Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Movie Clip Wednesdays: Favorite Fantasy Movie

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:


Boxer said...

You know, I nearly went with the Poppy scene from Wizard of Oz or those crazy flying monkeys that scared the crap outta me as a child. I remember before VHS/etc when this was played just once a year on TV and it was a big event in our house. The year we had a color TV? Wow!

And Moi? I've not only never read the Hobbit/etc, I never saw the movies. And here's more... I've never one Harry Potter book either.

Happy MCW!

Anonymous said...

It was a pretty impressive movie technically for it's day. Terry Pratchett RULES! What's this book you're talking about?

I think of his Discworld Series as more comedic than "Fantasy". You will too if you give them a chance.

Aunty Belle said...

Why yeeeees mah pretty, this is a movie fer Moi!

Heh, Nerd Lit. Filchin' that one.

@ Boxer--

Aunty ain't never seen Harry Potter either. Did see LOTR (cool, really.)

Roses said...

Fantastic choice.

Happy MCW! xxx

moi said...

Boxer: Never cracked a Potter book, either. But, I've seen the . . . wait for it . . . movies!

Troll: The book is Good Omens. A comedic look at the impending apocalypse, and the two angels—one from each "side"—who try to stop it. Rather well done. Witty. Food for thought-y.

Aunty: For years, my benchmark of sartorial excellence was Glinda's get up. I so wanted that crown and gown. On certain, days, I still do.

Roses: Thanks!

Princess said...

Happy to Blog Jinx with you Moi...

chickory said...

I am in 100% agreement with everything you said. The iconic film still reigns as one of the best movies of all times. Its imagery still finds its way into my everyday language..for instance, i refer to the mayors police who come around to make sure vendors at the farmers market are selling at least 50% food as her "flying monkeys"

were not in kansas anymore
the man behind the curtain
lions and tigers and bears oh my

so much

the part that scared the hell out of me was the witches legs rolling up under the house.

i have always adored how just like in our dreams, the everyday people we encounter take on new personalities and meanings.

great choice and the only one i could have picked. I hate fantasy everything. and have never seen a harry potter movie much less read a book.

happy MCW!

Buzz Kill said...

You picked a movie about shoes - go figure. Flying monkeys, a robot, midgets and a hot chick is one of my alltime fantasies. Bwahahaha

Happy MCW!

moi said...

Princess: Hey! First time I think I've blog jinxed. Glad to see another fan.

K9: Yes! That toe curl will show up in my nightmares to this day, it left that much of an impression. Can you believe S.B.'d never seen it up until we caught it on cable a couple months ago? He was amazed at how "modern" it looked.

Buzz: Hey, now. Those ruby slippers are one of film history's all time great symbols.

chickory said...

or how bout the scene where she sees em in the crystal ball calling and crying for her and then the witch's face replaces it and makes fun of her and cackles. I will never forget when as i child i figured out that the lion and scarecrow and tinman were the ranch hands and oz was the psychic guy with the wagon in the woods. I announced this in the living room at the top of my lungs like i was a genius!

and then you have the tornado scene. just this week i blogged how i flashed on Em while i was calling the dogs in a windstorm the night before the snow.

the movie is real art. it endures and has meaning in all times.

Pam said...

Absolutely top five classic of all time movie. The Munchkins creeped me out ... I mean, I know they were midgets or little people, but the costumes were creepy! And the whole B&W to color ... just perfection. And I can still spot when the wicked witch shows up in some other role in some other movie ....

Happy MCW! I got nuttin.

moi said...

Chickory: And let's not forget, the absolute perfection of Judy Garland's performance. Incredibly emotional, but also sweet and innocent, the way she fully embodies her yearning—at first, the desperate desire for something more, something just over the rainbow, and then, slowly, the dawning realization that she longs to go back to everything that is comfortable and familiar. It holds up to this day.

You also hit on something I hadn't thought about until now, with your mention of finally figuring out who Dorothy's pals were. This is a children's movie on one level, but I'm willing to bet that for many of those children, it was also the gateway movie that taught them how to look at film in a critical manner—as an art form to be sure, but also as a vehicle for ideas.

Pam: I'd put it in the top five for sure. Oh, and the Lollipop Guild? Those dudes are bizarre.

Boxer said...

My favorite scences are with the Scarecrow and Tin Man. "If I only had a heart or brain" can still make me teary to watch.

My line to use when talking to customers about they want with a custom order.... "Can you dye my eyelashes to match my eyes"? Few understand it, but as a little girl watching them get all dolled up in Oz was also something that stayed with me.

Karl said...

Good afternoon Moi,

Oz was a great movie, up untill they added color. That ruined it.

Just kidding