Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Dark Side of Oz

Did you know that if you played Pink Floyd's stunning album, Dark Side of the Moon, over the classic movie, The Wizard of Oz, they sync amazingly with each other? I didn't either until a few days back when the creatively titled Dark Side of Oz was shown here in Purdue.

The movie was played without sound while the Floyd album was started precisely at the end of the third roar of MGM studio's lion. It takes a while for the syncing to kick in: The first clear bit of evidence, for me at least, was when Dorothy looks up at the sky after belting out the first of her songs and as the sun tries to peek through closing clouds, a sound akin to thunder (at the end of "Speak to me") plays. Next, as Dorothy argues with her aunt and uncle about Toto, she moves from one person to the next seemingly in sync with the rhythm of "Time". This only lasts for a little while though.

More amazingly, "The Great Gig in the Sky" runs exactly as Dorothy's house is being spun around by the tornado, ending right when it lands. And just when Dorothy opens the door to the (colored) Oz, "Money" starts and its funky opening beats appear to reflect her awed mindset as the camera pans over the various visuals of the magical world. One other telling detail is when the lyric "The lunatic is in the grass" from "Brain Damage" comes on right after the Scarecrow gets down from his perch and begins dancing.

Though there are quite a few more extraordinary coincidences (for a full list, see here or just google "Dark Side of Oz") the whole things starts to wear thin by the time the album finishes and has to be restarted not just once, but twice (The album has to be played roughly two-and-a-half times to cover the whole movie). During the second and third time, you do notice a few other details, if you're still paying attention, that is.

Of course, the weirdest, though rather obvious, aspect to all this is the fact that Pink Floyd never designed their album to be related in any way to the movie, though Roger Waters seems to be the only one to have officially responded to any questions on the matter. That there are so many similarities between the two, definitely more than you'd expect between two random works of art, is a question best left to conspiracy theroticians!


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Saturday, January 21, 2006

Busy start to new semester

Just realized that it's been more than two weeks since my last post! The hustle and bustle of catching up with work and settling in to the new semester here has kept me from doing anything exciting, let alone write-up something about it! There are also hardly any good movies in the theater now but I must say, the thrilling NFL playoffs have more than made up for it!

Being in Indiana, I support the good ol' Indianapolis Colts, a team which this season has performed much like India did in the 2003 cricket World Cup. In the regular season, the Colts were 14 - 0 at one point, i.e. 14 wins out of 14 games and were looking to be only the 3rd team to go the playoffs with a perfect 17 - 0 record. But alas, 14 - 0 ened up as 15 - 2, and soon a slightly shaky Colts were up against the indomitable Pittsburg Steelers in the second round of the AFC Divisional playoffs. (Playoff games are in knockout format)

And what a game it was! After playing outplayed in the first 3 quarters, the Colts came back strongly in the last, making the plays happen when they absolutely had to! And so it ended up, with around 5 minutes to go, the score was 10 - 21, Colts trailing, but importantly, had posession. The ideal scenario for the Colts was a touchdown + coversion (8 points), get the ball back quickly from the Steelers and score a field goal (3 points) to send the game into overtime.

And then disaster struck! Colts' quarterback Peyton Manning's pass was intercepted and it looked like game over! But no, the validity of the interception was questioned and though video replays clearly showed that it was legal, the refree inexplicably overturned it! The Colts got back the ball, scored the 'down followed a conversion making the score 18 - 21.

And then, things continued going to plan for the Colts. The Steelers were hardly allowed to move the ball and the Colts got back posession with around two and a half mintues left. All they had to do now was get into field goal range and turn the ball over to their kicker who had a 100% record for the season!

But Manning was not able to deliver, got repeatedly sacked and the Steelers ended up with the ball at the Colts 2 yard line! One and half minutes to go! Now it was definitely game over as a few disappointed fans began streaming out of the stadium.

But no! The Steelers, in an attempt to score a touchdown to make the result beyond question, fumbled the ball which was picked up by Nick Harper of the Colts who ran it 35 yards which was incredible given that he had been cut with a knife earlier in the day during an altercation with his wife! Mind-blowing!!

The Colts then managed to run the ball up a few yards and set it up for a 46-yard field goal attempt with around 20 seconds to go. And now came the final act of the game, the final layer of icing so to speak! The Colts kicker missed the field goal attempt and missed badly as the ball went way, way to the right! And that was the end!

Hearbreak for Colts! Celebration for the Steelers! If thie was cricket, the Colts would be "chokers".


Blogger Anantha said...

It was a great game. Vanderjagt had a bad day. Did you see the David Letterman show in which he kicked 46 yards dead center? Pressure can do funny things man...

6:33 PM  
Blogger Santosh Sankar said...

I didn't see that episode though they showed the clip of the kick on CNN :)

Even funnier was his response when asked why he missed so badly: "All the Steeler fans blew at the same time!"

9:14 AM  

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Thursday, January 05, 2006

Jon Stewart hosting the Oscars?!

Woh! The LA Times reports that everyone's favorite fake news anchor, the smartest funny man or the funniest smart man on television, Jon Stewart, is going to be hosting the Oscars in 2006! Does this mean that the Academy is finally getting its act together? Who knows, they might actually end up awarding Oscars to deserving performances this time around! Now, that would be something!

For a memorable Jon Stewart performance, watch how he takes down the obnoxious host of the ex-CNN show Crossfire here. That show was cancelled shortly after this and the points that Stewart makes during his appearance here were reportedly an important factor in that decision!

And here is the link to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Comedy Central. These folks are kind enough to put up clips from each show online. Bravo!


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