Category Archives: Oz Film, TV & Radio

Oz in the News 12.6.18

‘Wizard Of Oz,’ ‘Ben-Hur,’ ‘Shawshank,’ ‘Alien’ And ‘Field Of Dreams’ Headline TCM’s 2019 Classics The 14 movies returning the movie theaters as part of the 2019 TCM Big Screen Classics series have been revealed. The year-long event, in partnership with Fathom Events, gives film fans the chance to revisit, or enjoy for the first time, classic movies on the big screen. The first gem out of the gate in 2019 will be The Wizard of Oz. A critical success on its 1939 release, it actually didn’t make a profit for MGM until the 1949 re-release, earning only $3.02 million at the box office against a budget of $2.8 million – it was the most expensive production ever for the studio at the time. Thanks to various reissues, unadjusted for inflation, it has finally made $23.3 million. The Wizard of Oz will be in select theaters January 27, 29, and 30, 2019.

‘The Wizard of Oz’ secrets you probably haven’t heard “The Wizard of Oz” is still captivating viewers nearly 80 years since it first premiered in theaters. In fact, according to a recent research conducted worldwide, the classic musical has had the most impact in audiences than any other Hollywood masterpiece, including 1960’s “Psycho” and 1977’s “Star Wars.” Historians and collectors Jay Scarfone and William Stillman aren’t surprised by the findings. They’ve written several books on “The Wizard of Oz” and earlier this year they released “The Road to Oz,” which features interviews with several of those involved with the production of the 1939 film and surprising anecdotes from personal archives. The Oz experts spoke with Fox News about some of the surprising facts they found as they researched for their new book

Oz in the News 12.5.18

‘Wizard of Oz,’ Miyazaki to star in LA Motion Picture museum An immersive “Wizard of Oz” exhibit will greet visitors to the Motion Picture museum in Los Angeles when it opens after a long delay in late 2019, organizers said on Tuesday. A pair of the ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in the classic 1939 musical, along with costumes, props and exhibits about the behind the scenes making of “The Wizard of Oz”, will be installed in the lobby of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Hundreds of other movie memorabilia on show in the main “Where Dreams Are Made” exhibit will include a pair of doors from Rick’s Cafe from the movie “Casablanca” and the typewriter used to write Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho.” The 300,000-sq-foot museum, with two movie theaters and sweeping views of the Hollywood Hills, is now expected to open in about a year, museum officials said on Tuesday. The work of Japanese master animator Hayao Miyazaki will be the subject of the museum’s first temporary exhibit, followed by one on African-American cinema from 1900 to 1970 that is scheduled for the fall of 2020.

People demand refunds after utterly ‘sloppy’ performance of ‘The Wiz’ Dorothy forgot her lines, the Cowardly Lion looked more like a bear and the magical land of Oz was displayed on a laptop projector. A subpar performance of “The Wiz” put on by a concert promotion agency this past weekend at the Brown Theatre has caused dozens of Louisville customers to call and demand refunds, according to an employee at the Kentucky Center For the Performing Arts. Helen Barnett, who spent $65 for seats, said she was a fan of “The Wiz” because of its all-black cast. “It was terrible,” Barnett said. “Dorothy was wearing a Walmart dress. They forgot their dialogues … at one point Dorothy said she wanted to go back to Texas!” (In “The Wiz,” Dorothy is from Harlem while Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz” is from Kansas.) Tasha McGhee, who went to the 7 p.m. show, said the actor playing the Cowardly Lion didn’t have a tail or a mane on his costume. He was missing one of his paws and was wearing one black sock instead. It went downhill from there. McGhee said there were several times the cast and crew set the wrong scene and needed to turn off the lights to reset it. “It was really sloppy,” Tasha McGhee said. “The backdrop was a projected image of a cornfield and a barn. But then laptop notifications kept popping up on screen. They were projecting it off of someone’s computer.”

