In his new book, The Film That Changed My Life: 30 Directors on Their Epiphanies in the Dark (Chicago Review), Robert Elder asked dozens of movie directors about the film that changed their lives. The responses he got from the likes of Danny Boyle, Peter Bogdanovich, and John Woo are sometimes enlightening but not terribly original. In fact, those three directors chose Apocalypse Now, Citizen Kane, and Rebel Without a Cause, respectively.
But John Waters saves the day with an inspired choice, The Wizard of Oz. Here’s his capsule summary of that classic film: “Girl leaves drab farm, becomes a fag hag, meets gay lions and men that don’t try to molest her, and meets a witch, kills her. And unfortunately—by a surreal act of shoe fetishism—clicks her shoes together and is back to where she belongs. It has an unhappy ending.”
He also discusses the film’s influence on contemporary film and the Wicked Witch’s influence on him, noting that he likes to recite one of her lines “before I go to sleep, like a prayer.” Pick up the book and find out what that line is.