Pink Floyd—The Wall is so specific—it depicts, in moving picture form, the story told in Pink Floyd’s 1979 double album The Wall—and so very misanthropic, it’s really only for the biggest Floyd fans or the biggest fans of doing some great acid and then tripping your balls off as giant animated hammers march across the screen.
In fact, Pink Floyd—The Wall is so good at conveying the themes of Floyd album it’s based on it becomes redundant. There are no new ideas explored, just misery heaped upon misery (which also describes the bulk of The Wall screenwriter and ex-Floyd bassist Roger Waters’ solo career).
Now, if you like that sort of thing, have at it. I happen to like—or on my less charitable days, appreciate—The Wall, the movie and the record. I don’t find either of them to be masterpieces, but they capture the late 1970s/early 1980s exceptionally well, and Waters was one of the first rock stars to write stadium-sized songs about depression, drugs and what we’d now call bipolar disorder.
And while I’d never advocate doing anything illegal, Pink Floyd—The Wall may be a more enjoyable experience with some herbal refreshments. Maybe. If that’s your thing.
Directed by Alan Parker
With Bob Geldof (!)
Jean Cocteau Cinema