*on the conflated character and ideals
loonacy at the crossroads
ray bolger was an american tap dancer. he certainly wasn't as impeccably crisp in craft or classy in character as bill robinson. he was not as athletically ostentatious as gene kelley. but who would want to be?
at the time of a cultural shift between vaudeville, broadway and early hollywood cinema, his lanky comedic stage character was translated through the film the wizard of oz. his innate physicality and disposition (that of a noodle-y limbed, highly expressive, gesticulating person with a comedically animated voice) was easily recognizable as an atypical masculinity. he played the part of a lunatic in the road.
his charm can more or less be most closely associated to a coquettish marionette... an effeminate & infantilized personification of an object designed to scare, but with a deep longing to relate in thought just like he imagined all the real people do.
you could ask him for directions, but he wasn't declarative in where it was you should necessarily go. he provided insight to the best of his knowledge, yet he didn't really direct you; he left that to the receiver of the information to choose for themselves.
at the end of the film, dorothy endearingly says to the scarecrow, in front of her entire group of comrades, "i will miss you most of all".
i don't necessarily share the same personal affection for the personage of the scarecrow or bolger the man... but i do long for levity.
sundial of loonacy, 2019. ceramic & architectural integration