Oz in the News 12.4.18

Rhys Thomas’ Ruby Slippers Book Offers New Insights On FBI Recovery Of Stolen Shoes Rhys Thomas at first thought the call from the FBI was a joke. The author and documentary filmmaker listened to the phone message again and jotted down the return number. “Could this be a crank call?” he wondered. “Am I a person of interest in some investigation I know nothing about?” Calling the number in Minneapolis, he got FBI public affairs officer Michael Kulstad on the phone. “May I ask what this is about?” Thomas asked, still a bit wary. “May we speak confidentially?” the FBI official asked. “Yes,” Thomas replied. “Mr. Thomas, this is about the ruby slippers.” “We’d like to invite you to a press conference,” the FBI official told Thomas over the Labor Day weekend. “Do you think you could attend?” “Can you tell me anything more about this?” Thomas asked. “What about the shoes?” After a long pause, Kulstad said: “I can tell you that we have recovered the ruby slippers.”

The Wizard of Oz is a grotesque predictor of Trump’s America Oz is first wondrous and revelatory, then sinister and suspect, a good trip that goes wrong, swerving from the vivid Ikea yellow of the munchkins’ brick road to the scorched red-and-black tableau of the wicked witch’s eyrie. It’s this lurking inner wrongness, the darkness at its edges and the emptiness at its core, that speaks to me now. The US of The Wizard of Oz is not so far from the US of today. The supposedly great man living in Trump Tower – I mean Emerald City – turns out to be a con artist, a bloviating coward who relies on self-aggrandisement and empty shows of power to cow the people. The film’s chaotic momentum, in which events roll luridly from one rococo set-piece to the next, with Dorothy’s destination and the purpose of her trip moving in and out of focus, seems strangely familiar. And the central reveal about the hollowness, cynicism, opportunism, egotism and fakery of our leaders is chillingly apt.

Oz in the News 12.1.18

Pulling back the curtain: Wizard of Oz named most influential film Researchers in Italy have declared the Wizard of Oz the most influential film ever made, outstripping others in how much it has inspired and been referenced in the film industry. The research team came to their conclusion after analysing more than 47,000 films across 26 genres, using references noted in the online movie database IMDb. The authors note that the database is biased towards films from the west, with the majority produced in the US. The team did not consider short films, adult films and those with no link or reference to other movies. They used a combination of four different mathematical approaches to explore the connections between movies, taking into account factors including the number of references a film received and whether the films that referred back to it were themselves influential. The results, presented in the journal Applied Network Science, reveal the top 20 influential films were all made before 1980 – perhaps unsurprising given that older films have had longer to make a mark – with Star Wars and Psycho scooping second and third place respectively. Other high entries include Citizen Kane, Metropolis, Casablanca, Dr Strangelove and Battleship Potemkin.

Oz in the News 11.30.18

Before Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, there was Judy Garland. In a new book, her star is reborn “It was real emotional because it was at the Shrine and my mom’s first scene in her version was at the Shrine. Then Bradley Cooper got up and said (from the stage), “In 1954, Judy Garland sat in this seat to watch ‘A Star Is Born,’ and now, Lady Gaga.” I was so thrilled. Then the movie starts and she sings the first eight bars of “Over the Rainbow.” I was so taken aback and so grateful. Then I met her and she was so gracious. She’s incredibly smart, she’s funny, she’s grounded. I’m one of her biggest fans. And Bradley Cooper was generous and kind and a gentleman. I loved his version. They’ve taken one of the greatest love stories ever told and not only brought it to two or three generations who may not have seen the others, but they’ve kept the quality of the story. I’ve always said I think the reason “A Star Is Born” keeps getting told is because it’s not about Hollywood. It’s about human nature and love, and watching someone’s star rise and watching someone’s star fall. But, in the end it’s about someone who triumphs.”

