I’ve been busy with lots of stuff, and next week I’m going on vacation (although I’ll have my laptop with me), but I thought I’d post an oldie here, inspired by the recent review of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? at the Onion‘s A.V. Club. (Please note: the title is not “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane” – as if the idea were that it doesn’t much matter what happened to Baby Jane – it’s “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?”: that is, we don’t know what happened, but we want to know. Also: “never mind” is two words, not one.)
I wrote this several years ago for the Loud Family/Game Theory mailing list, during one of the periodic resurgences of interest in the alleged synchronicities between Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and The Wizard of Oz. Having sync’d up the movie and the CD per instructions, it seemed to me that the “amazing!” coincidences people were seeing were simply a matter of looking for similarities – or grasping so hard for them that shoulders were doubtlessly dislocated in the process.
I decided to pick a movie nearly at random and see what happened when I sync’d it up with Game Theory’s classic (and, shamefully, out of print) Lolita Nation. Sure enough, gobs of incredibly coincidental events revealed themselves, persuading me – who also believes 9/11 was forecast in scenes depicted when you fold American money, and that you, reader, have a fantastic deal for me to purchase a well-known bridge in Brooklyn – that Scott Miller and cohorts wrote the album as a secret soundtrack to the movie I chose, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?. Here’s the proof:
The most obvious proof is, of course, the fact that if you sync up the very beginning of Lolita Nation to the initial appearance of the title card of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? that reads “1917,” the title phrase of Lolita Nation (from the song “We Love You, Carol and Alison”) is sung just when the title of the film appears on the screen.
1. Several cuts in Lolita Nation‘s opening sound collage “Kenneth – What’s the Frequency?” correspond to cuts in the film: the first appearance of the little girl corresponds to the first guitar chord, the clown in the film is sync’d with the next image, and the bells on the recording sync up with the image of a horse-drawn truck in the film.
2. Baby Jane dances in time with the music of “Not Because You Can.” She begins to sing just at the song’s guitar break. At the words “a show of hands,” Baby Jane raises her hands to toss a paper into the air. The song ends just as Baby Jane’s dance numbers end. (And of course, the line “eyes of green” in “Not Because You Can” signifies the film’s theme of jealousy.)
3. The creepy doll’s initial appearance corresponds with “Shard” (“close out sound and sight”).
4. As Scott Miller sings “dripping with looks,” the young Blanche gives a dirty look.
5. The line “private heaven” is sung while two characters in the film attend a private screening of a film.
6. At one point during “Exactly What We Don’t Want to Hear,” there are two backing vocalists and one lead singer – the film shows two men in a theater, and one man in the projectionist’s booth.
7. Shortly after the line “well-trained ears,” a chorus girl passes by with huge, ear-like feathers atop her head.
8. Shortly after the line “the sugar was dazzling” (“We Love You Carol and Alison”), another chorus girl walks past the characters – in a dazzling, sparkly outfit.
9. Just as Donnette Thayer sings “take a seat in our dream car” in the backing vocals, Blanche’s white car appears (a contrast to the line of black cars that precedes it).
10. Right when the man on the right of the screen smiles, the line “with the smile” is sung.
11. Just as Scott Miller sings about “the shoulder upstairs,” the credits – indicating those folks “upstairs” who actually control things, like the studio, director, etc. – begin.
12. Both titles occur simultaneously.
13. The film comes to the present moment (“YESTERDAY” caption) just as the first line of “The Waist and the Knees” is sung.
14. As Scott Miller sings about a “fantasy dreamed of,” two characters on a TV screen kiss.
15. Gil Ray’s big drum hit (just before the silence) coordinates with the cut away from the TV screen.
16. There’s a shot of trees in the background as Scott sings about “rings of smoke through the trees.” (Unconfirmed reports have it that in the background of the film, if you look closely, you can see an extra killing herself by jumping from a passing aircraft…a zeppelin! And of course, the lyric is a quote from Led Zeppelin.)
17. There’s a painting of a big-eyed child holding a cat in the background – just as the band makes weird cat-like noises during the breaks in “The Waist and the Knees.”
18. As Scott Miller sings “no place you can go,” a television screen in the movie shows a shot of a man confined to a bed.
19. Cut to an exterior shot…just as Scott Miller sings “on the outs” (“Nothing New”).
20. Scott Miller sings “you can’t walk” – and the film shows a shot of Joan Crawford in a wheelchair.
21. Joan Crawford picks up a phone – Scott Miller sings “I’m going to phone you” (“The Real Sheila”).
22. As Crawford closes a door – wait! Donnette Thayer sings “it was an open door” (irony!). But then…she sings “windows opened” – and Crawford’s at an open (but barred) window. Plus – there are shots of a garden – and all this is during…the song “Mammoth Gardens.”
Whew! Of course there are more – you have to start the CD over again, but I’ll leave all the other clues to others. Further, no one has ever bothered to explain “why choose The Wizard of Oz as the movie to soundtrack with Dark Side of the Moon?” But the reason Miller chose What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? as the template for Lolita Nation is so obvious, it hardly needs explaining – but in case anyone can’t figure it out, here goes:
A simple manipulation of obvious numerological cues (rather like that used by the authors of The Bible Code) makes clear why this album was chosen to sync up so hauntingly with this film. First, the movie was released in 1962. Disregarding the century year, that gives us “62” – and 6+2=8. Lolita Nation was released in 1987. Again disregarding the century, that gives us “87” – 8+7=15, and 1+5=6. Now 8-6=2…and recalling that Scott Miller, born in 1960, was 27 in 1987, 27-2=25.
Recall that the bulk of the film is set in “Yesterday” – that is, 1962. 1987-1962 gives us 25 again. Plus, subtracting Scott Miller’s age at the time of Lolita Nation from the “current day” of the film (1962-27) gives us 1935: the year of the car “accident” in the movie. There’s more, of course: the opening scene is set in 1917. Note that 1+7=8, 3+5=8 (1935), and 6+2=…of course, 8. And what is 8×3? That’s right: 24 – a Scott Miller song!
Everything in this post is true – try it for yourself!