Thursday, December 16, 2010

Willy Wonka in Smell-O-Vision

On Saturday, we went into Seattle to catch a special SIFF big-screen showing of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory... glorious Smell-O-Vision.

Yes, really.

Seriously, would you have missed out on a chance to do this? I think not. So we gathered our coats and Miss V and then picked up Miss V's friend to hie our way over to Seattle Center for some geeky fun.

The showing was presided over by a SIFF member in full Oompa-Loompa regalia, who invited three audience members to come down and write an Oompa-Loompa song about the evils of picking one's nose in public. V's friend raised her hand and got to write a verse or two. She did pretty well.

Billed as "a full sensory experience," this was essentially a Rocky Horror Picture Show for the under-10 crowd. (Not that there were many under-10s in the audience; the preponderance of people there were probably under 10 when the movie was first released in 1971.) All the songs were subtitled to encourage audience sing-alongs (which they did, with gusto).

Every audience member was handed a goodie bag at the door, which contained several kinds of candies, a piece of gum, two bits of cloth impregnated with scents, a little vial of bubble blow and a champagne popper. At various key points in the story, audience members were instructed to use the contents of their goodie bags to enhance the experience (i.e. smell the tobacco rag to experience the scent of Grandpa Joe, chew the gum along with Violet Beauregarde...

...or blow bubbles when Charlie and Grandpa Joe fly around in the soda room).

Our enjoyment of the film was slightly marred by one particular sensory experience we could all have done without -- the loud and insistent wailings of the real-life Veruca Salt sitting behind us. The girl, who was either too young or too ill-behaved to attend a film screening, kept whining "I wanna blow bubbles NOWWWW!" loudly enough that everyone in the theater could hear her. Her mother kept threatening to take her out, but never made good on the promise; I guess she wanted to see the movie more than she wanted to do her job. When the Oompa-Loompas started singing about spoiled, bratty children and how their parents are ultimately to blame, several audience members started pointedly clearing their throats.

Spot the Oompa-Loompa who's displeased at the whiny brat.

Moving on. After the movie we went down to Westlake Center to do a little Christmas shopping and pick up some dinner.

It was a wet, cold, rainy night...

...typical of Seattle this time of year. Actually, typical of Seattle most times of year. But look at all the shiny Christmas lights! Purty.

The monorail eventually arrived to carry us away.

By then, as the two girls here demonstrate, they were nearly frozen solid with cold.

Then they spent the rest of their ride being astonished at everything outside the train.

I think they had a good time.

Good night, Seattle. And thank you, SIFF. Your geekalicious ways continue to delight us.


Jennette said...

Geekalicious indeed! Leave it to Sooz to find something absolutely fab to do! And that Miss V is so grown up--so fun to see her. Glad to have found your blog! (Thanks for commenting on mine to direct me!)

Soozcat said...

Jennettie-spaghetti! Thanks for coming by the blog. I stop by Doris Day Parking every now and then to see what you and Adam are up to these days.