The Wiz Live on NBC last night was such soul stirring black excellence, I thought that instead of writing a new blog piece on it today, I would rewind to a blog piece I wrote back in 2012 about the 1978 film, which is my all-time favorite. In fact, the piece was part of my blog post called “Soul Stirring,” a series of late night musings about random subjects that came to mind. That particular night, I had been up watching The Wiz on Bounce TV, I believe, at 3 or 4 in the morning and I saw it for the first time through my sleepy adult eyes. I never understood people, mostly men, who said they didn’t like it. It wasn’t until I realized that they had been looking at the film through the eyes of maturity and not childhood did I finally understand because I made this mistake once when I couldn’t sleep and it was weird. Though, I didn’t dislike the film, it was just a different viewing experience.
As I told someone yesterday, The 1978 film with Diana Ross and Michael Jackson was intended to be blaxploitation for kids, pure and simple and it has to be viewed that way to be thoroughly enjoyed or you take the magic out of it, and there is so much magic in that film. The more I watch it, in the 38 years since I first saw it at age 4, I find things I never notice, hear little quips I never knew were spoken and it becomes even more enjoyable. And after last night’s version, which I already pre-ordered, I now have three versions of this wonderful piece of black art to love: the original 1975 stage play, the 1978 film, and the 2015 live TV version, just like with Hairspray. The Wiz is so much a part of my life that there are no words to describe its meaning, so I will just leave it here with my 2012 blog post, Diana Ross in THE WIZ and Motown/Universal Pictures’s Very Real Marketing Problem: Going Back 35 Years To Move A Generation Forward Now.