Monday, September 17, 2012

Pink Floyd - The Wall



When I saw Pink Floyd - The Wall in 1982, I had never listened to the entire album. Of course, I had heard "Another Brick In the Wall, Part 2" (the "we don't need no education" song) on the radio many times, as well as some other songs, but I wasn't a die hard fan of the record, and really had no idea what I was getting into.

I saw the movie with my parents at a sneak preview screening at the Alexandria Theater. It was a school night, and I remember bragging to a few people the next day that I had already seen the movie, which is kind of funny because I really didn't like the movie. I think I probably left that part out.

But having seen it, I wanted to hear the original album, so my father borrowed a friend's vinyl copy, and taped it for me. I would end up listening to that tape hundreds of times throughout junior high.

It might seem odd that I became so enamored of the record, but never warmed up to the movie. Here's the thing: The movie is full of pampered rock star angst; aggressively English memories; scenes of World War II fighting; fears of fascism; Oedipal mother issues. As a twelve year-old girl, I couldn't relate to any of that.

But when I was just listening to the music, I could recognize the universality of it. I hated school, too! Sometimes I wanted to be "comfortably numb," too! I felt like there was a wall around me sometimes, too!

The literalness of the movie still bugs the hell out of me, as does its unrelenting bleakness. Even the ending, which I think is supposed to be hopeful, is just...dreary. There's no scene or moment in it that I have ever wanted to see again.

But I guess I can thank the movie for being an official introduction to the album. I'm pretty sure I would have caught up with it eventually had I not seen the movie, because a few of my friends were pretty obsessed with it, and it was on constant rotation wherever we were. But I probably wouldn't have liked the record as much if I had liked the movie more.

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