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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