This queer film festival reveals the asexuality allegory in The Wizard of Oz This year’s programming for Scottish Queer International Film Festival couldn’t be more diverse and involves a retelling of The Wizard of Oz. Kicking off on 5 December, the five-day festival highlights include LGBTI films from all over the world, challenging mainstream perspectives. The Wizard of Oz, particularly, questions the story seen as Dorothy’s lesbian awakening. The festival’s reimagining of the popular children book by L. Frank Baum and the even more popular 1939 movie adaptation starring Judy Garland, in fact, revolves around asexuality. ‘We have always wanted to do an event around asexuality at SQIFF,’ festival programmer Helen Wright told Gay Star News. They explained that they came across this asexuality theory while talking to a member of the asexual community. Wright researched further and found ‘an asexual reading of The Wizard of Oz online, posted on The Asexual Visibility & Education Network in the US by a user called Spoofmaster.’ ‘The reading riffs off a film academic called Alexander Doty’s interpretation of The Wizard of Oz as a lesbian story, with the Wicked Witch of the West being a butch lesbian and Glinda the good witch being the femme. Dorothy is caught between them discovering her lesbian sexuality during her adventure to Oz.’

Oz in the News 11.24.18

Matt Murray pens ‘Toto-ly Twistered’ Toronto musical Matt Murray remembers sitting in the audience at the Elgin Theatre as a Sarnia teenager to watch a production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. All these years later, he’s a playwright in Toronto where The Wizard of Oz, a Toto-ly Twistered Family Musical, is being brought to life from Nov. 30 to Jan. 5 at the historic Theatre. “My 14 or 15-year-old self is pretty elated to be having the opportunity to write the show that is now on that stage,” Murray said. Technical rehearsals began this week for the second Ross Petty Productions holiday family musical Murray has worked on. This year’s version of Wizard of Oz is set in the present day. “I won’t give too much more away about it, but it’s definitely not your Judy Garland Wizard of Oz,” Murray said. This year’s version of Wizard of Oz is set in the present day. “I won’t give too much more away about it, but it’s definitely not your Judy Garland Wizard of Oz,” Murray said. Showtime and ticket information about Wizard of Oz at the Elgin Theatre can be found online at www.rosspetty.com.

Kermit the Frog on Why It’s Not That Easy Being Green in the Emerald City “The Scarecrow is a tough role if you’re allergic to hay. I sneezed between every take. But once I got a brain, I was able to figure out where to buy hay fever medicine. As for playing the Wizard, that’s an extremely difficult role for a frog. Y’see, Emerald City is green, so I keep blending in with the decor. But don’t worry, we fixed that. I promise to be completely visible when you come see our show.”

Vintage Sundays Review: The Wizard of Oz The Wizard of Oz more than lives up to its iconic reputation, and despite its famously troubled production, which saw no fewer than four different directors, it still manages to deliver a blissful, vivid trip into the magical world of Oz. However, the film is more than just an escapist sugar rush. While Dorothy may conclude that ‘There’s no place like home’ on her return to black and white Kansas, there is an undeniably bitter twinge as she leaves behind the glorious, absurd Oz for Kansas and the nice but dull Aunt Em. This film is often seen as an analogy for growing up, and while Dorothy, and the audience, must eventually face the grown-up world of Kansas, we are still given the rare chance to experience the world of Oz in uncynical, childlike awe. The Wizard of Oz certainly isn’t perfect, it is occasionally stilted, saccharine, and dated, but in spite of these flaws it is still absolutely worth watching, and returning to, just to be swept up in its wide-eyed, joyful sense of wonder.

 

 

Oz in the News 11.21.18

The Wiz Was So Much More Than a Failed Wizard of Oz BET recently televised The Wiz, and I indulged in a few jazzy minutes. It’s still special when I come across it, even though I have the DVD and can watch it whenever the desire takes hold. There’s still fresh joy in it; seeing the majestic Lena Horne descend from on high as Glinda the Good Witch will always make me feel like an awestruck 7-year-old. Play Stephanie Mills’ signature stage version or Diana Ross’ powerhouse rendition of “Home,” the epic ballad about a safe, soft place where there’s love overflowing, and the inside of my chest swells. Sometimes I even get teary—it reminds me, lyrically and personally, of my mama and my grandmother. I see the whole movie now in a way I couldn’t when I was a child. I still dance, I still sing, but I’m proud of the beauty of Blackness and the legacy of a movie that, like the people who created it, can’t help but be great.