Fleming’s 1939 American film The Wizard of Oz is an early pioneer of the use of innovative techniques in camera work, music, visual and special effects in modern day movie production. The musical-fantasy classic has also become a firm favorite among the American public and coupled with its influence in the film industry, it should be regarded as the most significant American film of all time.
In his article Kansas, Oz and the Function of Art , Conlon describes Fleming’s 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz as an expression of art using the film medium. He proposes the idea that the land of Oz is itself the artistic interpretation of the reality of Kansas. While art is generally mimetic, Oz is not just a mere reflection of Kansas. Nor is Oz a conflict-free version of the real world. This much is clear as Dorothy faces arguably more dire perils in Oz than in Kansas. It is true that the characters in Oz resemble their Kansas counterparts in physique and psyche, however the relationships that Dorothy forges with the Tin Man, Lion and Scarecrow are more indicative of her desire to be treated as an equal rather than the meddlesome child she is depicted as while on the farm. Oz also empowers Dorothy with the ability to evoke change in the status quo, in Kansas her opinion is often ignored or dismissed. The article is truly a unique interpretation of the film and shows that this beloved fantasy has a lot more substance than we might realize at first glance.
Conlon, James. "Kansas, Oz and the Function of Art." Journal of Aesthetic Education Vol. 24, No. 3 (Autumn, 1990), pp. 99-106. University of Illinois Press. JSTOR, 1 Dec. 2008.