In Return to Oz, a bizarre sequel Disney made in 1985, Dorothy is committed to a sanitarium for electroshock treatment. The Wiz, a 1978 musical adapted from a Broadway show, is more upsetting to watch than it is endearing. In 2007, a television miniseries called Tin Man set Dorothy in bleak, dystopian sci-fi. All of these projects lacked that unique blend of poignant familiarity and broad cultural appeal that anchored The Wizard of Oz. Without it, they’re just creepy stories about a girl and her weird friends.
Read more. [Images: Various]
Best headline ever? Best headline ever.
(Read the review here.)
Glengarry Glen Ross first hit movies theaters 20 years ago today, bringing David Mamet’s play about the desperate measures salesmen will take when their jobs are on the line to the big screen. The most enduring part of the film is undoubtedly Alec Baldwin’s “Always Be Closing” speech. The monologue wasn’t even in Mamet’s original play, but since the film came out, the speech has become synonymous with Glengarry Glen Ross, spawning countless parodies. To mark the film’s 20th anniversary, we’ve rounded up the best ones.
Foreign films often touch on U.S. politics and foreign policy, on American society and culture, or simply on their own country’s fleeting but memorable intersections with the richest and most powerful nation on Earth. Though each film is unique, as are the various national attitudes and perceptions they represent, taken together they are a reminder of America’s pervasive political and cultural role in the world that it is so frequently covered in foreign films, and with such remarkable complexity. They offer a window into the world’s fascination with America, its antagonism for American power and admiration of American culture, its embrace of the American dream and rejection of what is often portrayed as American hegemony.
Have you noticed how incorrect quotes often just sound right—sometimes, more right than actual quotations? There’s a reason for that. Our brains really like fluency, or the experience of cognitive ease (as opposed to cognitive strain) in taking in and retrieving information. The more fluent the experience of reading a quote—or the easier it is to grasp, the smoother it sounds, the more readily it comes to mind—the less likely we are to question the actual quotation. Those right-sounding misquotes are just taking that tendency to the next step: cleaning up, so to speak, quotations so that they are more mellifluous, more all-around quotable, easier to store and recall at a later point. We might not even be misquoting on purpose, but once we do, the result tends to be catchier than the original.
Read more. [Image: Warner Bros.]
The Islamic Republic of Iran has been at war with the cinema since even before its founding. Ayatollah and future dictator Ruhollah Khomeini, in his years as a revolutionary, condemned movies in both of his books as forces of foreign corruption and imperialism. Many of the clerics who helped foment revolution in Iran in the 1970s declared movies forbidden and denounced them, sometimes forcefully. In late 1978, a small group of radical Islamists locked the doors of the Cinema Rex movie house in the city of Abadan and set it on fire, killing 400. After the revolution the following year, 180 more movie theaters (though now empty) were burned to the ground. In his first year in power, Khomeini banned 513 foreign films. […]
Censoring foreign movies used to mean simply pulling out the scissors, cutting away inappropriate scenes and shots until the film was a good deal shorter and made a lot less sense. But, in 2010, Iranian authorities acquired new technology allowing them to manipulate images and dialogues into Islamic inappropriateness.
Read more. [Image: CaffeCinema.com]