Oz in the News 8.20.14

AuntEm.collage9 Wizard of Oz-Themed Vacation Rentals in Honor of the Film’s 75th Anniversary  You’ve seen the movie (maybe more times than you can remember!), and now you can be transported to Oz in real life. To celebrate the anniversary, we have a list of look-alike holiday rentals from HomeAway that will bring the classic movie to life. From a condo that shimmers like the Emerald City to a castle that’s the spitting image of the Wicked Witch’s home, there is a special destination for every fan.

Dorothy’s ruby slippers remain the holy grail of Hollywood memorabilia  Kansas City native Keith Holman, a costume designer in Los Angeles, has a special connection to the scarlet footwear. His friend David Elkouby has owned a pair of the genuine slippers since 2000. And Holman spent time learning the craft of costume beading from Stella Ruata, whose late mother, Aurora, worked for MGM and hand-sewed beads onto some of the slippers used in the movie. The women told him slipper stories, like how some of the first versions had to be redesigned because they were too heavy for Garland to dance in. In 1989, during the movie’s 50th anniversary year, Holman considered obtaining a license to replicate the slippers — “because that’s as close as most people will get” — but he never finished the process. Like any other lover of Oz, he’d love to own a pair, but few people can afford the million dollar-plus price tag. So he has started collecting other movie memorabilia, including one of the oil cans Jack Haley used as the Tin Man. Holman is now in discussions with Union Station and the American Jazz Museum to display part of his collection in his hometown in coming months.

Long and winding Yellow Brick Road to icon status  Times, clearly, have changed, and I suspect plenty of millennials have never seen The Wizard of Oz. They confess little patience with films whose special effects aren’t hyper-realistic. Will films with lines like “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore” hold any meaning for future generations of filmgoers? No one knows for sure, just as no one can predict which movie from this summer’s slate, regarded as lackluster by box-office analysts, might someday be elevated to iconic status through some futuristic method of distribution (Holography? Oculus Rift? 8K Ultra HD?) as television did for The Wizard of Oz. All that seems assured is that everyone who can capture the beauty of childhood, as Victor Fleming and his film’s cast and crew did 75 years ago, deserves to be celebrated.

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