified by the title of sovereignty … “Denslow by name, an artist by profession, [the owner] has ‘thought out, planned and established’ his kingdom in the small and beautiful Bermuda island …” While living on the island [his studio was located in the house’s distinctive turret], the artist used his copyright to the art of the “Oz” book to create a series of newspaper comic strip stories featuring the Scarecrow and Tin Woodsman — including one little 1905 saga titled “Denslow’s Scarecrow and Tinman in Bermuda.”

MDJackson_Oz_by_lmessecar-d2hhqr4Oz Don’t Look Like That!  Artists and writers have felt more free to adapt the work in strange, new ways. Oz variations have been cropping up more and more, with Dorothy being depicted in ways that would have made Judy Garland blush. Recent variations on Oz imagery have been produced by artists such as Greg Manchess and Lindsay Messecar.

The Wizard of Oz’ at Heinz Hall, powered by the Pittsburgh Symphony  Beginning Thursday and running through next Sunday, Heinz Hall, a former movie palace built in the 1920s, will return to its roots with five big screen showings of “The Wizard of Oz” — while the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra plays Stothart’s soundtrack live, along with “Over the Rainbow” and other classic songs by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg.

The story behind “The Wizard of Oz”  As “Oz The Great and Powerful” is released to audiences on the big screen, a little town in upstate New York has already watched the movie because it’s the birthplace of the creator of the “Wizard of Oz” series.

Raimi: “‘The Wizard of Oz’ is my favourite film of all time”  “We go from an old studio-style, 1.33:1 aspect-ratio to a full 2.40:1 widescreen,” Raimi  says with relish. “In addition, we played the opening 15 minutes in mono sound, then, when we get to the land of Oz, I took it from mono to stereo and then to fully immersive surround sound. The first time we enter this beautiful, strange land, we really need to feel and sense it thoroughly – I also dialled up the convergence of the 3D so it became much more dimensional at that moment – a modern tribute to the original classic.”

Oz the Great and Powerful – You thought the Wizard should be left alone? Step this way …   So, how did Oz gets its Wizard? This question has never exercised me for more than a nanosecond, but as redundant as Oz the Great and Powerful might seem, this Disney prequel turns out to be something of a classic: a family friendly fantasy which delivers as an affectionate prologue to The Wizard of Oz, that works just as well as a spectacular, neatly structured stand-alone adventure. It’s directed by Sam Raimi, who once again brings irresistible enthusiasm to cartoonish genre entertainment, but it could also pass for the best Tim Burton film in a long time, and the best Terry Gilliam film in even longer.

‘Oz’: Neither Great Nor Powerful  But to prove he’s a wizard, he has to kill a certain wicked witch, along the way picking up a sidekick monkey that flies and talks in the voice of Zach Braff. I’ve seen few actors as unconvincing as James Franco when it comes to staring down and talking to a creature to be computer-generated later — and Franco doesn’t just have to act opposite that insufferable monkey, but there’s a sassy talking China Doll, too.

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