Reflections on the influence of “The Wizard of Oz”
As noted in an earlier posting here on Cinema Treasures, the “Wizard of Oz” will be shown in over 400 theaters on September 23 on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of its original release. In a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, Ray Harryhausen, Joe Dante, Guillermo del Toro, Zack Snyder and others reflect on the iconic film’s influence and legacy.
That may sound like a lot of attention for an artifact from the FDR administration, but there’s a timeless quality to the cinematic adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s 1900 children’s novel that still transports new generations over the rainbow. The movie remains an essential reference point — this December in James Cameron’s much-ballyhooed sci-fi epic “Avatar,” for instance, when the main character arrives on a dazzling jungle planet, moviegoers will hear a familiar line: “You’re not in Kansas anymore.” Cameron chuckled when asked about the line. “Yeah, it’s my favorite movie; I had to get it in there somewhere,” he said. Cameron is not alone in his ongoing romance with “Oz.” To mark the anniversary, The Times interviewed creators in film, television, music and books who have never wearied of the cinematic trip down the yellow brick road.