Pink Floyd: The Wall

Pink Floyd: The Wall (1982)

Genres - Drama, Fantasy, Music, Musical  |   Sub-Genres - Rock Musical, Musical Drama, Psychological Drama  |   Release Date - Aug 6, 1982 (USA - Unknown), Aug 13, 1982 (USA), Aug 13, 1982 (USA - Limited)  |   Run Time - 99 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom, United States  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Perry Seibert

There is always something to look at during the visually audacious Pink Floyd - The Wall, arguably the first fully realized long-form music video. The expressionistic animation sequences manage to be both disturbing and surreal. Since the lyrics and music carry the weight of the story, director Alan Parker's camera is free to go almost wherever it likes. Although the camera never runs out of interesting places to be, much of what Parker chooses to show the audience feels remarkably arbitrary. Too bombastic to be confessional (for either Pink Floyd or Parker), and too thematically slight to be as grand as its visual and aural flair would imply, the film version of The Wall fails to create a universally shared experience out of the source material. Even with its faults, The Wall works as an album because Roger Waters was able to express the emotionally disconnected mindset of the protagonist. The film version fails only because each listener's visual interpretation of what they are hearing is too wildly subjective. If Parker had imposed his vision of the album on the film, instead of trying to communicate the band's (or more specifically Roger Waters') vision, it would have more potency. Good art communicates. While The Wall is often visually interesting, there seems to be a voice interrupting the message that was trying to be communicated.