Pink Floyd: The Wall (1982)

(On Cable TV, June 2017) I’m not going to claim that I understood much of Pink Floyd: The Wall. I’m not even going to claim that I watched it attentively. But I can reasonably say that, even twenty-five years later, there hasn’t been a film quite like it ever since. A blend of animation and surreal live footage going into the mind of a rocker undergoing a mental breakdown, The Wall flips between reality, flashbacks and nightmares to present a delirious vision. As a musical, it barely features any conventionally spoken dialogue—much of the film consists of songs brought to life. As someone who (cough-cough, can I admit this?) has never warmed up to either Pink Floyd or progressive rock, I certainly didn’t listen to the film for its music—and the visuals became almost unbearable at times. Still, there are a few strong moments in the film, and it pains me to say that the fascistic imagery late in the movie seemed a bit too real for comfort. There’s also the whole “Another Brick in the Wall” sequence that acts as a dark highlight on the education system. This being said, I’m not sure I got any joy, entertainment or pleasure out of The Wall … nor did I expect the film to provide any. I suppose that those who are likely to listen to Pink Floyd will get more out of the film than I did.

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