Film Screening 2nd August, 2013

Poster for The Wizard Of Oz

The Wizard Of Oz 

8:00 PM, 2nd August, 2013

  • G
  • 98 mins
  • 1939
  • Victor Fleming
  • Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson, Edgar Allan Woolf
  • Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, Jack Haley

I need to start this review by letting you know that the next 200-ish words will be less plot review and more personal reflection. Because let’s face it, 99.9% of you out there don’t need to be told about the plot of this film (and the other 0.1% of you… well, let’s just say I am jealous that you have yet to experience your first exposure to this film, something that I would without hesitation submit to an Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind like memory wipe to be able to experience again.

People often ask me “What is your favourite movie?” and I can’t narrow it down to one. I have managed to narrow it down to seven though, and these seven movies are, in my mind, flawless. Perfect. A complete rendering of the director’s and/or studio’s vision, that hasn’t been compromised or decimated. And The Wizard of Oz is one of those seven films. (You’ll have to ask me personally for the other six.)

From the opening bars of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” all the way through the change to colour and the incredible journey, and leading to the conclusion that, in any lesser film, commits one of my personal ‘Great Sins in Movie Plotting’, but is the only movie to get away with it (again, you’ll have to ask me personally, as it is a bit of a spoiler for the 0.1%), this is pure bliss all the way. And if you’ve never seen it on the big screen… well, you must be here. Cancel all your plans for this evening, because it’s time to re-visit the yellow brick road once again.

Travis Cragg

Poster for King Kong

King Kong 

9:53 PM, 2nd August, 2013

  • PG
  • 100 mins
  • 1933
  • Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack
  • James Creelman, Ruth Rose
  • Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, Bruce Cabot, Frank Reicher

Hi, me again. You may remember me from the previous review of The Wizard of Oz. Well, now you’ve experienced that film of beauty, can I encourage you to stay and watch one of the best monster features ever created.

I’m going to be a bit self-indulgent again here… I actually regard the 2005 version as my favourite Peter Jackson film. Yes, I loved it even more than any of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The reason is that it was extremely obvious that Jackson was a huge fan of the original, and made sure he kept the spirit of it alive throughout, with shots, storylines and even the final line of dialogue echoing the feel of this, the 1933 version that you’re going to be dazzled with.

The plot is probably familiar to you, but if not – film crew, tropical island, giant gorilla, female blonde movie star, unconventional romance. That’s all I’m telling you, because you should let the rest unfold itself with the surprise and glee that audiences experienced back in the 30s. There isn’t really anyone of note involved in the creation of this masterpiece – you’ll only ever hear mention of the likes of Fay Wray and the uncredited Merian C. Cooper in relation to this movie. But if my only contribution to Hollywood folklore was to be involved in just one production of this quality and magnitude, I would be happy with that.

And, if you’re not convinced that you need to come along to see this, well then may you and your kind be forever banished to Skull Island!

Travis Cragg