THE HOUSE SHE FLEW IN ON: THE VIDEO

This video is essentially a “remix” of footage from “The Wizard of Oz.” Snippets of the film are pasted together, often in rhythmical, repeated fashion, the synced sound always staying with the image.

It is possible to read parts of this remix as creating an alternative storyline, with a kind of vague sexual undertone (“I saw you tinkering with Henry” “Oh, but he doesn’t do it every day, just once or twice a week” are two consecutive cuts from the film’s Kansas section.) But the rhythmic repetitions favor a more abstract, textural reading of Spencer’s video. She mainly chooses moments when Dorothy is reacting emotionally to events, often when her line is an exclamation such as “Oh!” rather than actual words. These moments, strung together, highlight Dorothy’s extremely emphatic and sensitive nature, which is what gives the original film such resonance. As in “Somewhere,” Spencer’s manipulations serve to highlight the amazing power of the original film (which is a fine thing, I think, for an experimental video to accomplish.) Spencer chooses Dorothy’s moments of greatest anguish, fear and self-loathing (“I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forgive myself,” she sobs), ending with the pathetic cry “I’m frightened, Auntie Em!” This has the effect of recasting “Wizard” as a tragedy, and of underscoring Garland’s performance as the creation of a major tragic heroine.

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