Sync or Swim: Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and Cake

moulin rouge sync

Happy Valentine’s Day! It’s time for another love-themed sync (click here for last year’s) with a film that talks about love quite a bit: Moulin Rouge! It’s a reverse sync with a difference of a few months.

Take the 2001 version of Moulin Rouge! and Cake’s “Comfort Eagle” and start both at 0:00. Play the album once. Discovered by me in March 2014.

Opera Singer

  • The orchestra tunes up as the song begins.
  • “I call my co-stars name.” The opening credits play.
  • “Some people, they call me saint.” Christian’s face appears.
  • “I sing in foreign lands.” Here, it’s France.
  • The ending music fits with the montage of the Moulin Rouge.

Meanwhile, Rick James…

  • “…all full of desire.” A brief clip of the dancers plays.
  • “Meanwhile, Rick James takes anew.” Christian starts his new life in Paris.
  • “…and there’s nothing I can do.” We learn about the narcoleptic Argentinian.

Shadow Stabbing

  • “Adjectives on a typewriter, he moves his words like a prizefighter.” This is Christian’s character.
  • “The frenzied pace…” The editing style in the first third of the film.
  • “I know this can’t last.” The bliss and ecstasy of the Bohemian revolution is brief.

Short Skirt/Long Jacket

  • The entire song fits the formal introduction to all of the dancers, describing different aspects of taste. This song is the highlight of the sync.
  • “I want a girl with a mind like a diamond.” Zidler’s girls are briefly referred to as “Diamond Dogs”.
  • Everyone dances to the beat.

Commissioning a Symphony in C

  • “So you’ll be an Austrian nobleman, commissioning a symphony in C.” Christian has to pose as the Duke when he talks to Satine.
  • “…you can give it as a present.” Satine sings about giving diamond gifts during “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend.”
  • “They are transfixed, they are forgetting just to breathe.” The gentlemen throw money at Satine, admiring her beauty.
  • “…seldom breathing life, but mostly death.” Foreshadowing about Satine’s fate.

Arco Arena

  • The brief instrumental occurs during Satine’s undressing.

Comfort Eagle

  • The crowd dances to the beat of the song.
  • “To resist is useless.” Satine drags Christian to the dance floor.
  • “But you better come with cash.” How else do you expect to pay for the girls at the Moulin Rouge?
  • “You can dress up like a sultan…” A reference to the third act of the film.
  • The music changes mood as Satine falls off.

Long Line of Cars

  • “We’ve got to keep this traffic flowing and accept a little sin.” This is how life at the Moulin Rouge works.

Love You Madly

  • “Love” is said 143 times throughout the film.
  • Satine tries to make Christian love her but has difficulty.
  • “…when the elephants arrive.” The two of them are in the Elephant room.
  • “The ornaments look pretty but they are pulling down the branches of the tree.” A one-sentence viewpoint of what the film is for some people.

Pretty Pink Ribbon

  • Some previous packaging for the film featured the pink ribbon for breast cancer awareness. This can be revealed if you access the disc in Windows Media Player.
  • This plays during the Elephant Love Medley.
  • “Your cancer would eat through the bone.” While Satine may not have cancer, she does have a devastating illness.

World of Two

  • The Duke’s “world of two” would be him and Satine.
  • “I don’t like to hang around you.” Christian begins to leave as Satine tries to seduce the Duke.

I tried it before with having the album play through the entire movie but it gets exhausting. It’s better to just leave it at one play. It’s pretty decent as far as reverse syncs go but it’s more about the mood.

Sync grade: B

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Sync or Swim: The Frozen Weatherhouse

frozen sync

It’s been one year since Frozen took the world by storm. It was only a matter of time before it got an alternate soundtrack. Since winter is getting into gear, why not bundle up and spend a lifetime in a weather house?

Take Frozen and Philip Selway’s “Weatherhouse” and start both sources at 0:00. Loop until the end. Discovered by David Taylor Mendoca of That Syncing Feeling in August 2014.

Points of Interest

  • The film and the album have one song title in common: “Let it Go”.
  • A weather house is device that describes the weather. The girl would be on the left side and the guy would be on the right. This is reflected during “Love is an Open Door”.
  • The music video for “It Will End in Tears” features two women. Possibly sisters? (Side note: I’d check out some of Rammatik’s work.)
  • Color theory: With the Familial Mr. Fox sync, the film was primarily oranges and yellows and the album was colored white. Here, the sources reflect complementary colors on the color wheel (the film uses cool colors and the album is colored black).

Act I

Coming Up for Air

  • “I’m standing, still standing.” The man walks onto the slippery ice after the title fades away.

