Yesterday we lost Mel Stuart to that effer called cancer.
You may be asking who? Mostly he spent years directing documentaries.
But for one shining moment he gave kids a 'world of pure imagination'.
I met Mel about 12 years ago when he was promoting a docu-fest.
As we chatted he mentioned that he had directed a few mainstream films.
I asked, "Oh. Anything I'd be familiar with?"
He replied with a question, "How old are you?"
I told him I was 34 so he figured I was a child in the 70's and said flatly,
"I directed your all-time favorite film."
I found his statement rather presumptuous and demanded, "What movie?"
Without hesitation he said, "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory."
I froze in my tracks and yelped, "That IS one of my all-time favorite films!"
He nodded, "I know. I hear that from people your age all the time."
After I gushed a bit I thanked him for making such a perfect classic.