Friday, August 17, 2012

The Prisoner Who Now Stands Before You Was Caught Red-Handed Showing Feelings

One movie you should never watch in the dark is now 30 years old.

Pink Floyd: The Wall: The Movie.

I'll go more into the album on its own anniversary, since it's not only the one Floyd album I like but also one of my favorite albums in the history of albums.

But I felt that the film deserved its own write-up since what is essentially and hour and a half of music videos takes the album's narrative and runs with it to all kinds of screwed up places.

I say that it's a film not to watch in the dark, and I mean it. Between the dingy live-action segments and the show-stopping Gerald Scarfe animated pieces, you really feel you're going insane with Bob Geldof's "Pink."

In fact, I'll admit that for all the disturbing imagery of the animation, the one part so scary that I can't watch it to this day is actually the dream sequence of young Pink finding his older self in an abandoned madhouse. The sheer vacant animal smile of older Pink's face when he turns around haunts my nightmares forever.

Geldof deserves some credit for pulling this off, since he had to convey so much with so little.

Like the album, The Trial is my favorite bit in this. The song is great on its own, but add that animated sequence and all the crazy characters ("The Law is an Ass" indeed) and it transcends. Not that the other sequences aren't just as memorable, this one is just the most Deranged-Broadway of the bunch.

If you're interested, I stumbled upon this detailed analysis into both the album and the film a few years back. If you've got some (preferably daylight) hours to spare, give it a look.

There is no pain. You are receding.


  1. This movie is a masterpiece! I don't get how it could get such "eh" reviews when it first came out. I heard about the film through an online friend who was talking about The Trial scene with the infamous talking ass scene. Out of curiosity, I saw it on YT while searching other animated music videos and I liked it despite being grossed out by the giant talking ass.

    I find the song "Another Brick In the Wall" to be still relevant to the educational system today (more so the US than the UK....IDK if the United Kingdom's fares any better than it was when the so g first came out.). The entire album is oddly soothing despite being about a major breakdown. I even listened to the entire album twice in separate sittings last summer to help ease a depression I was going through (which sadly didn't go away till the end of 2014).

  2. For a soundtrack centered around a mental breakdown, it's rather relaxing. When I went through a bad bout of depression, I listened to the entire album in one sitting....twice! Oh if only my sadness went away fully.....

    Even today, Another Brick In The Wall is soooo relevant to today's society as the school system is so corrupt (more so American than British. Idk anything about the system in England and how it fares today since being written in the 70s.). There's too much pressure on passing and memorization of facts in which some are not all useful in the real world. There's too much chain on creativity and cutting of art programs! Discipline is also crap as kids get punished severely for trivial things while students doing harmful things arent! *end rant*

    1. I don't think discipline is crap, but I do think it's important to give it the right way for the right reason, and the problem is many people use outdated methods for, as you said, trivial things.

      But yeah, The Wall is what I listen to whenever I feel like I may even step a toe in depression. When I'm feeling beaten down, I put on the album and it reminds me what happens when you let such feelings overtake you and that I'd better get my $#^! together.

    2. Yes or a giant ass will come and torment you!

      Another musician that helped me through that is Emilie Autumn. Being a sufferer of bipolar disorder, her music is inspired by her health experiences with a Victorian Era influence to her sound. I recommend her music highly.