Around Again

  • “I know what is funny now will bother me soon.” Anna and Elsa sneak out to play with Elsa’s powers. These magical powers will bother Elsa later.
  • Anna goes around, climbing each snow pile.
  • “It’s you, tearing me apart.” Olaf disintegrates.

Let it Go

  • The static sounds at the beginning reflect the change in Anna’s memories.
  • The description of Elsa’s powers for evil happen on beat with the first chorus.
  • “Just as you walk away.” Anna walks away from the door.
  • The song ends during the dramatic ocean scene.

Miles Away

  • Somber notes play during the funeral.
  • People come from “miles away” to attend the coronation ceremony.
  • The discordant note plays as we are introduced to the Duke of Weselton.
  • “Turn the volume down.” Traditional sync instructions.

Ghosts

  • Elsa has to follow in her father’s footsteps, those of a ghost.
  • “Crowd at my windows and doors.” The townspeople enter the castle.

It Will End in Tears

  • Anna meets Han, a sign of things to come according to the song title.
  • “Bet you stayed in all the time.” This is Elsa’s character.
  • The crowd dances to the music.

Don’t Go Now

  • “I think I hear you laugh.” The Duke dances in a comedic fashion.
  • The crowd dances to the music again.
  • “Stay close, be with me.” Anna and Hans get to know each other better.

Drawn to the Light

  • “First light.” They dance in front of the lighthouse.
  • “Turn ’round, slow down.” The song in the film reflects those motions.
  • “The wicked games we play.” Hans uses Anna to get into the kingdom through the proposal.
  • “I’m out of sorts again.” Elsa tries to run away from the current situation.

Waiting for a Sign

  • Elsa runs onto the ice on beat.
  • “There’s nobody around…” Elsa begins to sing “Let it Go” on her own.
  • The strange whooshing sounds occur as Elsa begins to use her power, bit by bit.

Turning it Inside Out

  • The opening fits the mood.
  • “Step off and find a place to make a brand new life.” Elsa builds the castle.
  • The hour hand on the clock in the trading post points to 10. This is the tenth song on the album.

Act II

Coming Up for Air

  • “I’m not alone.” Kristoff and Sven gather outside the trading post.
  • “Coming up for air.” The trio ride up the mountainside to the castle.

Around Again

  • “Look around…” Kristoff spots the wolves.
  • “On a knife edge.” Kristoff hangs off the side of the cliff.

Let it Go

  • “Just couldn’t sleep.” The trio have traveled up the mountain throughout the night, not sleeping.
  • The camera focuses on the mountain where Elsa sang “Let it Go”.

Miles Away

  • The ambient sound reflects the daydream sequence from “In Summer”.
  • “Tried to reach…” Olaf reaches for the cloud that looks like him.
  • “Words clash.” The Duke and Hans fight about the course of action.

Ghosts

  • “Something weighed me down, riding on my back.” The gravity of the situation weighs heavily on Anna.
  • “Leave me in peace.” Olaf and Kristoff wait outside the castle as Anna goes inside.

It Will End in Tears

  • If you choose not do the full sync, then skip to 0:55:14 in the movie and play this song. The entire song fits the scene, essentially the highlight of the sync.
  • “Bet you missed me, bet you stayed in all the time.” Anna and Elsa talk.
  • “I used to be something, didn’t I?” Anna chases Elsa up the stairs.
  • “What made you leave?” Well, putting the entire city under winter will do that.
  • “It will end in tears and I won’t be sorry.” Elsa’s relationship is strained.
  • “We’ve just crossed the line.” Elsa conjures up the snow monster to throw the crew out.

Don’t Go Now

  • “Stay close, be with me.” Anna and Kristoff hang off the side of the cliff.

Drawn to the Light

  • “We can find a way.” The four of them go off to find the “love experts.”
  • “Drawn to the light.” Olaf points out the lights in the sky.

Waiting for a Sign

  • “Are you wasting precious time?” Yes, by singing “Fixer-Upper”.
  • “Are you waiting for a sign?” The trolls want to go ahead with the marriage but Kristoff doesn’t want to.

Turning it Inside Out

  • “…inside out.” One of the Duke’s henchmen is pushed from the inside of the castle to the outside.
  • “…the air to clear.” Elsa wakes up after being knocked unconscious.

Act III

Coming Up for Air

  • “I’m standing, still standing.” Hans gets up to leave Anna and explains his plan.

