There’s apparently no movie, no matter how classic or celebrated, for which the experience of watching can’t be improved by doing so alfresco, in a park, in the company of a few dozen queens and their friends.
Last night, Jeff and I went to the Washington DC GLBT Center (actually, DC has no physical GLBT Center, but this organization is attempting to establish one) and One in Ten “Screen on Stead Park” outdoor screening (from a laptop and DVD player, projected onto a giant inflatable movie screen, which offers some pretty cool geek-appeal) of the newly digitally remastered The Wizard of Oz. As Jeff noted back in July, we went to a similar GLBT Center-sponsored screening of Sordid Lives.
Both experiences were a lot of fun–people bring picnic dinners and snacks, sit or lie together on blankets under the (admittedly faint and few) stars, relax and socialize together in an environment where you can hold hands or lean against your partner without concern, and feel relatively free to add some degree of audience participation in the form of shouted jokes and comments (though the latter less so last night than at the previous movie). Sordid Lives was an intentionally camp movie, with gay characters and subplots and seemingly aimed for gay audiences, but The Wizard of Oz, only incidentally and in its historical context largely from its association with Judy Garland a “gay” movie, nevertheless offered an abundance of opportunities for audience comments and laughter at unintentional double-entendres (or, as George Bush might say, “intennuendos”). The Tin Man and his need for repeated oilings was one source of amusement, as were the “sissy” comments and gestures of the Cowardly Line. One of the biggest laughs of the evening, unsurprisingly, was the Scarecrow’s comment that while one direction at the crossroads is “a very nice way” while the other is “pleasant,” “of course, people do go both ways.”
This was the Center’s last “Screen on Stead Park” event for the year, but they’ve promised monthly screenings next year from May through September. We had a lot of fun at both movies this year, and definitely are looking forward to future screenings. Jeff wasn’t even a fan of The Wizard of Oz from his earlier viewings, but quite enjoyed last night’s.