It may not have seemed likely at the time, but when The Wizard of Oz was introduced to the world in 1939 it would go on to form one of the cornerstones of American cinema. While Victor Fleming’s film may have had a troubled production, it went on to inspire countless other filmmakers. However, although it was a critical success upon release, it wasn’t until two decades later that it embedded itself into the American psyche.
David Lynch is without doubt one of the most vaunted and singular American filmmakers of his generation. The oft-misused ‘Lynchian’ has become part of cinematic language. Regularly used lazily to describe any film that’s is somehow different, but the director’s films are highly distinctive in their oddness. If you look closely enough, you’ll see the similarities and also the influence Dorothy’s incredible journey has had on the maverick. Lynch/Oz considers this relationship.
Lynch/Oz is comprised of a number of short essays from people connected with the film industry. Using footage from Lynch’s catalogue and Fleming’s film to highlight comparisons. Some of these segments are more insightful and interesting than others, with film critic Amy Nicholson and contemporary John Water’s sections working best. The biggest takeaway from Alexandre O. Philippe’s documentary is, perhaps, the desire to revisit his work and appraise it in a new light.
Lynch/Oz screens at Fantastic Fest.