Around Again

  • “Dream of a better life.” Hans leaves the town, wishing things were better.
  • “…tearing me apart.” Anna lies on the ground after Hans tore her heart apart.
  • “On a knife edge.” Olaf is living dangerously, standing so close to the fireplace.

Let it Go

  • The static sounds occur as the window is blown open.
  • “Lose ourselves in the past.” Elsa is lost in the blowing snow on ice.
  • “Just as you walk away.” Anna tries to walk on the ice.

Miles Away

  • The sword shatters on beat.
  • “Be still.” Anna is frozen.
  • The static sounds occur as the town and Olaf are restored to normal.

Ghosts

  • “Voices guide me back.” Everyone is back in town.

It Will End in Tears

  • The movie has ended and the credits start to roll, starting with the main-on-end sequence. Depending on the audience’s reaction, it ended with tears.
  • The lyrics talk about the different people involved in the production.
  • “You stole the show.” The directors’ credit appears on-screen. This would eventually win the Oscar for Best Animated Film.
  • “One for rain and one for shine.” Credits for two directors of cinematography are shown.

Don’t Go Now

  • “A treasure…” This film has been considered a Disney classic from the post-Renaissance era.

Drawn to the Light

  • With the film finished, the audience leaves the darkness of the theater and is “drawn to the light.”

Once again, Philip Selway has made an intimate album that’s great from start to finish. It makes sense that this would be the film to complement the album in terms of lyrics and overall sound. If you’ve seen this film multiple times, whether under your own volition or with young ones, I recommend that you give this a try.

Sync grade: A-

Sync or Swim: Hesitate to Erase

It’s the season to watch strange and unusual movies, that much is certain. In the spirit of the season, let’s take a look at what I consider to be the strangest sync I’ve personally found, mostly because of the film in question: Eraserhead. You read that right.

Start Nine Inch Nails’ “Hesitation Marks” on the first track when “DAVID LYNCH presents” appears. Loop until the end. Found on October 10, 2014 by me.

I strongly recommend that you watch the film at least four or five times before trying it. Due to the nature of the album, the songs reference elements of the film that may or may not be present in real time.

Points of Interest

  • The main clue is the music video for “Came Back Haunted”, directed by David Lynch.
  • The track list spells the word “FADES”. Much of the film blurs/fades the line between reality and dreams.

Act I

The Eater of Dreams

  • The dark ambient nature reflects the soundscape in the film.

Copy of A

  • “I am just a copy of a copy of a copy.” The human race is a series of copies from previous generations.
  • “Pieces that were picked up on the way.” Maybe how the baby was created (nobody really knows).
  • Henry’s “copy” emerges from his mouth.

Came Back Haunted

  • Henry returns to his house, haunted by his vision from the first five minutes of the film.

Find My Way

  • “Wandered here from far away.” Henry unpacks from his journey.
  • “Pray the Lord, my soul to take.” Henry gazes at the radiator for the first time, as his saving grace lives there.
  • “I’m just trying to find my way.” Henry goes to Mary’s house, wandering through the industrial landscape.

All Time Low

  • The meeting with the parents does not go very well, probably Henry’s all-time low.
  • “Give me just a little, baby.” The mother will later inform Henry about the baby.
  • “Everything is not OK.” The awkward silence permeates the living room.

Disappointed

  • The father speaks the first verse.
  • “Can I ask you something?” The father asks Henry to carve the chickens.
  • “What did you expect?” The chicken bleeds profusely.
  • “Just get out of here.” Mary leaves the room to check on her mother.

Everything

  • “Wish me well.” Henry and Mary cry over their predicament.
  • “I am home”. Mary feeds the baby at Henry’s apartment.

Satellite

  • The planet from earlier can be described as a satellite, orbiting in space.
  • The distorted sounds happen when Henry unwraps the worm.
  • “I am inside your head.” The Man in the Planet lives on the planet, inside Henry’s head.

Various Methods of Escape

  • Mary leaves Henry to go back to her parents, escaping from the situation.

Running

  • “I’m running out of places I can hide from this.” Henry is trapped in the apartment, trying to take care of the baby.

I Would For You

  • “I only have myself to blame.” Henry sits with the baby, regretting his decision.
  • The soft piano at the end plays when the Lady in the Radiator is fully revealed.

In Two

  • The Lady in the Radiator splits the worms with her shoes in two or more steps.
  • “It’s getting harder to tell the two of you apart.” The two are reality and fantasy.
  • The screeches heard in the second refrain sound like the high-pitched squeals heard in the film.

While I’m Still Here

  • Henry, seeking an opportunity to escape, talks to the lady across from him for a favor.

