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On the first show of the year!!! 2024!

“I’ll get you my pretty, and your little podcast too!”
Forrest MillerConan NeutronJ. Andrew World and Kristina Oakes are joined by Kt Baldassaro (of What If I Don’t Like It?) to talk about The Wizard of Oz, a movie she has never seen all the way through as an adult film lover! What? Amazing. Movie Night Adventure RETURNS and the crew is following the yellow brick road in 2024 towards a new edition of Movie Night Adventure.

So, what did KT think?

It was a watchable movie; I was happy to watch it. And that as an adult, you’re just not going to have the enjoyable factor that children have with it. I feel it was a lot like the bible, and probably could have gotten away with not having seen it and still passed through time fine. But I was happy that I did overall. I felt it was… fine.

Also that it is a moral/parable about being who you actually are and that you need to see it to get it.

As for the rest of us:
A timeless classic that can and should not ever be remade. You would not have practical effects, you would not have makeup that could possibly kill you. You wouldn’t have a stunning ingenue like Judy Garland that makes you feel nostalgic about being home, even though you should have stayed in Oz. It is definitely one of the movies you must watch before you die, and hopefully before you are an adult. 

It has a runtime that breezes by, even if some of the music seems overwritten from a modern perspective. The Wizard of Oz pushed things forward. 

We contend that it is one of the most imaginative, magical, iconic and immersive films of all time and that it is correctly regarded as one of the all time greats. Universally adored, endlessly homaged, parodied and referenced for many of us this film is basically in our DNA. Astounding set design, brilliant characters with universal appeal and an overall presentation that causes awe and wonder.

The change up from the black and white of Kansas to the bright technicolor of Oz has to be one of the first and best examples of that movie magic that we all love.

At the core of it, the film is somewhat ridiculous, but all of it works with a dedicated open heartedness, childlike wonder and a deep undercurrent of something darker throughout. Perhaps some of that is the off screen drama and tragedy creeping in, perhaps some of it was that L. Frank Baum was writing his equivalent of Grimm’s Fairy Tales for a new country, world, century and sensibility.

We do not understand why this incredible series of books has largely failed at being adapted other than this one, is it because everybody tries for a “gritty and dark” version? Whereas the thing that actually makes this movie magic is how dark everything is UNDERNEATH the bright Emerald City and Yellow Brick Road. Dark under dark isn’t special. Dark under bright is truly extraordinary.

Look at David Lynch.

The high water mark for world building for Fantasy and Adventure films.
One of the most influential films of all time? Maybe! And for most of the panel, it holds up.

We also talked briefly about a bevy of the related media, Return to Oz (Terrifying! and pretty darn good), The Wiz (why did Sidney Lumet direct that?), Oz the Great and Powerful (no ty!) and the made for TV Biopic The Dreamer of Oz, which has John Ritter as L. Frank Baum. But we mostly keep it focused to this cinema classic and of course, as always, the Letterboxd one-liners.