Reminder: I'll be on an interesting (and free!) American Cinema Foundation panel this Saturday debating the glorious future of public television in the Land of the Free.
Details—Saturday, 8 p.m., moderated by occasional Reason contributor Cathy Seipp; other panelists include The Hollywood Reporter's Ray Richmond and Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory director Mel Stuart. Admission is free, seating is limited, RSVPs are a must, and more information (including on the other panels) here.
Speaking of Willy Wonka, I re-watched the original last night for the first time since childhood in preparation for my Mel Stuart handshake, and had one thought too banal to keep to myself—what a great decision it was to cast Charlie, Jack Albertson, and the rest of that beaten family with a bunch of American actors, since this, combined with the usual American self-mythology about how we all belong to the plucky lower-middle class, allowed little Californians like me to totally identify with the pre-pubescent everyman, even though, you know, Dad was still alive, the family didn't depend on my child labor, and the grandparents weren't all ridden to the same filthy bed while sad Ma boiled clothes.
Or maybe it's another data point in my equally banal theory that '70s cinema merely reflected a society that just sucked in ways barely imaginable now.