While thematically related to both movies, the wonderful cast of witches and warlocks bear far more resemblance to the characters in BELL, BOOK AND CANDLE than they do to the vengeful bunch in I MARRIED A WITCH. For some reason, I'm really bothered by this. It's coming across as though you're going to great pains not to have your enjoyment of BB&C "ruined" by the gay parable. You began by claiming people were reading too much into it and then, once the connection was pointed out and made clear you changed to saying it doesn't really matter what the intent was because you don't have to see it if you don't want to and no one can make you. One can look at Picasso's GUERNICA without knowing the backstory and think it's a painting about Greek ghosts on a rampage but it doesn't change what GUERNICA is actually about. Someone mentioned CITIZEN KANE earlier and that it can be enjoyed without knowing anything about William Randolph Hearst. I really can't imagine anyone, however, when finding out who William Randolph Hearst was, saying "Nope, I don't care what Welles and Mankiewicz intended, I choose not to see any connection."
I enjoy both I Married a Witch
and Bell, Book, and Candle
. I can see the how tidbits of each played into what became Bewitched
. Add a few more years to Aunt Queenie (Gee, there's a name!), make her a bit "touched," and you get Aunt Clara. Add a few more years to Jack Lemmon's Nicky, and you might end up with Uncle Arthur. Even Samantha's dad seems like a benign version of Verionica Lake's dad in I Married A Witch As to the other topic of art and intention vs interpretation
, I was an art history and sculpture student in college. We talked often about the nature of art, art theory, and the fuzzy logic around art and meaning. Art is subject to different interpretations by different people, but those interpretations, once stated, like the art itself, must be able to stand up to critque, debate, and evaluation if they are going to be deemed of any merit.
Also, in my experience, no one ever used ignorance to justify or validate their interpretation of art, whether defending their own work or someone else's. Someone may want Ishiro Honda's Gojira
to "just be a movie about a giant monster stomping through Japan" and not acknowledge that it is a metaphor for a nuclear bomb, but they would be wrong. Doing the intellectual equivalent of closing yours eyes tightly, plugging your ears, and singing "Mary had a little lamb..."
will not change that any more than it will the facts regarding Guernica
or Citizen Kane
. Bottom line: An informed opinion about a work of art is going to be more valued than an ignorant one.