Visual Arts » Film

Off to See the Wizard

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In 2014, I found a new love: movies in nontraditional settings. This newfound affinity is due in large part to my role as a contributing writer here, at Sky Blue Window.

This fall, I saw a handful of terrific movies on music at Fountain Square's White Rabbit Cabaret for Indy Film Fest's Rock + Reel series (see: Frank, Mateo, and Nick Cave.) Last summer, I had the good fortune to cover WARMfest. The first night of the festival closed with a screening of The Past is a Grotesque Animal, a rock documentary on WARMfest headliner of Montreal. In each case, the atypical backdrop enhanced the experience.

The next flick on my radar is a screening of the granddaddy of Technicolor, The Wizard of Oz at Indiana History Center on Saturday afternoon, Jan. 10. The film is free, though advance reservations are recommended. The screening comes in conjunction with the History Center's exhibit 1939: Healing Bodies, Changing Minds. It features Dr. Harvey Middleton, one of the country's first African-American cardiologists.

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to interview Robert Davie, the historical interpreter who portrays Middleton, for a story on Indiana Humanities' historic bar crawl. "When he applied for his job over at City Hospital, which is now Eskenazi, they rejected him because of his race," Davie says of Middleton. "He did not let that alter his efforts, and he asked them if he could volunteer. He volunteered for about two years, and later became the number-one cardiologist in the city, worked at every hospital in town and became a person of interest in the community."

Both the exhibit and the chance to watch a timeless classic in historic surroundings promise a worthwhile afternoon. Hope to see you there.

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