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Another Portland Blog

Saturday, August 11, 2007

 

Flicks on the Bricks

The Flicks on the Bricks series returned to Pioneer Square a few weeks ago. Last night the weekly event screened Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Seeing as how I wasn't alive when the movie was originally released, I've never seen it with an audience. I've always wondered how a crowd of kids would react to the nightmarish sequence where Wonka directs a boat carrying his victims/guests through a dark tunnel filled with hallucinogenic special effects. Among the horrors dished out, a shot of a centipede crawling across a woman's face and a chicken having its head chopped off by a butcher. It's a sequence I always fast-forwarded through when I was a kid.

I expected dozens of children to start screaming once the scene rolled around but there was none of that. The ones I spotted continued staring blankly at the screen, if they weren't asleep. Maybe they just make kids tougher these days.

During Veruca Salt's "I Want it Now" song, fireworks erupted over the skies down on the Waterfront where the Bite of Oregon festival is going down this weekend. The crowd in the square couldn't see anything beyond flashes of light over the courthouse. It sounded like a war was going down four blocks away. Some members of the crowd left to watch the fireworks but most stayed to watch the movie. A testament to the longevity of Gene Wilder's performance? You be the judge. I still think his version beats the crap out of the 2005 Johnny Depp/Tim Burton remake.

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