Black Noise

  • The bed transforms into a pool.
  • The lady sees the child but doesn’t mind.
  • The music crescendos as they sink into the pool.

Act II

The Eater of Dreams

  • The lady vanishes as she sees the planet where The Man in the Planet (“The Eater of Dreams”) lives.

Copy of A

  • “A shadow of a shadow of a shadow.” This description could describe the Lady in the Radiator’s location.
  • “See I’m not the only one.” Henry enters the scene and steps on the stage with the Lady in the Radiator.
  • “Look what you’ve gone and done.” The screen cuts to black as Henry holds the Lady’s hands.
  • The bridge plays as the tree makes its way onto the stage.
  • “Doing everything I’m told to do.” The actor in question during the production of this surreal film.

Came Back Haunted

  • “Now I got something you have to see.” The boy brings Henry’s head to the pencil factory.
  • The pencil maker erases the “hesitation marks” as a test for the newly made pencils.
  • Henry wakes up from the dream, coming back from reality haunted.

Find My Way

  • “You were never meant to see…” The baby.
  • “Now that you have gone away.” Henry thinks about Mary and when she left.
  • “Pray the Lord my soul to take.” Henry contemplates killing his baby.

All Time Low

  • “I’ve heard all I need to know.” Henry decides to go ahead and kill the child.
  • “Your voice in _ stereo.” The baby’s cry.
  • “Everything is not OK.” The baby screams for help.
  • “Stretch across the sky.” The baby’s neck is elongated as it reaches for the door.

Disappointed

  • “Nothing’s gonna change.” The Man in the Planet futilely tries to stop the events.
  • “What did you expect?” The abrupt ending will leave viewers confused.

Highly unconventional sync for a very unconventional movie. Again, there won’t be too many spot-on connections but it’s more about the fluid state of time between the music and the events from the film. Even then, you need to be in a certain frame of mind when trying it out.

Sync grade: C+

Sync or Swim: The Crystal Memory/Memory Almost Foal

A while ago, I covered a sync that involved Pink Floyd and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. It was a bizarre experience, to say the least. Since then, I have received another sync with the ponies, this time from Sam from That Syncing Feeling. That said, let’s return to Canterlot and see what Paul McCartney (or McCartneigh, keeping with the equine theme) has in store in this reverse sync.

Use the season three two-part premiere episode “The Crystal Empire” and Paul McCartney’s “Memory Almost Full”. Start both sources at 0:00. Make sure to skip the end credits and the opening credits during the transition from Part I to Part II. You can stream it here.

Points of Interest

  • The album cover features a chair. It could possibly be a throne used to rule a kingdom or empire.
  • The album contains thirteen songs. The third season contained thirteen episodes.

Act I

Dance Tonight

  • “Everybody gonna hit the ground.” Twilight Sparkle descends from the clouds in a hot air balloon.
  • “You can come to my place if you want to.” Twilight’s friends show up at her house.

Ever Present Past

  • “I’ve got too much on my plate.” Princess Celestia provides exposition about the Crystal Empire to an overwhelmed Twilight.
  • “…in a flash.” Celestia glows white.

See Your Sunshine

  • The song is in sync with Twilight’s song.

Only Mama Knows

  • The somber music matches the fight scene at the start of the song.
  • “I was crying.” Princess Cadence is sad.
  • In the previous pony sync, the song “Mother” embodied (evil) Cadence’s self. Here she plays the part of “Mama”, a derivative of “Mother”.
  • “Hold on.” Rainbow Dash tries to ask a pony some questions about what’s going on.

You Tell Me

  • The ponies reconvene to discuss their findings.
  • There are three crystals on the book cover and in the song title.

Mr. Bellamy

  • The Mane 6 are circled around a table for the sixth song on the album.
  • “I like it up here.” Twilight, Cadence, and Shining Armor are on a castle balcony.

Gratitude

  • Some of the ponies from the Crystal Empire have their memories restored, grateful for the event.
  • “I was loved by you.” Shining Armor hugs Cadence.
  • “Wish and hope and pray” as chaos enters the Crystal Empire.
  • A piano chord plays when Spike runs off.

Vintage Clothes

  • “Don’t live in the past.” As good advice as that may be, this is the fourth generation of the show, just one of many reboots and remakes of past properties that happen today.
  • “Who cares if we look like a girl or a boy?” An observation on the fanbase members?
  • “What went out is coming back.” Again, reboots and remakes.

That Was Me

  • “On TV”, how the show was broadcast.

