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Wonka and Ringwald under the stars at Old Pasadena Film Fest


Last week, I compared Yayoi Kusama’s luminous, larger-than-life Beverly Hills exhibit to the surreal movie sets of Tim Burton.  This weekend, moviegoers can catch a free outdoor screening of the film that inspired Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory of 1971, in Old Town Pasadena.  The Old Pasadena Film Festival aims to preserve the screening of motion pictures in authentic urban environments, and its 8:30 offering of Charlie on Saturday will run in the expansive, open-sky One Colorado Courtyard.  The movie’s director, Mel Stuart, was so confident in the jaw-drop value of his chocolate factory set that he refused to let the actors see it until cameras rolled.  Their on-screen reactions are full of bona-fide, child-like wonder, and it’s not hard to imagine Burton gleaning onto this legend as inspiration for his own stylistic derring-do.  See the original for yourself this Saturday, or, for those not so interested in set design, check out Sixteen Candles, which runs at 9:00pm the same night on the rooftop of the Schoolhouse Parking Garage.  All festival screenings are free and open to the public.