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Pink Floyd - The Wall (VHS, 1994 MGM Entertainment)

Pink Floyd - The Wall (VHS, 1994 MGM Entertainment)

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Pink Floyd – The Wall is a 1982 British live-action/animated psychological musical drama film directed by Alan Parker, based on Pink Floyd's 1979 album of the same name. The screenplay was written by Pink Floyd vocalist and bassist Roger Waters. The Boomtown Rats vocalist Bob Geldof plays rock star Pink, who, driven insane by the death of his father, constructs a physical and emotional wall to protect himself.

Like the album, the film is highly metaphorical, and symbolic imagery and sound are present most commonly. The film is mostly driven by music and features little dialogue from the characters. Despite its turbulent production and the creators voicing their discontent about the final product, the film received generally positive reviews and has an established cult following.

At the beginning of the film, Pink is a depressed rock star who appears motionless and expressionless while remembering his father. A flashback reveals how his father was killed defending the Anzio beachhead during World War II in Pink's infancy. Pink's mother raises him alone. A young Pink later discovers relics from his father's military service and death. An animation depicts the war, showing that the death of the people was for nothing. Pink places a bullet on the track of an oncoming train within a tunnel, and the train that passes has children peering out of the windows wearing face masks.

At school, he is caught writing poems in class and is humiliated by the teacher, who reads a poem from Pink's book. However, it is revealed that the poor treatment of the students is because of the unhappiness of the teacher's marriage. Pink recalls an oppressive school system, imagining children falling into a meat grinder. He then fantasizes about the children rising in rebellion and burning down the school, throwing the teacher onto a bonfire. As an adult, Pink remembers his overprotective mother and his marriage. During a phone call, Pink realises that his wife is cheating on him. Another animation shows that his traumatic experiences are represented as a "brick" in the metaphorical wall he constructs around himself that divides him from society.

Pink then returns to the hotel room with a groupie, only for him to destroy the room in a fit of violence, scaring her away. Depressed, he thinks about his wife and feels trapped in his room. He then remembers every "brick" of his wall. His wall is shown to be complete, and the film returns to the first scene.

Now inside his wall, he does not leave his hotel room and begins to lose his mind to metaphorical "worms". He shaves all his body hair and watches television. A flashback shows young Pink searching through the trenches of the war, eventually finding himself as an adult. Young Pink runs in terror and appears at a railway station, with the people demanding that the soldiers return home. Returning to the present, Pink's manager finds him in his hotel room, drugged and unresponsive. A paramedic injects him to enable him to perform.

In this state, Pink thinks he is a dictator, and his concert is a fascist rally. His followers attack blacks, gays and Jews. He then holds a rally in London. The scene includes images of animated marching hammers that goose-step across ruins. Pink then stops hallucinating and screams, "STOP!" deciding he no longer wants to be in the wall. He is then seen cowering in a bathroom stall, quietly singing to himself as a security guard walks past him. In a climactic animated sequence, Pink, as a rag doll, is on trial for "showing feelings of an almost human nature". His teacher and wife accuse him, while his mother tries to take him home. His sentence is "to be exposed before his peers," and the judge gives the order to "tear down the wall!". Following a prolonged silence, the wall is smashed as Pink can be heard screaming. Pink is not seen again. Back to live action, several children are seen cleaning up a pile of debris, with a freeze-frame on one of the children emptying a Molotov cocktail as the film ends.


Pink Floyd - The Wall (VHS, 1994 MGM Entertainment)

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