Feet in the Clouds

  • The heavenly sound effect occurs on beat when Twilight opens a door and light shines through.
  • “A hidden treasure.” The crystal on the door glows an evil green.
  • The repetition of “very” corresponds to the spiraling staircases.
  • “Feet in the clouds, head on the ground.” Fluttershy is flipped upside-down after a jousting match.

House of Wax

  • “The trumpets blast.” Pinkie Pie juggles several trumpets.
  • “…like wild imagined horses.” All of the characters on the show are imagined horses of some kind.

The End of the End

  • King Sombra, the episode’s villain (voiced by season four co-director Jim Miller), tries to end the empire. It’s also the start of the end of the two-part opener.

Nod Your Head

  • The ponies prance in time with the beat.
  • The song doesn’t finish after the credits, as if the sync didn’t have enough memory for the music…

While not as trippy or spot-on as pairing the show with Pink Floyd, it does have a different flavor. It’s something to bide the time until the fifth season premiere.

Sync grade: B-

Sync or Swim: Plan 9 From Outer Sync

It has been stated that The Day the Earth Stood Still, a great science-fiction film, would sync with “A Saucerful of Secrets”. However, I wondered what would happen if it worked with another film about flying saucers, but considered one of the worst films of all time? One test later proved surprising.

Start the album an movie at 0:00. Loop until the end for nearly two whole plays. Discovered by me on August 3, 2014.

Points of Interest

  • The word “saucer” in the album title.
  • Traditionally, most movie syncs have an album (or three depending on the complexity) that matches with a great movie or two. The “secret” with this one is that this defies convention for what is considered good cinema.

Act I

Let There Be More Light

  • The instrumental introduction sets the mood during Criswell’s “prediction” and ends when the credits begin.
  • “Far, far away” as the title is shown, Plan 9 From Outer Space.
  • “Something in my eye.” The mourners weep at the grave.

Remember a Day

  • The saucer lands in the cemetery, a place of remembering those who had once lived.
  • “Free to play along with time.” The continuity error of going from day to night is shown for the first time.

Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun

  • The mellow nature fits the mood of the scene as the police inspect the cemetery in the fog.

Corporal Clegg

  • The police find one of their own has fallen.
  • “Mrs. Clegg, you must be proud of him.” The wife is present at the funeral.
  • The kazoos accentuate the cheesy nature of the “special effects”.
  • The stock footage of the armed forces roll in during the final march.
  • An armed forces officer inspects the sky, possibly another corporal.

A Saucerful of Secrets

  • Part I, “Something Else”, plays as the armed forces discuss just what it is they’re fighting. It’s something else not of this world.
  • Part II, “Syncopated Pandemonium”, sees the saucer squadron leave the mother saucer and begin to cause said pandemonium.
  • Part III, “Storm Signal”, has the plane go after the saucers. The last part takes place in a cemetery. This also happens in The Day the Earth Stood Still.
  • Part IV, “Celestial Voices”, has the Bela Lugosi stand-in attack in the bedroom.

See-Saw

  • Some instrumental parts fit the mood.
  • One can argue that the light continuity “see-saws” between day and night for no reason.

Jugband Blues

  • “And I’m most obliged to you for making it clear that I’m not here.” Sums up the constant switch between Bela Lugosi’s character and his stand-in.
  • “I don’t care if the sun don’t shine.” Again, lighting continuity.
  • “What exactly is a joke?” This entire movie.

Act II

Let There Be More Light

  • It’s nighttime, lack of light save for the moon.
  • One policeman asks for a light when he tries to read the inscription at one grave.
  • The tape recorder plays the music during the board meeting.
  • The officers’ expressions while they hear the music are priceless. They don’t know what exactly they heard.

Remember a Day

  • “Hide from your little brother’s gun.” There’s no gun in sight until the end of the song.

Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun

  • The alien commander waits for orders to “set the controls for the heart of the sun.”
  • This song takes place at night for both movies.

Corporal Clegg

  • Another officer has fallen, but he’s fine.
  • “Will they laugh at me?” Yes they will for all time.
  • Yet another corporal shows up at the cemetery in this song.
  • The odd sound effects come from the random instruments inside the saucer.

A Saucerful of Secrets

  • Part I fits the mood in the cemetery.
  • The rest of the song is the long-winded exposition between the aliens and humans. The secrets are revealed.

See-Saw

  • We see the dead officer carry the woman in a similar fashion to Gort.

Jugband Blues

  • The odd sound effects play during the end credits of a very odd movie.

OK, so maybe this was a half-baked concept. The fact that a good portion of the movie is exposition affects the experience. If it had some more action, I’d give it a better grade. As it is, it’s OK at best but it’s a clever and surprising secret.

Sync grade: C+