i can't remember when i first saw it, but i do remember watching it in a cinema once. that was about three or four years ago, and i was still working as a projectionist. a print of the film was shipped over for a special screening, and so about four or five of us stayed behind one night and watched it. i did because i had a rare moment of cultural responsibility and figured i should watch this film that i didn't like in a cinema. so i did.
i can see how the birth of colour in the film was exciting to a generation, but i've never seen what it had beyond that. judy garland is lost on me, and i always felt sorry for the wicked witch, who was a bit misunderstood. (and the whole bit about evil being ugly never appealed to me.)
so what is it that keeps the film in peoples mind? what is the magic? is it the clicking of ruby slippers and the hope that there is no place like home? or is it that the film tells us that inside us all, we've all got a brain and a heart and some courage? or is it the fact that over a hundred midgets are dancing together?
when i watched it in a cinema, older, a touch more cynical than the child i was, the only scene i found interesting was that of the wizard being unmasked. here was the powerful figure they'd sought, the man who would set everything right, and he's just a little old man with a bag of tricks that he uses to some form of success.
but it's not the kind of image that keeps a film alive in the minds people, that i know. so, what is it? what is the magic inside the Wizard of Oz?