The Wiz – Das zauberhafte Land (1978)

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The Wiz – Das zauberhafte Land: Directed by Sidney Lumet. With Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, Ted Ross. An adaptation of “The Wizard of Oz” that tries to capture the essence of the African-American experience.

“I just watched this for the first time, Iu0026#39;ve was expecting a true spectacle of u0026quot;badu0026quot; cinema. I was surprised to find there is a decent movie here.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eSome people have remarked Diana Ross was too old to play Dorothy, OK, well, so was Judy Garland. True. Thereu0026#39;s really nothing wrong with this musical–The songs are excellent, performed by some great talents. The production design is spectacular (maybe a little dated, but still something to look at). The sets are a little nightmarish looking, true, but I liked that. I reminded me of u0026quot;Return of Ozu0026quot;, a favorite of mine too. The real problem with this movie is the damn direction and cinematography.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eWhat were they thinking? The Munchkin scene is not only lit horribly (too dark!), but all the musical numbers seem like theyu0026#39;re just comprised of master shots. Very few close ups of dancers, other singers, and even main characters. During the u0026quot;Ease on Down the Roadu0026quot; number Lumet has us staring at Diana Ross and Michael Jacksonu0026#39;s back from far away in the distance for two minutes. It felt like I was watching this movie from the cheap seats. Thus, I always felt distanced from the characters and situations, and just couldnu0026#39;t get into the movie. u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eI read Sidney Lumetu0026#39;s book u0026quot;Making Moviesu0026quot; and I remember him writing in detail about shooting to get proper coverage. What happened here?”


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