The wizard of Oz
"The Wizard of Oz was my very first literary influence," writes Salman Rushdie in his account of the great MGM children's classic. At the age of ten he had written a story, "Over the Rainbow," about a colorful fantasy world. But for Rushdie The Wizard of Oz is more than a children's film, and more than a fantasy. It's a story whose driving force is the inadequacy of adults, where the weakness of grown-ups forces children to take control of their own destinies. Rushdie rejects the conventional view that its fantasy of escape from reality ends with a comforting return to home, sweet home. On the contrary, it is a film that speaks to the exile. The Wizard of Oz shows that imagination can become reality, that there is no such place like home, or rather that the only home is the one we make for ourselves.
Rushdie's brilliant insights into a film more often seen than written about are rounded off with a typically scintillating new short story, "At the Auction of the Ruby Slippers," about the day when Dorothy's red shoes are knocked down to $15,000 at a sale of MGM props.
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A Short Text About Magic
At the Auction of the Ruby Slippers
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adults Aljean Arlen arrive Arthur Freed auction Auntie bad witches Bassman Baum's BFI Film Classics Bombay Buresh cinema colour costume cousin Gail Cowardly Lion dance Ding Disney Dong doors Dorothy Gale Dorothy's dream E.Y. Harburg echo Emerald City fantasy feet film's Frank Baum Frank Morgan Garland's Glinda Grand Saleroom grey greyness Harburg Harmetz's Hindi movies Hollywood Jack Haley journey Judy Garland Kansas Lahr Lahr's Leo Singer look magic shoes Major Doyle Margaret Hamilton midgets Miss Gulch Munchkinland Munchkins musical numbers Noel Langley of'Of once OverIeaf Oz books pisspot play Professor Marvel Rainbow Ray Bolger rhymes ruby slippers s-skip Scarecrow scene screen script sequence sing Snow White songs stand-ins stars storm shelter story Stothart studio Technicolor tells Dorothy there's no place tornado Uncle Henry Victor Fleming watching West Wicked Witch window witch is dead Wizard of Oz Wonderful Yellow Brick Road