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+

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Sync or Swim: Videodrome is Human After All

videodrome sync

NOTE: This was originally featured on caragale’s Silver Screen Serenade as part of the Blogiversary Bash. This post is published on my blog for archival purposes. You can find the original here.

During my first viewing of Videodrome, I noticed the helmet looked like a prototype for a Daft Punk costume. The next day, I found an “alternate soundtrack” to the Criterion Collection print on YouTube (definitely needs some work in my opinion). But then I recalled that Daft Punk once had an album with a television screen on the front, Human After All. I put the two together and it worked. Fair warning, the film was R to begin with so it’s not exactly for the kiddies.

Credit for the composite image belongs to me.

Start the album when the Universal logo appears. The album will play exactly twice.

Points of Interest

  • The aforementioned helmet was what led me to the sync.
  • The music video for “Technologic” features a robot child watching television and receives instructions.
  • The covers for the singles of “Human After All”, “The Prime Time of Your Life”, “Robot Rock”, and “Technologic” all have televisions.

Act I

Human After All

  • It looks like the television is talking, saying that “we are human after all.”
  • Max peruses through some nude shots, satisfying some base need.
  • Max looks for some new programming for the channel, something sensational. It is only human to be curious about the unknown.

The Prime Time of Your Life

  • “Primetime” as one word refers to an evening time slot on television.
  • The satellite dish creaks like the electronic sounds heard in the song.
  • The music starts to speed up when Max sees Videodrome for the first time.

Robot Rock

  • Nicki is at a radio station.

Steam Machine

  • The song starts as the television screen flickers.
  • Max and Nicki engage in some steamy interaction, even if the world transforms into something else.

Make Love

  • In the restaurant, Max and Marsha talk about what Videodrome really is. Marsha has ties to the porn community. I think I’ll leave you to make the connection.

The Brainwasher

  • Max visits O’Blivion’s mission where people meet to get their fix of television. Is whatever they’re watching brainwashing them?

On/Off

  • We hear different audio clips as someone changes channels.

Television Rules the Nation

  • Max meets Bianca, O’Blivion’s daughter, who runs the mission.
  • It turns out that the goal of the mission is to have television become a major part of everyday life. In other words, “television rules the nation”.

Technologic

  • The robotic mantra that plays throughout the song is mouthed by O’Blivion on tape.
  • Take a look at the official music video for the song. The robot child watches himself on television, receiving instructions. This is similar to how O’Blivion tells Max about Videodrome.

Emotion

  • Max tries to come to terms with what he saw.
  • After a while, the word “emotion” starts to sound like “emulsion”, like film emulsion.

Act II

Human After All

  • Max leaves for Spectacular Optical Corporation.
  • The video message relayed by Barry Convex looks like he says “human after all”.

The Prime Time of Your Life

  • Max dons the Daft Punk prototype helmet.
  • The helmet scans in time with the electronic sounds in the beginning.
  • The helmet records Max’s hallucinations so that they can be aired later, possibly “primetime”.
  • The music speeds up once Max receives the whip in the Videodrome studio.
  • The music becomes frenzied once he sees the bound woman in his bed.

Robot Rock

Steam Machine

  • Max is reprogrammed by Barry, making him a machine of sorts.
  • The end of the song sounds like the eponymous machine is running out of steam, much like Max as he crawls away to catch his breath.

Make Love

  • Max tries to destroy everyone at CIVIC-TV, going against the statement “make love, not war”.

The Brainwasher

  • Max is reprogrammed (or brainwashed, whatever you choose) to take down Videodrome.

On/Off

  • Max is “on” a mission to “off” Videodrome.

Television Rules the Nation

  • Max wants to make sure that the song title does not happen.

Technologic

  • Max walks in time to the beat after Barry dies.

Emotion

  • Max seems to lack emotion as he is told to end it all.

While the album is not one of Daft Punk’s best, I’ll admit that my hunch produced some interesting, albeit mixed results. The lyrics don’t offer much in terms of narrative, so the connections are sparse as the movie goes on. Nonetheless, I’m proud to claim it as my second official sync.

Sync grade: B

Sync or Swim: Familial Mr. Fox

fmf sync

 

From previous experience, most of the syncs I’ve done were mostly based on rock and techno. It’s nice to try something else, something simpler. I can’t imagine a Wes Anderson film working with techno at all.

Take Philip Selway’s “Familial” and Fantastic Mr. Fox and start both sources at 0:00. Loop the album until the end. Credit for the sync goes to Andrew Wendland.

Points of Interest

  • The album cover has a mother, a father, and a child, much like the Fox family.
  • The overall sound of the album evokes nature.

Act I

By Some Miracle

  • “Put it back, put it where you found it.” Mr. Fox and Felicity take a walk toward the farm with intent to steal.

Beyond Reason

  • Mr. Fox and Felicity are trapped, mostly due his curiosity.
  • “Tries my patience.” Ash refuses to get dressed, trying Felicity’s patience.
  • “Count from one to ten. Start over again.” There are ten songs on this album. Once the album finishes, it starts over again.

