August 22, 2011

Pure Imagination two ways

Oy vey. Has it really been this long?

Bloggers, power-bloggers, dedicated bloggers have a stick-to-it-iveness that amazes me. Long ago I accepted the fact that there was no way that I would ever "keep up" with most things and would just have to make do with my very, very finite abilities.

The last two weeks or so have been somewhat more stressful than my Taurean being cares for, so, I'm trying to take it slow and do only the barest of essential work.

But songs always help set me right, help me remember what's what, what's important, what to pay attention to. One such song is Pure Imagination - from the Gene Wilder version of the 70s movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

What it is about Gene Wilder in this movie, or in this song, is the sparkle in the eyes that he brought to so many of his roles. He always struck me as a trickster, an imp, as someone who might play the fool but could never be fooled, who was wise to anyone he encounters. That certainly fits his role in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

And the clip from the movie is so deliciously odd, it fits quite completely with the bizarre nature of Willy Wonka as played by Wilder. They enter the room together, the children looking expectantly, curiously at the edible landscape in front of them. Willy Wonka holds them back; singing with hardly any emotion in his face. He bars them from entering with his cane, up to a point...

After the children and parents are let loose, they begin to gorge themselves with confections, while he, Willy Wonka, walks about on his own, assuming no responsibility for their behaviour.

The music both at the beginning and the end is so if there is something still left to be said...

This isn't the version I heard first, though. And there are many versions out there - a Glee version, most recently, and various covers by folks on guitar and uke. But the one that I like best, the one that captures, in albeit a very different way, a bit of the spirit of the original, is this, very odd and beautiful version by Jolie Holland (which I first heard on the album For the kids three!):

Enjoy living today in paradise.

1 comment:

Michele Pacey said...

The Jolie Holland version is very "jolie" indeed. Thanks for this!