Pink Floyd: The Wall is a visually stunning mosaic of live action and animation vignettes, structured around album cuts and outtakes from The Wall and earlier Floyd albums. Alan Parker’s feature film from Roger Waters’ “screenplay” is based loosely on Waters’ own battle with depression and original Floyd guitarist Syd Barrett’s spiral into insanity.
Pink Floyd (Bob Geldof) doesn’t like Mondays or any other days for that matter. He is a manic depressive rock star whose father was killed in one of the Wars To End All Wars. In the face an overbearing mother and an abusive schoolteacher, the lonely, fatherless boy turns inward, writing poems and building a mental wall around himself to comfortably numb himself from feelings …hence, “The Wall.” Pink trashes his hotel room, shaves his body hair (including eyebrows) and transmogrifies into a fascistic inspirational speaker, who with his CommuNazi thugs, incites rock-n-roll fans to riot. The schizophrenic Pink then puts himself on trial for having those pesky feelings “of an almost human nature.”
Pink Floyd: The Wall predates Michael Jackson’s HIStory video by fifteen years. The megalomaniacal King of Pop’s Reifenstahl delusion of grandeur had nothing on Pink Floyd’s disturbing scrutiny of the power wielded by rock icons.
But, of course, with this expressionistic film, you take out of it what you take out of it. My interpretation is probably slightly less valid than yours--no pharmaceuticals accompanied my latest screening. So, screw in the blacklight, turn up the Dolby surround sound and tear down the walls.