Tag: wizard of oz

Movies and Cultural Literacy


Young people don’t need another excuse to watch movies, but I do think we need to acknowledge the role of films in a well-rounded education. What movies do kids have to see in order to fully participate in the national discourse, without which they would misinterpret phrases that are meaningful shorthand for those of us who have not been deprived of classic flicks? Here are a few of my ideas:

1.) Wizard of Oz: This movie has been mined for colorful analogies maybe more than any other. Recently I was nonplussed to find out from my daughters that many, perhaps most, earphones come with a microphone. For weeks I’d been wanting to alleviate the crick in my neck from doing hands-free the old way. My girls knew what I meant when I said, “You mean I had the ruby slippers all along??” And just last week a counselor I’ve been seeing brought up ruby slippers, yellow brick road, and strange characters on a journey. Opinion pieces bring us We’re not in Kansas anymore, The witch is dead, Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, and so on. Wizard of Oz the movie should be required watching as soon as children outgrow the tendency to have nightmares over bizarre winged monkeys, malevolent forests, cackling witches, and a tornado carrying one far away from home and family.