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The Dark Side of Oz, 1989 (2020) is a feature-length video by artist Curtis Miller pairing three albums by the English rock band Pink Floyd with Victor Fleming’s The Wizard of Oz (1939) in an alternate version of a classic mash-up.
First described by Charles Savage for the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette in 1995, for years the fan-generated mash-up The Dark Side of Oz (alternately referred to as The Dark Side of the Rainbow and The Wizard of Floyd) circulated among Pink Floyd fans through word of mouth and the Usenet newsgroup alt.music.pink-floyd. The Dark Side of Oz instructs viewers to begin Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon at the first roar of the lion in the MGM logo at the beginning of the film, creating an unexpected synchronicity between an album and a film produced thirty-four years apart.
For The Dark Side of Oz, 1989, Miller reproduces the mash-up using an unedited television recording of the Wizard of Oz from 1989, broadcast on the fiftieth anniversary of the film, which he found at an antique mall while storm chasing in 2018. Miller's version includes the original advertisements from the broadcast, creating unexpected overlaps and displacing the conventional synch of The Dark Side of Oz, as well as subtle image alterations and karaoke moments. When The Dark Side of the Moon ends after 43:00 minutes (roughly halfway through the original film), the audio cycles through Pink Floyd’s subsequent releases: Wish You Were Here (1975) and Animals (1977).
Curtis Miller, still from The Dark Side of Oz, 1989, 2020. Courtesy of the artist.