Saturday, January 1, 2011

#148. Pink Floyd The Wall (1982) - The Films of Alan Parker

Directed By: Alan Parker

Starring: Bob Geldof, Christine Hargreaves, James Laurenson

Tag line: "The Memories. The Madness. The Music... The Movie"

Trivia:  Roger Waters of Pink Floyd originally intended the film to be a starring vehicle for himself

Pink Floyd's The Wall is, hands down, my favorite rock album of all-time. I've been a huge fan of it since its release in the late '70s, and it continues to fascinate me to this day.  At times downright other-worldly, The Wall weaves a gripping tale of one man's self-imposed isolation from society, and is an impressive artistic achievement.  

Thanks to director Alan Parker, what was - and is - an incredible rock album has become a superb motion picture, one that remains entirely faithful to the brilliance of the original work.

In order to protect himself from the cruel world, Pink (Bob Geldof), a rock star who has been beaten down by life, takes shelter behind a psychological wall he's constructed deep within his subconscious. 

But this wall, built to keep everybody else out, only succeeds in trapping Pink within. Alone and confused, Pink must find a way to dismantle his inner prison before all the rage he's been repressing over the years suddenly - and violently - breaks free.

Visually, Pink Floyd The Wall is stunning. The schoolhouse sequence, which plays out over the album's most popular tune, Another Brick in the Wall, Part II, is a wonderfully flamboyant bit of fantasy, with conveyor belts transporting faceless children to their doom. Along with the various recreations of Pink's early life, Pink Floyd The Wall also offers up a number of disturbing animated sequences, such as the dark and violent rendition of Goodbye Blue Sky, which graphically displays the horrors of war, a theme that figures prominently in Pink's psychological collapse (his father, played by James Laurenson, was killed in battle during World War II). I was impressed with Parker's vision of this strange and troubling place, where one man's twisted psychoses and warped paranoia have become his new home.

Throughout the years, Pink Floyd's The Wall has conjured up many astounding images in my mind, each so incredible that I would have never believed a film could do them justice. In stunning fashion, director Alan Parker has proven me wrong.


Chris said...

This is certainly one of my favourite music films(I don't know if this film can even be categorized!)

The songs and images are so memorable, and a film to rewatch again and again. Seldom do I see a music film this thought-provoking. More of an experience than a narrative. I can hardly think of any 'album movies' other than the Beatles. It's weird not more albums get made into intelligent films, but I guess it's a question of money and a wide audience.

DVD Infatuation said...

@moviesandsongs365: Thanks for the comment, and for stopping by.

I couldn't agree with you more...this film IS an experience, and the deep emotions it touches on are, at times, difficult to watch. I try to catch this one at least once a year. Very, very powerful.

Mari Miniatt said...

I was sick one day, so I decided to watch it again. My youngest son, a major horror fan, came home from school. I had not let my children see this film yet. He watched a few moments of it (I think it was the bit with the rat), then left the room.
He came back later. "Mom, I think I will have to watch that movie later. I am really freaked out."

He watched it a year later and did not speak or move while it played (my reaction the first time I saw it too). He loved it.

It's not a film you can just put in to passively watch, you have to be in the right frame of mind.

DVD Infatuation said...

@Mari: Yeah, this is a film that pretty much demands your undivided attention, and it's so interesting that you give it over happily. It's a visual explosion, and a powerful experience.

The fact that it's a movie based on my favorite album of all time doesn't hurt either, I suppose!

Thanks for the comment.