Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Dark Side Of Oz (1973) * Top Picks *

Hi Kiddies,

It's rather difficult to rate a film when we start off reviewing a movie that doesn't actually exist, so rather than analyzing this like I usually do, let's start with some background.

You all know that The Wizard of Oz is one of those movies that you've either seen, regret not yet having seen or at the very least, know well enough about. It's a modern classic, and it plays on TV all the time around Easter. Without debate it's considered a great movie, one of the American Film Institute's Top 100 (actually it's number 6, right between Lawrence of Arabia, and The Graduate).

Now that we're clear about that, less of you may know that Pink Floyd's 1973 album Dark Side of the Moon was one of the top selling albums ever made, holding the Guinness World Record for being on Billboard Top 200 charts longer than any other album, ever, just over 11 years... straight. Clearly this sound recording has made a name for itself in history.

And now the doozie: Pink Floyd's album, Dark Side of the Moon was made in synchronicity with the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz.

What that means is if you queue up the album on continuous repeat while playing the movie, you will clearly be made aware of 10 obviously blatant planned coincidences, or 'synchronicities', not to mention constant commonality in overall themes throughout the film in general, though the band has always denied it.

Over the last few months, I've been planning to see this for myself lately, and what do you know, coincidence and synchronicity heard my cry and my little town's Indy theater decided to have a showing of such a unique experience as you would be remiss to observe.

Here is the most well-known example of the synchronicities present in the film: The song The Great Gig in the Sky begins when the tornado storm scene begins, and ends when that scene ends, followed by Dorothy coming out of the house, greeted by a vivid Technicolour Oz. At that very moment, the song Money begins (much to the cheer and applause of the full-house audience).

I was going to describe another scene when the crowd cheered in amazement and mention two or three other interesting moments where the album is clearly meshed as one in the film, but I think I prefer the thought that you will go out of your way to see this on your own and experience it all yourselves without any more spoilers. To tell more would be like giving away the plot.

For anyone who suspects that this is purely coincidental and believes it to be simply an interesting experience, I say you are, without a doubt, entirely mistaken. Every song in this album and every scene in the movie consistently proves the intent to create a sound recording meant to be watched at the exact same time as this popular family film. It's absolutely amazing.

Aftertaste: This was one of the most surprising cinematographic experiences of the year, not to mention of my life, mainly because it's severely sub-culture super-cool while still being popular enough to keep you out of the realm of the geek obscurity closet. The fact that you'll never see this in passing carries with it the significant weight of letting you call yourself a true patron of the Pop culture Arts.

To think that my little local independent theater would go out of it's way to expose this to the world, complete with a full house, popcorn and nice seats, makes it even better. Thank you very much, Bytowne.

In preparation for this post I did my research and discovered two more wonderful secrets. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, as well as Blade Runner, movies that coincidentally I happen to own were also meant to be synched up with Pink Floyd albums, Animals and Wish You Were Here, respectively. I'm very much looking forward to that in the near future.

I think anyone who wants to catch a glimpse of genuine subculture genius should watch this, and if you need any help queuing it up, feel free to leave me a
comment, I'll guide you through it.

Now in case anyone asks, if I had to give it a score using my scale, I would keep it at the 90% I originally gave it, with the plot suffering for the enhanced Script and Mood given in the first review.

I hope you all understand that this film, seen in this way, is truly a spectacle to enjoy, and it also reveals an interesting secret from an album enjoyed by so many millions of listeners. How better to expand your artistic horizons than with a good album and a good movie?