Thursday, May 11, 2006


For those of you out there that keep a blog (and you know who you are!) - do you ever go back through your archives and re-read your posts?
I do, obviously, or I wouldn't be starting down this bloggie path, now would I?
Anyhow, I went back into one post because someone did a websearch for a phrase that led them to a particular post I did a while back on allergies (Monday, April 10th, to be exact), in which was posted not only MY paean to Spring and all her wonderful allergens, but also was festooned with phraseology by Mr. Schprock (who outdid me, naturally) and also contained the "chocolate river" poem from the Gene Wilder version of "Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" (Which, BTW, is still my favorite movie of all time. I can't explain why, it just is) because Rennratt mentioned the simliarities between Mr S's contribution and that bit of verse.
An aside - Did that make any sense at all? I'm not sure even I can follow the loops and whorls of verbiage...... Nevermind, let's forge on regardless of reason or logic. After all, you don't expect that from me anyway, now do you?
Back to the matter at hand - From that exchange (see paragraph 3 for background) I did some research on the movie, and was pleasantly surprised to learn that it contains generous amounts of references to Shakespearean works (which brings around the circle nicely to Mr S's self-effacing remarks from the original post, I think). Curiously, though, the Chocolate River poem is not among those quotes credited to the Bard. To my mind it certainly SOUNDS like something that could have been uttered on the stage of the Rose by a portly man in tights and doublet! Therefore, in the spirit of global edification in all things Wonka, and to perhaps convince you that the the words are indeed from an ancient English playwright's pen, I present the poem to you here, complete and unabridged:
There's no earthly way of knowing which direction we are going.
There's no knowing where we're rowing, or which way the river's flowing.
Is it raining? is it snowing? is a hurricane a-blowing?
Not a speck of light is showing, so the danger must be growing.
Are the fires of hell a-glowing?
Is the grisly reaper mowing?
YES! The danger must be growing, for the rowers keep on rowing
and they're certainly not showing any signs that they are slowing!
Keep in mind that in the movie the oompah-loompas are madly rowing a rather unstable boat through tunnels that broadcast images of bugs and competing confectioners and other horrific images onto their walls. Now, doesn't that just make you want to go out and rent that movie to show your impressionable children? Isn't that sweet? Isn't that cute? How nice. How educational.
As an FYI - the original Wonka movie is much darker than the new version (which is more faithful to the book, BTW); the undercurrent of something rotten is real, the threat of failure much more palpable. I think that edge is what makes it my favorite movie of all time. The juxtaposition (say it three times fast, y'all) of saccharine and sludge makes the tension of the adventure through the factory something in which one can get involved.
Plus, learning Shakespeare by accident doesn't hurt, and the oompah-loompas rock the orange skin.
What's YOUR favorite movie of all time?


Anonymous said...

Favorite? One? Of all time? I just don't think I can narrow them down. Aw, now you've got me all thinkin' and stuff. I'll have to get back to you.

trinamick said...

Willy Wonka is also one of my favorite movies ever. I actually used the Oompa-Loompa songs (from the book) as my poetry when I was on the high school speech team.

bookfraud said...

favorite movie of all time? besides "robocop 3"?

Erica said...

Gone With the Wind runs a razor-thin second to Manos: The Hands of Fate.

tiff said...

WN - anxiously awaiting your choice

Trina - I would have loved to have been there to see THAT! Have you suggested that for the team you coach?

BF - Yes - I need alternatives. Your first choice is slightly beyond the pale...

Erics - Oooo, you picked a good one for the first choice. The second intrigues me. Is it as high-caliber as Plan 9 from Outer Space?

rennratt said...

I think "The Nightmare before Christmas" does it for me. I love the message (The desire to DO something great does not mean that you can do EVERYTHING great. Everyone has gifts uniquely theirs. This is why Jack the Pumpkin King and the people of Halloweentown should NOT try to be Santa and his elves). Plus - it's singing corpses. C'mon! It's Dark Broadway.

Tracy Lynn said...

Dude, that poem sounds way more Louis Carroll or even AA Milne to me. And my favorite movie is His Girl Friday, mostly for the scene in the office at the beginning.

Yeah, definitely AA Milne. Very Pooh.

tiff said...

Renn - we can sing the libretto at lunch next week. I volunteer to be Oogie Boogie.

Tracy Lynn - you've got a very strong point, and I'm now going to take that path to ferret out the true origins of the poem!
"His Girl Friday"? Interesting! I'm off to look that one up too.

BloggerWannabe said...

Hi Tiff,

Late as Usual....

You know my favortie movie, and really, I thought more of your fans would have picked it too....being that its the greatest movie of all time, and that it has really great songs that are fun to sing as loudly as possible at about 0230 AM during after hours at the local...or maybe even before...sometimes...yup, you know it....Wizard of Oz....

Oh well...maybe if I had a brain....

But just one more thing that we probably share....I fell in love really probably for the very first time, when Gene Wilder tripped over his cane and somersaulted into the crowd...ahhh....I still get butteflies...

tiff said...

bloggerwannabe - Better late than never, y-know??
I remember you singing "If I were king of the forest" after several hours Joe's. I was impressed that you knew all the words and could replicate the leonine trill!!!!
Have you seen the film version of "The Producers"? Our man Gene is outstanding in it.