A Simple Life

  • The Fox family is considered poor, at least to Mr. Fox.
  • “I’m standing right next to you.” This indicates Felicity’s position.
  • “We’ll leave and disappear,” as Ash leaves the kitchen.
  • “We just want a simple life,” as Mr. Fox inspects the tree.
  • “I’m scared that I’m losing you.” Kylie Opossum blanks out for a few seconds.
  • “Then we’ll leave and disappear into the night.” Just like a thief.
  • “I wouldn’t lie to you.” This comes from Clive Badger’s mouth, Mr. Fox’s lawyer.

All Eyes on You

  • “Slow down and breathe.” This advice is ignored as Mr. Fox and Clive fight.
  • “You’re terrified to speak.” Both animals fight senselessly.
  • “So frail and small”, “You’re terrified…” We see Kristofferson Silverfox for the first time. He has an innocent, yet worried, look on his face.

The Ties That Bind Us

  • “It’s all gone south.” Ash starts to hate Kristofferson and the attention his father’s giving him.
  • “The ties that bind us” are familial. Kristofferson is Ash’s cousin.
  • “The family man is running from me.” Mr. Fox runs off to steal some squabs.
  • Ash and Kristofferson watch the trains go by. The rails are held together by railroad ties, binding the track together.

Patron Saint

  • “A web of lies will compromise.” Mr. Fox plans his major heist.
  • “He was caught in the crossfire.” There’s a love triangle between Ash, Kristofferson, and Agnes. Ash wants Agnes, but she’s interested in Kristofferson.

Falling

  • The dogs and Boggis fall down after eating the blueberries.
  • “Visions come in the dark.” Mr. Fox and Kylie run in the night.
  • “Just look the other way.” Mr. Fox tries to dodge suspicion.

Broken Promises

  • One of the animals has the number eight on his shirt during the whack-bat game. This is the eighth song on the album.
  • “Dreams that are never fulfilled.” Ash has several of these.

Don’t Look Down

  • “There’s nowhere left to hide.” The rat spots them in the cider cellar.

The Witching Hour

  • “Take me out into the night.” It’s night during the shooting.

Act II

By Some Miracle

  • The countdown is in time with each shot of the character’s expression.
  • “Put it to the back of your mind.” Kristofferson is meditating.
  • “I just got away with it.” Felicity confronts Mr. Fox about the situation.

Beyond Reason

  • Boggis, Bunce, and Bean are all beyond reason when they try to find the foxes.
  • The digging is in time with the music.
  • Ash and Kristofferson fight about spreading rumors.
  • The television channel that has the interview with Bean is 12. This is the twelfth song in the sync.

A Simple Life

  • The banjo player strums in time to the music.
  • “Turn out the light.” The lantern is re-lit.
  • “Then we’ll leave and disappear.” The bully exits the frame.

All Eyes on You

  • “Slow down and breathe.” The animals stop digging.
  • The banjo player returns to strum.

The Ties That Bind Us

  • “It’s all gone south.” The farmers are not too happy about the recent robbery.

Patron Saint

  • There are six pastries in the kitchen. This is the sixth song on the album.

Falling

  • The water falls down.

Broken Promises

  • Mr. Fox has to make up for his broken promises by going to find Kristofferson.
  • “Go to the place where you’ll find peace…” The rat is about to die.

Don’t Look Down

  • “Don’t run and hide.” Mr. Fox makes plans to recapture Kristofferson.

The Witching Hour

  • “The witching hour” is 10:00 AM, the time that the plan begins.
  • This is the tenth track on the album.
  • “Take me.” Mr. Fox calls for the farmers’ attention.

Act III

By Some Miracle

  • “The black dog” is more or less brown as seen in the Bean Annex.

Beyond Reason

  • Mr. Fox tries to reason with the rabid dog.
  • “Start over again.” Ash tries to break Kristofferson from his prison again.

A Simple Life

  • “We’ll stay quite still.” The dog chases them.

All Eyes on You

  • This is the wolf encounter. Mr. Fox has to face his fear as everyone watches him.
  • The three farmers are interviewed for a final time by channel 12.
  • This is the fourth song on the album; 4×3=12.

The Ties That Bind Us

  • Mr. Fox gives one final speech, tying everyone together with a toast.
  • DANCE PARTY!

Patron Saint

  • “Gather here, everyone.” The credits roll.
  • “He was caught in the crossfire.” “Lights are burning bright but no one’s home.” Apparently, Wes Anderson wasn’t around on the set during most of the production and his cinematographer, Tristan Oliver, wasn’t happy about it. There were some heated comments about it.

Like I mentioned earlier, it’s nice to listen to a slower album once in a while. This album fits in a way that just seems right (though there is another alternative soundtrack for this film). There’s nothing flashy about this one and that’s fine. Even just listening to the album on its own is fine.

Sync grade: B+

Sync or Swim: Simba, Let it Be…Naked

Hard to believe that The Lion King turns 20 this month. It now makes sense with the recent news of another LK movie and spin-off series. But that’s not what I’m here for today.

By the way, if you stumbled upon this post looking for something else entirely, you’ll be disappointed.

