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Pink Floyd: The Wall (rewatch)

Posted by martinteller on February 29, 2008

Now here’s one I probably could have done without, only because I’ve seen it so many times.  This was my favorite movie in the universe when I was a teen, and every second of it is burned into my brain.  I guess it’s nice to trot it out every few years and relive the memories, though.  Also, this is my first time seeing it since watching The Dam Busters (a rather clever choice, I now realize, since it’s a movie all about breaking down walls), which gives it kind of a new spin.  Alan Parker had a string of good-to-very-good movies, many of them cult classics to some degree: Midnight Express, Fame, The Wall, Birdy, Angel Heart, Mississippi Burning.  But he never churned out a masterpiece or developed his own style, and eventually went downhill (culminating in the awful Life of David Gale).  However, I think this one comes closest to greatness.  But maybe I only feel that way because it’s so personal to me.  It’s the first record I bought, the first videotape I owned, and it was the first time I walked out of a theater feeling like I’d just seen something that would change my life.  It didn’t, of course, I was just obsessed with Pink Floyd, but it was a cool feeling nonetheless.  The film is really unforgettable and stunning in some ways.  The Gerald Scarfe animation, the overall production value, the various juxtapositions between past and present.  It wasn’t the first time a movie had been based on an album, but for my money, it’s the best realization of the concept (and I wish there were more like it… how cool would it be to have an adaptation of “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway”?).  Oh, there are flaws.  A few moments are silly, and I actually hate the entire trial scene, and it’s a bit hard to swallow Roger Waters’ relentless self-pity.  But it’s so close to my heart I can’t help but love it, even after some 50-odd viewings.  Rating: 9


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