Last night, I went to "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" at Oakland's Paramount Theatre, which is an old Art Deco theatre from the oldie-times that was refurbished a few years ago. It was gorgeous. It was huge and had an upper balcony and everything. Plus, before the movie, they made it like oldie-times and showed a newsreel (!) and a Warner Bros. cartoon along with some past trailers ("King Kong," "West Side Story"). The entire place was filled with people - young and old alike - who laughed and hissed and cheered along with the movie.
The movie itself, of course, was great. In addition to "Pee Wee's Big Adventure," "Back to the Future," and the extremely popular "Cloak and Dagger," I'd say "Willy Wonka" was one of my most-watched movies as a little boy. So it was nice to see it again in such a spectacular setting. And goddamn... when Charlie gives Wonka that ever-lasting gobstopper at the end, that has to be one of the best moments ever. Not just in film. Ever.
On the previous night, I again watched "Shampoo" on DVD, which is a great movie as well. While watching the movie, I realized how close it is to the movie I'm writing right now (and planning to shoot this summer) - except without the sex. In fact, that will be the tagline for my movie. "It's Shampoo... without the sex." Or the political implications. Or the overall quality.
Thus far, I've compared my movie to "Shampoo" and Shel Silverstein's "The Giving Tree." Within a week, I will be comparing it to The Bible. You watch.