“Is there anybody out there?”
An alienated rock star (Bob Geldof) descends into madness and toxic grandiosity while reflecting on his fatherless childhood and faithless marriage.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Alan Parker Films
- Mental Breakdown
- Rock ‘n Roll
Peary argues that this “midnight cult hit” — “director Alan Parker’s visual interpretation of the rock opera by Pink Floyd” — is “unrelentingly downbeat and at times repulsive”, but he doesn’t “find it unwatchable — which is more than [he] could say if Ken Russell had directed this”. He notes that the film “cuts back and forth between present, past… and future”, allowing us to “witness the development of a fascist”, and adds that the “cinematography by Peter Bizou is extremely impressive and a few of the individual scenes have undeniable power” — though he simply points out (rather than praising) the “animation sequences” by “political cartoonist Gerald Scarfe.” Peary’s review is a fair one, though I’ll add that the narrative — while seemingly disjointed and surrealistic — is surprisingly coherent, and maps well onto the album. This one is definitely worth a one-time look.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Powerful imagery, cinematography, and animation
- The still-classic soundtrack/album
Yes, as a cult favorite.