Wizard of Oz picture

I suppose the best place to start this is with an introduction. I am Neon, baby sister of the goddess of geeks . . . Nitty. When Nitty approached me about writing a page for her site, I said, "Great, what should I write about"? We decided that I would write a movie review.

Since Nitty and I share the curse of procrastination, I decided to put it off for a few days. As time passed, I decided it might be a good thing to at least choose a movie. I decided to select a movie that was an old friend. I chose the cinematic treasure "The Wizard of Oz." About the same time, I read an article in the local paper about The Wizard of Oz/Dark Side of the Moon connection. So, after many, many, months of deep contemplation (not really, but it sounds better than procrastination), I wrote this up. The Wizard of Oz has always been magical to me. Every year I looked forward to watching it on television (yes, I am older than video). I loved it because it had a dark-haired heroine, it was deliciously frightening, and it had witches in it. I was never sure if I wanted to be Dorothy or the Wicked Witch. As I've grown up, I've decided the WW is closer to my heart. I present to you my thoughts on the WOO/DSM experience.

One crucial aspect of the WOO/DSM experience is timing. It is important to begin the CD at the end of the third, final roar of the MGM lion. After several attempts to synchronize the video and the CD, I muted the film sound and settled in on my couch on a warm midsummer evening to watch the film. I was all set with my DSM liner notes and my legal pad. The opening credits of the film began to roll to the heartbeats and ticking of Speak to Me. The familiar black-and-white farm scenes begin with the song Breathe. Dorothy is talking with the farm hands, then begins to walk the fence rail. The lyric "And balanced on the biggest wave You race towards an early grave" plays as Dorothy loses her balance and falls from the fence.

The song "On the Run" sounds the alarm when Miss Gulch, aka the Wicked Witch of the West, appears. The tempo follows the bickering between Miss Gulch, Dorothy, and Auntie Em.

Dorothy makes her decision to run away with Toto during the song "Time."Toto escapes Miss Gulch and jumps through Dorothy's window to join her to the lyric "Waiting for someone or something to show you the way."

The two set off together and meet up with Professor Marvel, who looks into his crystal ball and tells Dorothy that she is needed at home. The "Breathe Reprise" plays:

"Home, home again

I like to be here when I can

When I come home cold and tired

It's good to warm my bones beside the fire

Far away across the field

The tolling of the iron bell

Calls the faithful to their knees

To hear the softly spoken magic spells."

The fourth track, The Great Gig in the Sky, plays as the tornado builds. The vocals by Clare Torry peak as the tornado sweeps Dorothy and her home up into its vortex.

The opening cash register cha-chings on Money as Dorothy opens the door and the film changes into vivid color. Dorothy steps into the rich, Technicolor world and Glinda glides down in her bubble to the lyric "And I think I need a Lear jet."

The song Us and Them plays during Dorothy's encounter with the munchkins and the Wicked Witch of the West. The lyric "Black and blue/And who knows which and which and who is who" plays as Glinda explains that Dorothy has dropped the house on the witch's sister. The line "Up and down" plays as the camera aims downward at the ruby slippers. "Down and Out" plays as Glinda fades out in her bubble and Dorothy begin down the yellow brick road.

The track Any Color You Like plays as Dorothy continues her journey along the vividly colored brick road.

Brain Damage starts and Dorothy meets up with the Scarecrow, who begins flopping and flailing about on the ground to the lyrics "The lunatic is on the grass." Dorothy and the Scarecrow begin their journey down the brick road to the lyric "Got to keep the loonies on the path." The song ends with "I'll see you on the dark side of the moon" and then leads into Eclipse.

The CD ends with the beating of a heart as Dorothy listens to the Tin Man's chest.

I set the CD to continuous play and was surprised to find other instances where the songs and the actions seemed to be in sync.
I was prepared to be skeptical of this. Instead, I found myself re-discovering a favorite old film and a great CD. 

 Related Stuff and Links
If you want to learn more about the politics of OZ and the story of the green-skinned Elphaba, who grew up to be the Wicked Witch of the West, I recommend Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire.
A great Wizard of Oz/Dark Side site.     


Another Wizard of Oz/Dark Side of the Moon site    


Wendy's Wonderful Wizard of Oz site. This one is huge and has scripts, pictures, sounds, and more!    


Virtual Reality Moon Phase Pictures. Take a look at the dark side and view the moon phase for any date and time.    


The Steely Dan Internet Resource Page. Just cause I felt like including this and I know my friend John likes the publicity.    


-44- Neon

Copyright 1997 The Courage of Our Confusion. All Rights Reserved. Comments? E-mail comments@confusio.com
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