Pink Floyd The Wall (1982) — Turns out we DID need an education

“We don’t need no education, we don’t need no thought control.”

Justin’s rating: A special salute to Hell’s Bells… I *liked* this movie!

Justin’s review: When I’m depressed — when a woman’s broken my heart, when I feel lost in the world, when I’m not sure of myself — there’s one album that I turn to. I sit on a windowsill and crank up Pink Floyd’s “The Wall.” It’s a hodge-podge of emotions that sometimes sum up feelings of rage and insanity that float through us all. Even though I love the album, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to sit through a two-hour music video of it. But even with basically no dialogue and little sense, it quickly won me over.

At the start of The Wall, rock star Pink is at the end of his sanity. He flashes through his life, from childhood to fame and folly. His life stories are told with a heavy surrealistic touch, ranging from animated WWII scenes to his failed love life and transformation into a Nazi-esque dictator. You see the world through his eyes, messed up (almost) beyond repair from bad experiences and massive quantities of drugs.

Perhaps there should be a subtitled version of this movie to attempt to explain to the millions of people who will be utterly confused while watching. It’s not your average cup of tea, unless you like a few lumps of LSD with it. I personally don’t think it’s incoherent at all, particularly if you let the lyrics tell you the story and have the images enhance the mood. The different episodes are all told with a variety of style and flair, including some very sweet animation and all sorts of symbolism that sends any film major into epileptic fits.

I really love this movie, particularly for the vivid images that approach museum levels of art. So be it.

Clare’s rating: if only I could go crazy enough to build a cool weird looking thing out of all the debris in my very own smashed up hotel room

Clare’s review: I saw this move for the first time when I was 12 years old. Looking back, I’m amazed my head didn’t just blow off my neck the first time I tried to fathom what the heck was going on in this flick. Before then, the only real movie I’d seen was Dirty Dancing. Seeing movies before you’re ready is really related to how many older siblings you have. I digress.

Since then, I’ve seen this movie a bunch of times, once on the big screen with mondo surround sound (my friend Larry who is now playing gigs at that very same tiny assed theater may or may not remember this “date”). The reasons I love The Wall are as follow in a very specific order:

  • Every time I see it it’s like seeing it for the first time. I notice something new every time. Bring something new in myself to the experience ever time and I am ceaselessly amazed at how complex, sad, brutal and beautiful it is, sometimes all at once.
  • The music. What can I say. It’s Pink Flloyd. The songs on this album tell a story. The story in the movie is vague and blury for a reason. It allows the viewer to fill in the blanks with whatever they want while still watching a very specifically designed story structure. To me, that’s pure genius.
  • The animation. I’ve seen plenty of music videos try to rip off the sheer rock and roll of this movie’s incorporation of animation into their projects and it has never knocked my head back the way this movie does (except for MAYBE a couple of Tool videos – that’s a big maybe). It makes sense that the music had to be animated in sections. Real filmed images can’t touch what’s going on lyrically or rythmically.
  • It’s beautiful. I mean, it’s nasty, crudde, disgusting, sad and heartbreaking, but for some reason I always walk away from this movie feeling fuller, more alive and more in tune with my own “stuff” than I did before I decided to sit down and take a peek – and it’s just a bunch of moving pictures and musical noises arranged somehow. Pretty cool if you ask me.

One comment

  1. I am the oldest of three siblings + saw Alien when I was seven? I think? + completely unprepared. So, no, watching movies which one is unprepared for does not necessarily connect to having older siblings, It might, however, connect to knowing much more worldly children. I’m looking back at you, Tanaya Free Volk.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s