Monday, August 18, 2014

Shutter Island analysis - part 2: Observations on the cliff scene


Teddy and Chuck at a cliff's edge, from where they can see the lighthouse.

After a brief argument, Teddy warns Chuck that he will set out alone from here, to try and find a path to the lighthouse.

After Teddy fails to find a specific path that he had hoped would lead to the lighthouse, he returns to the spot where he left Chuck, but Chuck is gone, with the only 'clue' being a cigarette (ostensibly, Chuck's) sitting on the edge of the cliff. Note that the cigarette is lying in a position such that it's smoked portion (the ashes) hangs just over the ledge, while the filter is sitting perfectly on the ledge. It is as if Chuck (or someone else) has intentionally placed the cigarette in this specific location and position, so as to get Teddy to look over the edge of the cliff when he investigates the cigarette's presence. Also, the ashes serve as a suggestion to Teddy's unconscious mind, designed so that he will believe that proceeding down the cliff will 'lead' to his deceased wife, or to information about her; for recall that she died in a fire (although according to Teddy, it was the smoke of the fire that caused her death, not the fire itself). Note that the particular shot shown above, suggests the name of the institution portrayed in the movie: ash + cliff = Ashcliffe.

When Teddy looks over the edge of the cliff, he sees a body below (indicated by orange arrow), at some distance out on the rocks.

Teddy climbs down the cliff face in order to investigate the body. His descent here symbolizes a descent into Hell.

By the time Teddy reaches the location where he saw the body, it's gone.

Teddy sees some rodents on the rocks below the cliff. Rodents are a chthonic symbol, i.e., they represent things to do with the deities or spirits of the underworld.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Pink Floyd: 'The Dark Side Of The Moon' synchronized with 'The Wizard of Oz'


The Dark Side Of The Moon album cover. [Image from the Wikipedia 'The Dark Side of the Moon' page; "Dark Side of the Moon",[a] licensed under fair use via Wikipedia.]

Dark Side of the Rainbow – also known as Dark Side of Oz or The Wizard of Floyd – refers to the pairing of the 1973 Pink Floyd album The Dark Side Of The Moon with the visual portion of the 1939 film, The Wizard of Oz. This produces moments where the film and the album appear to correspond with each other. The name, "Dark Side of the Rainbow", comes from a combination of the album title, the album cover (shown at left), and the film's song "Over the Rainbow."[b] In the YouTube videos at the links listed below, individual songs from The Dark Side Of The Moon are paired (i.e., synchronized) to certain scenes from The Wizard of Oz.

Regarding the appearance of possible anti-Semitism on this blog, please see the 'Disclaimers' section near the bottom of this page.

The Wizard of Oz - Tornado scene / The Dark Side Of The Moon - On The Run

The above left screencap shows workers on Dorothy's farm escorting Dorothy's Auntie Em and Uncle Henry into an underground shelter, as the tornado approaches the farm. At above right, Dorothy, lying unconscious in her house after her head has been struck by a blowing window sash, dreams that the wind of the storm is causing objects, such as the uprooted tree shown, to fly past her bedroom window.

The Wizard of Oz - Dorothy arrives in Munchkinland / The Dark Side Of The Moon - Money

The above left screencap shows Dorothy, shortly after she has first walked out of the door of her house, after the house has fallen into Munchkinland. The lyrics of Money (e.g., "Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash") point to the concept of greed, indicating that the Munchkins themselves represent some group of greedy persons. Some of the Munchkins are shown in the above right screencap.

The Wizard of Oz - Dorothy and the Witches in Munchkinland / The Dark Side Of The Moon - Us And Them

The above left screencap shows the Wicked Witch of the West confronting Dorothy in Munchkinland, while she is accompanied by the Good Witch of the North. As is explained in the analysis of The Wizard of Oz on this blog, the ground level of Munchkinland lies in circles 4 and 7 of Dante's Inferno (Hell). The above right screencap shows Dorothy's position at about a quarter of a minute into her journey down the yellow brick road.

The Wizard of Oz - Dorothy meets the Scarecrow / The Dark Side Of The Moon - Brain Damage and Eclipse

In this video, when things start out, the Scarecrow is near the edge of the field he's supposed to be watching over (above left), instead of somewhere out deeper in the field, suggesting that he has intentionally been placed here (near a crossroads) so that Dorothy will 'happen' to run into him. This in turn suggests that there's some kind of deception (of Dorothy) going on, as if she's being 'set up' in some way. The verse heard twice at the beginning of Brain Damage's vocals is, "The lunatic is on the grass." This verse suggests that Dorothy is a lunatic, with "on the grass" indicating that at some point while near the field, she becomes high due to the effect of breathing in airborne pollen from the tall grass growing there. A close-up of Dorothy is shown at above right.

