I could also call this Ironic Much Wednesday, or Moi's Mid Week Oxymoron, because fantasy has got to be my least favorite genre in literature, film, what have you. Science Fiction, I'm fine with. Fantasy, that's another story. That's weird languages and whole new earths and hirsute species of sub-humans with names I can never remember, much less pronounce in my head.
I must be one of the few people on the planet who has never read The Hobbit or the Lord of the Rings trilogy (although I saw the films, which I think are great, but maybe we should just put that down to Viggo Mortensen and move along), and only just recently, after spending a tense month galloping through The Girl Who Played With Fire, decided I needed something light and spotted one of S.B.'s pieces of Nerd Lit, as I call it—a book co-wrote by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. I had no idea these guys were so huge.
However, there remains a handful of fantasy type movies that I like. John Boorman's Excalibur for one, because it's so seamlessly, beautifully shot. The Wizard of Oz is another. In fact, it's probably one of my favorite movies of all time, or, rather, my favorite movie of a certain segment of time: the years between when I was old enough to focus my eyes on a television screen and, say, about 13 years of age. When I was little, I would throw an all fired up hissy fit if for some reason my parents didn't get me back home in time after Sunday dinner out the one time a year it came on television so I could snuggle under my blanket with my teddy bear, my thumb, and scare the living crap out of myself.
To this day, I think The Wizard of Oz is a great film—shot in that gorgeous, super-saturated Technicolor you just don't see anymore, with wonderful music, song, and dance; some truly creepy sequences mixed in with the right amount of tear jerking; and a heartfelt theme balanced out by a wee bit of subversive thought. Plus, there were those shoes.
Unfortunately, You Tube disabled all the clips, but if you click below, you can watch one of my favorite scenes, the one where the tornado hits Dorothy's home, taking the viewer on a literal and figurative journey from her simple black and white Midwestern existence to a technicolor fantasy world that is at once strangely wonderful and downright frightening.
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To see what the other nerds, er, participants chose, click over to Milk River Madman's place for Favorite Fantasy Movie Clip Wednesday: