Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Encore’s Birthday Marathon: Day 1

I’m generally cagey about my birthday. I’m not wary of revealing my age, I just don’t like birthdays generally and mine specifically. I’ll agree with Ron Swanson and say that birthdays were a conspiracy created by Hallmark to sell cards. Still, I’m all for increasing productivity on the blog at the moment so I’m celebrating that impending day with a blogging marathon – 20 days of cinematic reminiscing ending on my 20th birthday. It’s really just a series of non-chronological vicissitudes from yours truly in what will just function as me at my most unhinged – which is all the time. Who knows? I might end it all with that notoriously overdue review of The English Patient. Maybe.
So, what for today? I was ruminating on cinematic firsts and I’m still not absolutely certain as to the veracity of the forthcoming statement but I’m generally sure that The Wizard of Oz was the first feature that I saw. As I said, I’m not 100% certain but I’ll stick with it simply because I seem to have it on a loop when it comes to childhood memories and even if it wasn’t the FIRST movie I saw I like to think of it as a perfect encapsulation of that tenuous bond between childhood fantasies and adult realities. 
I remember when I had that musical blog-a-thon last year (it seems so much more recent, though) Reuben wrote a hilarious piece on the underlying sinister nature to the film and it made me think of how important perspective.
When I watched it again, earlier this year, with my nephew the cynicism of it all seemed to leap off screen. Now, I don’t know if it’s because reading Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the East is begging me to look at it all with new eyes but Burke’s Glinda’s saccharine nature is all the more off-putting now that I reconcile her with that almost condescendingly sweet smile. It’s probably proof of age making me more jaded, but I’m also less willing to buy the logic of her plot (yes, plot) to keep Dorothy in Oz until she realises that she can leave whenever she wishes to.
I’m wont to keep nitpicking until we turn to Dorothy because, like my childhood counterpart, I’m still wholly enamoured with her. It’s another reason I’d buy the possibility of it being my first film, because Dorothy Gale is sort of imprinted in my memory; no, not the image of her and her shoes but the image of her first act of theft which is terribly arbitrary.
It’s impossibly random, but that image of Dorothy’s first theft act has stuck with me for some time. Not bad as far as cinematic firsts, I suppose.


Brandon said...

This post got me thinking that I REALLY need to get out my dry spell and start typing more! Probably because there are so many classics to write about.

My friend who's 18, has STILL yet to have seen The Wizard of Oz! I was like, "What?!", it's a milestone. She was adopted outside of America and her mother kept her from this gem, because she thought it was too scary (my friend had a abusive past before coming here). But she let her watch Matilda, then. The BLACK comedy that is 100X more scary and shocking for a child than this ever was!

Nicholas Prigge said...

Such an interesting image to remember. I like how those, as you say, impossibly random images are so often the ones that stay with us.

I'm amazed at how more melancholy "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" seems with each passing year.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

brandon good lord, she hasn't seen the wizard of oz? it reminds me of this post i did a while back. i loved matilda back as a child, but that movie is WAY darker than judy's emerald city romp, indeed.

nicholas the lyrics sounds positive, but deeper thought sort of reveals how sad it is.