Pink Floyd - The Wall (25th Anniversary Limited Edition - 1982) -
By any rational measure, Alan Parker's cinematic interpretation of Pink Floyd's The Wall is a glorious failure. Glorious because its imagery is hypnotically striking, frequently resonant and superbly photographed by the gifted cinematographer Peter Biziou. And a failure because the entire exercise is hopelessly dour, loyal to the bleak themes and psychological torment of Roger Waters' great musical opus, and yet utterly devoid of the humour that Waters certainly found in his own material. Any attempt to visualise The Wall would be fraught with artistic danger, and Parker succumbs to his own self-importance, creating a film that's as fascinating as it is flawed. The film is, for better and worse, the fruit of three artists in conflict--Parker indulging himself, and Waters in league with designer Gerald Scarfe, whose brilliant animated sequences suggest that he should have directed and animated this film in its entirety. Fortunately, this clash of talent and ego does not prevent The Wall from being a mesmerising film. Boomtown Rats frontman Bob Geldof (in his screen debut) is a fine choice to play Waters's alter ego--an alienated, "comfortably numb" rock star whose psychosis manifests itself as an emotional (and symbolically physical) wall between himself and the cold, cruel world. Weaving Waters's autobiographical details into his own jumbled vision, Parker ultimately fails to combine a narrative thread with experimental structure. It's a rich, bizarre, and often astonishing film that will continue to draw a following, but the real source of genius remains the music of Roger Waters. --Jeff Shannon
Customer reviews (av rating: 4.5):
Relativly enjoyable : I'm a big Pink Floyd Fan and have most of their albums. I bought the albumn (the Wall) in 1980 on record. I have seen the movie several times and found it enjoyble though a little bit dark and strange. Many people complain about the songs like Bring the Boys Back Home and Happiest Days of Our Lives but they are essential to the story in both the movie and the album. The biggest disappointmennt for me was the great song Hey You was not inluded in the movie. The animations were dark yet very essential. The trial was a decent scene. Bob Gedolf does a good job portrying Pink (the main character) throughout the Story.
Utterly enthralling : The Wall is a masterpiece that compliments the album immensely regardless of what skeptics may say. The music is true to the Pink Floyd fashion and is in my opinion the best they ever made. The music in the film varies from soft acoustic rock like Mother to all out Rock 'n' Roll pieces like Young Lust. In my opinion you couldn't possibly go wrong with The Wall, cracking film
Why not? : This film is a depressingly reassuring account of human psycology. It differs from the LP because Bob Geldof sings. The extras include an interview with Roger Waters explaining, amoung other things, his inspiration. The sentiment is amazing. The animation dark a true friend. Roger Waters is totally a dude.
Staple For Any Floyd Fan!!! : If you are a Pink Floyd fan then you must own this movie!!!
I always thought that "The Wall" was abit of a patchy album but the songs are brought together so well in the movie that it made me appreciate the album more aswell.
The animated scenes are just breathtaking and really capture the feel of the movie and the message behind it and for the time it was produced the special effects are quite spectacular aswell.
Overall this is a fantastic film that should appeal to anyone not only Pink Floyd fans!
The film is every bit as patchy as the album. : In 1979, Pink Floyd released their double concept album The Wall, which received a mixed reception varying from joy to bewilderment to anger. Personally, I'm not much of a fan. I love Comfortably Numb, all the versions of Another Brick in the Wall and In the Flesh, and I must confess to being in awe of the intricate way the themes of the songs work together, but there's just too much crap on there. Empty Spaces? Bring the Boys Back Home? The Happiest Days of Our Lives? Whose idea were they?! They're self-indulgent rubbish! In all, the album is OK, but hardly a joy to listen to. So, I approached the film with mixed feelings, knowing that the conceptual coherence of the album made it perfect for filming, but also that the flawed nature of the music would leave me cold at times.
It was pretty much as I expected. I enjoyed 'Another Brick in the Wall part 2' and 'Young Lust' and was genuinely touched by 'The Thin Ice'. On the other hand, I found myself reaching for the 'skip scene' button on the interminable 'Mother', and was disappointed by 'The Trial'. I've seen reviews of this film elsewhere that say Alan Parker (director) did a poor job with this film, and that Gerald Scarfe (animator) should have been allowed to do the whole thing. Now I can't deny that I love what Scarfe did with 'Goodbye Blue Sky' - I think it really captures the song's mood well. But it is Alan Parker who seeks to truly tell the story behind Pink (Roger)'s breakdown - he shows that Pink ignored his wife after their marriage and presents this as a possible reason for their divorce, while Scarfe simply presents her as a creature of pure evil exploiting the helpless Pink - probably more how Roger Waters would have wanted to portray her.
If you love the album of The Wall (and you have every right to), then you'll love this film, and please accept my heartfelt apologies for the criticisms I have made of an album you love.
If you have mixed feelings about The Wall, as I did, then this film is still worth checking out. Just have your finger on the mute button and a copy of a better album (perhaps Dark Side of the Moon?) at hand for when the soundtrack gets bad.
All in all, this film is worth its three stars, but it is badly flawed in places so I'm afraid I can't give it a higher rating.
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