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Pink Floyd - The Wall (The Movie) CD (album) cover

THE WALL (THE MOVIE)

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.06 | 424 ratings

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Cygnus X-2
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars In 1982 Pink Floyd had disintegrated into a three piece with Rick Wright taking a leave of absence. Roger's last major contribution with the Floyd was the Wall, and he did as much with the album as he could. This film is one of those experiments. For the premier of the movie, you could also see the band's consideration and involvement with the movie in the clothes that they wore (Roger wore a full suit and tie, Gilmour wore a sports jacket with a plain shirt underneath, Mason wore a shirt and some jeans, and Wright chose not to appear at all). Directed by Alan Parker and animated by Gerald Scarfe, this film will take you through the mind of a tormented man (played by the one and only Bob Geldof [who looks frightenly like Jerry Seinfeld]) and his struggles with his own mind and the world outside of him.

Now, the Wall as an album was good, but I didn't see what the big deal was. I believe it was always meant to be seen visually, as there are many pieces that would have been better off in the visual department. Fortunately, all those ideas are fully realized with this film. From the opening of When the Tigers Broke Free to the closing drones of Outside the Wall, this film is a 90 minute roller coaster of emotions and psychedelic surprises. It must be noted that the soundtrack was given a bit of a face lift for this film, with Waters going back in the studio with the late Michael Kamen to punch up some of the (most noteworthy Mother). Now you won't actually find any spoken dialogue in this film, most of it is acting whilst the album is played over it, although you'll find Bob Geldof himself singing both incantations of In the Flesh.

Musically, I love the soundtrack, it's more lush and there's a lot more dynamics involved. The audio is superbly mixed and there's a nice balance of all instruments and augmentations necessary to make this film what it is. There are also some nice additions to the film in songs that never made the final cut (no pun intended) of the album. There's When The Tigers Broke Free, which found itself on the Echoes compilation and ultimately on the reissue of The Final Cut. It's classic Waters with sneering vocals and lyrics as well as some impressive instrumentation underneath. Also here is What Shall We Do Now?, which was originally placed between Empty Spaces and Young Lust, but was cut at the last moment for continuity reasons. It's another sneering rocker with some great multi-layered vocals from Waters.

Visually, the film is gorgeous, with lush animation sequences provided by Gerald Scarfe (lush and horrifying) that really show the more frightening side of cartoon animation. The overall feel and look of the film is also very dirty, very cold, and very forboding, but it suits the atmosphere very well and it only seems to add to the depressing theme. But that's not all, there's more! Included with the dvd is footage from Hey You, the only song from the original album cut from the film (along with The Show Must Go On, more or less). Hey You being one of the better songs on the album, it would have been nice to see it in the film. Also included is a nice documentary about the making of the film and the meticulous and backbreaking efforts Waters, Scarfe, Parker, and Kamen did to make the film possible.

Overall, Floyd's only venture into motion pictures is a bit of an unsettling, unappreciative film. It's a bit out there, and you'll have to watch it a few times before you actually understand what is going on. But on the whole, this is an enjoyable, trippy, and ultimately rewarding experience that no fan of Floyd or Avant-Garde film making will be disappointed with. Still, though, if you're not too fond of the Wall or grandiose concept albums, you may want to steer clear of. It's a good film, and maybe everyone should watch it at least once, but it's not going to be a film for everyone. 3.5/5.

Cygnus X-2 | 3/5 |

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