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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Thoughts on The Wizard of Oz at The Great Digital Film Festival in Toronto

Today at the Scotiabank Theatre, as part of The Great Digital Film Festival, they played an HD print of The Wizard of Oz. All in all, The Great Digital Film Festival is a great event, bringing back older movies for new generations. It runs until Thursday, February 11th.

Below are our thoughts on the special screening of The Wizard of Oz, held Sunday, February 7th at 1:00 PM.


We’ve all seen The Wizard of Oz numerous times, but it’s great to see it on the big screen, with an appreciative audience. It was also nice to see some younger audience members there, who perhaps aren’t as familier with the 1939 classic.

I noticed little details that I perhaps hadn’t noticed on TV. Because I’ve seen it so many times, I was able to just sit back and admire the masterful craft that went into the film. Though 70 years old, it still holds up today.

-John C.


As part of the Great Digital Film Festival at the ScotiaBank Toronto this week (Feb. 5th - 11th), we went to see The Wizard of Oz today.

I think almost everyone knows and loves the classic ‘39 film. Getting to see it on the big screen was something really special. It is nice to see films that hold up over 70 years later. To make a film that classic would be any filmmakers dream.

What makes The Wizard of Oz such a classic in most books is the beautiful sets (far more noticeable all of the work put into them, on the big screen), the classic acting, and the story that young and old can relate to. It’s a great film that hopefully years from now, it will still get re-released every now and again for more to enjoy in the manor it was first meant to be - in the theatre.

The Digital Film Festival is a great idea, and I hope to see more films there, and a repeat of the festival in the future.

-Erin V.


There is nothing like the classics. I really enjoyed seeing The Wizard of Oz on the big screen. Although I have seen The Wizard of Oz numerous times before, seeing it in a theatre was really fun. This is one classic that never gets tiring, no matter how many times you have seen it. On the big screen, I noticed little details that I had missed on TV.



Seeing The Wizard of Oz in a theatre on a big screen was like seeing it for the first time. It was wonderful. Details that I missed the on previous viewings really stood out this time. For example, the texture of the Scarecrow’s face and the detail in Munchkinland made me realize how much work went into this 1939 classic. It was a real treat re-visitnig this old favourite.



About 25 years ago, I saw a clean new film print of The Wizard of Oz taken from the original Technicolor masters, which like the obsolescent Kodachrome, used color separation, preserved as 3 black and white prints, one for each primary color. Under ideal conditions at the Ontario Science Centre, it was brilliant. By comparison, the new digital version was a bit grainy, particularly in the first sepia reel. Just as for purists, a CD can never quite match a good analog recording, the digital version did not seem quite as good as the film I remembered, but I would have to see them side by side to be sure. At any rate, the digital version would be a lot cheaper to reproduce, and therefore more accessible. Even after dozens of viewings, going back to black and white TV, through tape, DVD and (not yet for me) BluRay, everyone should have a chance to see The Wizard of Oz as it was originally shown–in a theatre on a big screen. We happened to sit a bit closer than usual, which was not a problem since it is not a widescreen film, and had the advantage of allowing us to see details usually missed at home, such as the bird in the Oz background, perhaps a snipe.


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