Wednesday, 3 November 2010

The Wizard Of Oz


This is the Wizard of Oz directed by Victor Fleming and it is the story of a poor orphan who lives with her aunt and uncle on a farm. Dorothy dreams of escaping to a fantasy world known as Oz but she learns that all she really wanted was the home she left behind. This plot line later influenced the Never Ending Story and Harry Potter because every child wish they were in a make - believe world so it is popular to a younger audience and families. "exposes our childhood anxieties about abandonment and powerlessness and brings to light the tension between the repressive comforts of home and the liberating terrors of the unknown marking all our adult lives." (Trevor Johnston, The evidence indicates that the theme of growing up is also present because dorothy enters the land of Oz all only without her family and it is scary experience because she doesn't know what is out there, this is similar to us because children have to grow up and eventually face the world alone which can be scary if you are not prepared for it. 


The story is a simple fairy tale of a hero's quest to save the good citizens from a villian with the help of the friends met along the journey. The characters also embark on the quest to seek their heart desires from the great Wizard of Oz, Dorothy's desire is to return home to the family she left behind because she discovers that her old dull life with the people who love her is the place she wants to be in. The yellow brick road helped tie the sets and story together because it kept with the imagination that all these beautiful environments belonged to the one world of fantasy, the experience of following a path to reach a goal is similar in people's everyday lives.

The movie begins in black and white to symbolise the dull life that Dorothy lives on the farm but when reaches the land of Oz this is transformed into an amazing bright technicolour. There is an immediate transformation between the two colour settings and the audience instantly recognises that they are two seperate worlds. The sets in Oz represented different parts of the fairy tale dream, starting with the cheerful town of muchkin land, the spooky forest where the characters discover Lion, the dark castle of the Wicked Witch of the East and the conclusion of the journey at Emerald city. All these scenes were made to look magical and enchanting to imagine what a child might dream about as their fantasy escape. "... well, frankly there are plenty of places like boring old home, but nothing's like Oz. It's a wonderful trip behind the lines of thinkability" (Peter Bradshaw , The evidence clarifies that the design of the world for Oz was thought about carefully to create the dream - like atmosphere that is so far removed from the black and white farm stage so that the environment looks bold and exciting, nothing like what we know or have seen on our planet.


The land of Oz captured the bright colours, the surrealism and enchantment of a child's dream with characters who represent the people left in Dorothy's home world so they seem familiar to her because of the links between their personalities. "Indeed, what with the plethora of little people, gaudy colour palate, flying monkeys and the most frightening villain this side of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang's child catcher, it's possibly the most disturbing kids' film ever made." (Richard Luck, This evidence makes us think about the film in a different view, that all the delights of Oz could also be imagery for a surreal nightmare of becoming lost in this imaginery world, chased by frightening creatures with no way of returning home. The tornado was a clever idea because it felt like Dorothy's world was spinning and that people were becoming the fantasy characters of her dreams. It was a point between reality and confusion where her mind was settling to accept that she was about to enter a fantasy world.

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