To Oz Through the Dark Side of the Moon
Sometime in the mid 90’s, the public became aware of the pop cultural revelation that the one and only The Wizard of Oz can be synched to Pink Floyd’s one and only The Dark Side of the Moon. Thanks to the fan forum alt.music.pink-floyd and Charlie Savage’s article before his days with New York Times, audiences can experience the wonders of the iconic film all over again as if their VHS copy was brand new.
While considered a family film for the kids to watch on a quiet sunday night, the film’s voyage into a hypnotic world through delusional psychosis and trippy colors fits well for a stoner extravaganza. Somebody must have plopped in their worn copy of Oz, smoked a doobie, put on their Pink Floyd CD, zoned out to the stimulating pop art, and BAM! They discovered a scientific formula.
In order to get to the Dark Side of the Rainbow, the elements call for The Dark Side of the Moon to be played the moment the MGM lion roars at the beginning of the picture. Now, the lion roars a total of three times in its grand entrance, so many potheads argue which growl fits well for the viewing. Being an experimental film and all, test out your journey by alternating on multiple viewings.
The swooping “Speak to Me” covers the film’s opening credits with its instrumentals gliding the audience with the hovering sepia-toned clouds on the screen. David Gilmour pleads “don’t be afraid to care” when Dorothy tries to get Aunt Em’s and Uncle Henry’s attention but ultimately ignore her warning about Miss. Gulch.
During Miss Gulch’s grand entrance, the erie tones “dun na na na na” are replaced with ticking clock sounds alarming that her appearance is a bomb waiting to be dropped on Dorothy’s already mundane life.
“Money” whips in when Dorothy opens the farmhouse door to see her technicolor dream. The use of color film was a hefty price on the film’s budget for a time when black and white film stock was financially accessible. The vibrant technique transports audience out of the dreary wasteland of Kansas into a fantastical new world. This attraction brought audiences into the theatre. For “Money” to play over this scene epitomizes the financial success of both pieces since the film is a royalty goldmine and the song is the highest charting single off of the album.
While only running 42 minutes and 49 seconds, the album must be played on repeat in order to follow the film’s 102 minute runtime. I lost track of the album’s tracklist from zoning out to the perfect synchronization. Guitar riffs replace the ramblings of character’s reason for existing in Oz, drum beats make up the absence of the Tin Man’s heartbeat, and the heavy synthesizers launch me through Oz’s universe far off in the galactic realm of Dorothy’s imagination.
While all a coincidence for the images to pair with the tunes, the journey signifies how intricate the brain functions by finding a pattern between moving pictures and music even when there is absolutely no correlation between the two.
By the time Dorothy wakes up in Kansas and “The End” title card appears, the whimsical buzz begins to clear in my mind as I come to the realization I am comfortably numb in the safety of my home.
Tripping to Dorothy’s adventure bewitches the existential crisis she faces of trying to go home. Even though she runs away from home to start a new life, Dorothy comes of age by understanding that even in a beautiful fantasy land there will still be problems to face no matter how gorgeous the painted backdrop is.
I mean if we are searching for a greater meaning, isn’t home all we really need at the end of a long day?
But then again, I heard or read somewhere that we can never go home again.
Experience the Dark Side of the Rainbow below.