The Wizard of Oz - Arrival at Emerald City / The Dark Side Of The Moon - Time and The Great Gig In The Sky

The screencap at left shows both Dorothy and the Lion lying down in the poppy field. As described in the analysis of The Wizard of Oz, the fact that Dorothy and the Lion are here lying down, indicates that these two have committed blasphemy.

The Wizard of Oz - Attack of the flying monkeys / The Dark Side Of The Moon - Us And Them

Shown at above left, the monkeys chase Dorothy. The part of the Us and Them lyrics that say, "Black (black, black, black)/And blue (blue, blue)/And who knows which is which and who is who", are heard not long before the part of the video in which the Wicked Witch of the West, wearing black, comes face-to-face with Dorothy, who is wearing blue (above right). The part of these lyrics that say, "And who knows which is which, and who is who", could be imagined as saying, "And who knows which is witch, and who is who", suggesting that Dorothy herself could be the metaphorical witch here.

Commentary on the synchronization of The Dark Side Of The Moon with The Wizard of Oz
The most popular idea regarding the synchronization (or 'sync') of The Dark Side Of The Moon with The Wizard of Oz, is that the album is to be played through in its entirety, from its beginning, during continuous play of the movie, from at (or close to) its beginning, and that all of the points of synchronization between the album's music, and the movie, are thus obtained. Instead, however, as indicated by the above listing, individual songs from the album are meant to be paired with certain scenes from the movie, selecting the songs from the album in an order other than that in which they appear on the album, as necessary. (Note that during continuous play of the album with the movie, there occur certain similarities with the above listing, for example, Money plays during the scene in Munchkinland).

Many people who dispute the validity of the Dark Side of the Rainbow sync point to The Dark Side Of The Moon engineer Alan Parsons' statements on the issue. In an interview with John Harris of Rolling Stone, Parsons answered a question asked by Harris, about the idea of pairing the album with the film:

Harris: What's your opinion of the long-standing myth about The Dark Side Of The Moon being a secret soundtrack to The Wizard Of Oz?

Parsons: It was an American radio guy who pointed it out to me. It's such a non-starter, a complete load of eyewash. I tried it for the first time about two years ago. One of my fiancee's kids had a copy of the video, and I thought I'd see what it was all about. I was very disappointed. The only thing I noticed was that the line "balanced on the biggest wave" came up when Dorothy was kind of tightrope walking along a fence. One of the things any audio professional will tell you is that the scope for the drift between the video and the record is enormous; it could be anything up to twenty seconds by the time the record's finished. And anyway, if you play any record with the sound turned down on the TV, you'll find things that work.[c]

In his statements, Parsons is referring to concurrent, continuous play of the album and the movie, straight through, both from (at or near) their respective beginnings - he is denying this particular form of the sync.[d] But, again, what we are supposed to do is take scenes from the movie, and match them up with songs from the album 'out of order' as necessary. The drift mentioned by Parsons doesn't come into play significantly, when only short sequences from the film are taken, one at a time, and matched up with individual songs from the album.

a. Cover art for the album The Dark Side Of The Moon by the artist Pink Floyd: by Hipgnosis and George Hardie. The cover art copyright is believed to belong to the label, Harvest / Capitol, or the graphic artist(s). Designed by Storm Thorgerson, drawn by George Hardie.
b. Wikipedia, 'Dark Side of the Rainbow'. Web, n.d. URL =
c. Harris, John (March 12, 2003). ""Dark Side" at 30: Alan Parsons." Rolling Stone. Web. URL =
d. One 'caveat' to this is that during continuous playing of the album with the movie, both straight through, there occur certain correspondences with the above listing; for example, Money plays during part of the scene in Munchkinland.

All song lyrics in this post are believed to be used in accordance with the U.S. Copyright Fair Use Act (Title 17, U.S. Code).

1) In certain instances it has been determined that the creators of some of the productions analyzed on this blog, and/or the creators of source material(s) used in the making of these productions, may be making negative statements about certain segments of society in their productions. These statements should be taken as expressing the opinions of no one other than the creators.

2) This blog is not associated with any of the studios, creators, authors, publishers, directors, actors, musicians, writers, editors, crew, staff, agents, or any other persons or entities involved at any stage in the making of any of the media productions or source materials that are analyzed, mentioned, or referenced herein.

3) In keeping with the policies of the filmmakers, authors, studios, writers, publishers, and musicians, that have created the productions (and their source materials) that are analyzed, mentioned, or referenced on this blog, any similarity of the characters in these films or source materials to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.


All images on this blog are used solely for non-commercial purposes of analysis, review, and critique.

All Wikipedia content on this blog, and any edits made to it, are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Marcus Aurelius's Meditations - from Wikisource (except where otherwise noted); portions from Wikisource used on this blog are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Saint Augustine's Confessions and City of God from Wikisource (except where otherwise noted); portions from Wikisource used on this blog are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Saint Thomas Aquinas's Summa Theologica from the 'Logos Virtual Library' website (except where otherwise noted), compiled and edited by Darren L. Slider; believed to be in public domain.