Start the movie (preferably the original 1994 print if you still have a VHS player) and The Beatles’ “Let it Be…Naked” at 0:00. Loop until the end. Credit for the sync goes to Andrew Wendland from moviesyncs.com.

Points of Interest

  • The movie was re-released in 2002 before getting a special edition release in October 2003.
  • “Let it Be…Naked” is a re-tooling of “Let it Be” that was released in November 2003.

Act I

Get Back

  • Simba will have to “get back” to where he once belonged later in the film.
  • The zebras trot in time to the beginning of the second verse.

Dig a Pony

  • “You can celebrate anything you want”, like Simba’s birth.
  • “You can penetrate…” as Mufasa and Sarabi look at each other. You can connect the dots.
  • “You can imitate everyone you know.” The film is based on several stories, most notably Hamlet.

For You Blue

  • The bridge takes place during the rainstorm.
  • The overall color palette during the rainstorm is dark blue.

The Long and Winding Road

  • The river is long and winding at the beginning of the territory speech.
  • “Pool of tears, crying for the day,” foreshadowing the stampede.

Two of Us

  • “…on our way home” as Simba goes back to his mother.
  • Simba and Nala are the two described in the song.

I’ve Got a Feeling

  • This takes place in the middle of “I Just Can’t Wait to be King”.
  • The “feeling I can’t hide” is Simba wanting to be king.
  • The song crescendos toward the end of the movie’s song.

One After 909

  • The three hyenas appear at the beginning.
  • Supposing that “909” were three individual numbers, they could represent intelligence of the three. Shenzi=9, Ed=0, Banzai=9

Don’t Let Me Down

  • Mufasa is disappointed with Simba’s behavior from that day, letting him down.

I Me Mine

  • Scar starts to plot Mufasa’s demise.
  • “Be Prepared” is all about what Scar wants for himself.
  • The song title features words used in the first person.

Across the Universe

  • This is an odd one as the mood of the song clashes with the mood from “Be Prepared”.
  • “Nothing’s going to change my world,” as Scar states that both Mufasa and Simba will die.
  • “Images of broken light” as shadows appear on the wall.
  • “Jai guru deva om” is said when the hyena legion marches before Scar like some kind of pledge.
  • “Nothing’s going to change my world”, obviously false, as Simba and Scar talk in the canyon.

Let it Be

  • “In my hour of darkness…” as we anticipate the inevitable stampede.
  • The drums kick in as soon as the wildebeest go over the canyon.

Act II

Get Back

  • Mufasa metaphorically left his home like Jojo did in the song.
  • Simba wants his father to “get back”.

Dig a Pony

  • “You can indicate everything you see” as Scar indicates that Mufasa died in the stampede.

For You Blue

  • Simba feels blue about what he thinks he did.
  • Timon and Pumbaa try to chase away his blues.

The Long and Winding Road

  • This is “Hakuna Matata” but results in mood dissonance.
  • Simba grows up toward the end of the song,

Two of Us

  • The two in question are Timon and Pumbaa, but only briefly.

I’ve Got a Feeling

  • Simba feels that he’s supposed to do something more than waste time.
  • I suppose that this “feeling” can tie back to the urban legend of what is spelled out in the sky.

One After 909

  • Nala and Simba reunite. The music matches the mood of their meeting.

Don’t Let Me Down

  • This is “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”.
  • Simba has to decide which path to follow, knowing that he has to let someone down.
  • At the same time, he falls in love with Nala “for the first time”.

I Me Mine

  • More decisions by Simba.

Across the Universe

  • This makes sense as Simba looks to the stars and across the universe.

Let it Be

  • Mufasa speaks words of wisdom as Simba is in a time of trouble.

Act III

Get Back

  • Simba returns to Pride Rock.

Dig a Pony

For You Blue

  • The primary color used is orange, the complement of blue, as well other warm colors.

The Long and Winding Road

  • The slow tempo fits with the slow-motion fight and mood of the scene.
  • Simba takes a long and winding road to the top of Pride Rock to reclaim his kingdom.

Two of Us

  • While we see one cub from Simba and Nala, there is a second one for the newly announced movie and series.

It’s not always spot-on, especially for something as colorful as this movie.

Sync grade: B-

Sync or Swim: Let It Go, Troy Bolton

A few days after I screened The Division Bambi for some friends, one of them sent me a link to the above video. I laughed at how ridiculous it looked when I watched it. Sure, it’s just another one of the myriad “Let It Go” videos floating about online but this one was different as it used another Disney property for the sync.

I haven’t tried this manually but you play the Idina Menzel version of “Let It Go” from Frozen at the same time Troy Bolton starts to sing “Bet It All” from High School Musical 2.

There are some connections, other than both being Disney properties, that I’ve noticed:

  • Posters for both movies had blue as a dominant color
  • Both are musicals
  • Both songs are sung by one person in a large landscape
  • Both sources, in terms of weather, are polar opposites

The lyrics are hit and miss but the hand movements are what make this video enjoyable.

The only downside is that footage is repeated at the very end just to cover the length of the song. I wouldn’t have used previous footage at the end and just let the song go on.

Is this intentional? Nope. It’s just one of those were you watch it, laugh, and then move on.

Sync grade: B