Dark Side of Oz the Great and Powerful
Watching Sam Raimi’s new movie while listening to Pink Floyd.
For years, members of Pink Floyd have denied that the band synchronized its landmark 1973 album Dark Side of the Moon with The Wizard of Oz. The evidence, however, suggests otherwise. Begin playing the album after the third roar of the MGM lion and Victor Fleming’s film is transformed into a psychedelic music video. At the 3:04 mark, for example, David Gilmour sings the words “look around”—and at that very moment Dorothy looks over her shoulder. A minute later, as Gilmour sings the lyric “balanced on the biggest wave,” the young heroine skips precariously atop a fence. Listen as the cash register sounds of “Money” plink out of your speakers the instant Dorothy emerges into the world of color and first glimpses the Yellow Brick Road. How do you explain that?
Earlier this week, I attended a screening of Oz the Great and Powerful, eager to see how Disney’s prequel fares as an accompaniment to Dark Side. I thought it safe to assume that director Sam Raimi intended for me to press play on my iPhone after the third firework exploded above Cinderella's castle during the Disney production logo. The results—well, I think they speak for themselves. Herewith, a list of the most significant points of synchronicity. (Caveat: Dark Side of the Moon opens with 12 seconds of silence; I may have actually started on the sixth firework. Hard to tell. Also, Oz the Great and Powerful is very loud; it often drowned out my Floyd. Your synchronicities may vary.)
2:50 "Look around": James Franco is looking at Zach Braff.
3:05 "All you touch": Zach Braff is touching his hand to his hip.
10:37 “Ticking away the moments that make up the dull day”: Zach Braff looks bored by what James Franco is saying.
10:51 "No one told you when to run": James Franco is walking briskly.
11:58 “Oooh, aaah”: The lovely Michelle Williams makes her entrance.
12:40 "The sun is the same": It’s daytime, the sun is out.
13:09 “Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way”: The casting of Rachel Weisz, who recently wowed critics in Terence Davies’ The Deep Blue Sea, a film about Britons hanging on in quiet desperation after World War II, is apparently a nod to this Roger Waters lyric.
15:41 Clare Torry’s soulful vocals in “The Great Gig in the Sky” coincide with James Franco being flung about by a twister. The words going through Franco’s head are almost certainly whoa whoa whoa!
19:20 “Money” kicks in at exactly the moment when James Franco’s dive into a giant pile of gold treasure is about 20 minutes or so from happening.
28:57 "Black and blue": Mila Kunis is wearing a pair of ominously high-heeled black boots.
30:04 “Haven't you heard it's a battle of words”: James Franco and Mila Kunis are having a serious conversation.
34:50 Dark Side of the Moon was engineered by a young Alan Parsons at Abbey Road. The more you look at James Franco’s flying monkey sidekick, the more he looks like a young Alan Parsons.
37:16 “The lunatic is on the grass”: James Franco keeps flashing a lunatic’s grin.
39:58 James Franco appears to be blinking in time with the drums at the end of “Brain Damage.”
42:01: “Everything under the sun is in tune”: Amen, brother.