Bob Geldof, Christine Hargreaves, James Laurenson. Directed by Alan Parker.
Despite the enduring critical and commercial success of Pink Floyd’s The Wall album, Alan Parker’s accompanying feature film has for some reason remained little seen since its release in 1982. It’s actually an absolute triumph; a big budget 95-minute music video that brings to vibrant life Roger Waters’ largely autobiographical musical portrait of a childhood overshadowed by the loss of his father during the war as well as the isolation and paranoia of a rock and roll lifestyle. Bob Geldof gives a superb performance as alienated and depressed rock superstar ‘Pink’, reflecting from a lonely hotel room on his life, before imagining himself re-born as a fascist dictator. British director Alan Parker – best known then for Bugsy Malone, Midnight Express and Fame – shared Waters’ war baby upbringing but also brought big-budget movie experience to the project. He’s ably supported by cartoonist Gerald Scarfe’s stark production design and nightmarish animations. Incredibly, the resulting film feels fresher and more compelling now than it did when it was made; perhaps more powerful even than the album on which it’s based.