Pink Floyd: The Wall (1982)

“Is there anybody out there?”

Synopsis:
An alienated rock star (Bob Geldof) descends into madness and toxic grandiosity while reflecting on his fatherless childhood and faithless marriage.

Genres:

Review:
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

Must See?
Yes, as a cult favorite.

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One Response to “Pink Floyd: The Wall (1982)”

  1. A once-must (at least), as a unique film experience. A definite cult flick.

    Dark, unsettling, challenging. An arresting portrait of a creative mind battling mental illness, ultimately opting for fascist fantasy as a means to cope… while he can.

    A rather brilliant musical score – best song: ‘Comfortably Numb’. The animation sequences are remarkable.

    Very possibly ties with ‘Mississippi Burning’ as Parker’s best work.

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