Monday, March 29, 2010

The Wall

My trusted partner in this haywire venture we call “Scribble Junkies” always extols to me the glories of a feature film called “The Wall”. It was made in 1982 by three great artists, Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, Alan Parker (famed filmmaker) and Gerald Scarfe (great illustrator). It was a loosely based story of a rock musician that takes a walk on the Nazi side. The film is interspliced with animation designed by Mr. Scarfe.

Now I'm a big fan of Pink Floyd, in fact “Dark Side of the Moon” is one of my top ten album favorites, so I was very excited to see it fresh. I've seen a few clips on MTV but never the whole film in its entirety.

Looking back thirty years later I believe the film doesn't hold up at all. First, the premise of a kid being brutalized by his teachers is a little hard to take when here in the states it's more the other way around. And just because the kid lost his dad in the war he has to turn into another Hitler?

Also the visuals are not that appealing or engaging. They needed a cameraman with more visual sense- someone like David Lynch or Chris Mengees.

Of course Pat's favorite part is the animation and there is one scene that really excited me, it's the romantic flower sequence, which is a tour de force scene, but the rest of the animation is fairly pedestrian. When you think that the Yellow Submarine was done in one year, it's amazing they couldn't come up with better art and ideas for the film.

I give it a seven on the Plympton scale of ten.


  1. As a (late) Floyd fan myself, I like a lot of THE WALL, including most of the animation. Maybe the music helps to hide some of the flaws.

    But the story doesn't come off as clearly as it does on the album, or even the concerts put on by Pink Floyd, and later, Waters alone. It looks like "Pink" actually becomes a Nazi leader, when in fact he's fantasizing it. Its a demonstration of how much he's cut himself off from the real world.

    Also, an interesting note: Some of Gerald Scarfe's animation was completed two years before the movie. It was originally commissioned to be shown during the concerts (they would be projected upon a white "brick" wall). I think "The Trial" was the most recent addition for the movie.

  2. Its a demonstration of how much he's cut himself off from the real world.

  3. Where you say 'Dark Side of the Moon' is now in your top ten favorite albums, do you not mean 'The Wall' which is what your article is about?