Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Oui's Soundstage

Who's this controvertial director that participated in making "The Wall" film? His name is Alan Parker, and he worked with the Pink Floyd by directing the screen interpretation of their super successful double album titled The Wall. The article called "Oui's Soundstage" written by James Delson, for the Oui Magazine, in October of 1982, tells the story of how this film was made. It also shows some differences between this film and some other previous films from the same director. Parker wanted to do this film because he had the neccessity to bring out what he had in himself. He wanted to show a bit of sickness that had overtaken the working-class punks and skinheads who appeared in The Wall, and what kind of society had bread their sick mentality.

Alan Parker is known for being controversial. There are some film critics that have generally split into opposing camps strongly in favor of him or dead-set against him. The author says that "The Wall" was a film that caused a storm of controversy to many people and crtics. The Wall mixes surreal with the real, the past with the present, it has flashbacks from present to past, it is mainly about that. It also has animation with live action, madness with sanity and dialogue with music in ways that in 1982 had never been attempted before.

For Alan Parker, music is a very important element. He has taken a quantum leap in concept and execution between his previous movies and The Wall. Unlike his earlier's works, this film is as much a sociopolitical document as it is an entertainment. "I realize there's a risk here," Parker explained, "but it was important to try and examine the issues which have upset me, and The Wall offered the potential for a truly way of doing it." Pink Floyd's album of The Wall, was released in 1979, and it examined the barriers people put up that make it difficult for them to communicate.

This film traces the descent into madness of a rock star called "Pink", who was locked away in hotel in Los Angeles. This character, relives his youth, mingling real life and fantasy in animation sequences. Surreal images of costumes, imaginary figures, Nazi-like rallies, even a recreation of the Allied invasion of Anzio, all inter-cut in an incredibly fast-paced roller-coaster ride through Pink's panic-riddled brain. In a summary, this whole film is about alienation, separation, and the fears one has about breaking away from society. Parker thought of using the power of rock and roll, interwoven with screen images, he could explore the fears he had about oppression, totalitarism, and the sort of mindless activities which were very relevant to life in England.

Parker said that his younger generation revolted against the Socialist dream. In The Wall he expresses his fears about the kids that seemed to find their answers in destruction. In making this film. he had to gamble more than form and style. In several sequences he used real London skinheads as extras, cointaining them through threats, promises and the notable idea of using their owm pecking order to establish control over the largest assembly of extras, which was for the rally sequence. He said that they were incredibly raw, working-class London kids with very extreme political pionts of view. Enen though the team working in the film were appalled by the extremism of the extras, at the same time they were amused by their natural cockney wit, says Parker. "This kids looked at the film totally superficiaally and got a great kick out of throwing tables through windows and getting paid for it." If I was paid to do that to, I would've been more than glad to do it too! And who wouldn't?

To end this article the author, James Delson says: "Alan Parker's brilliant accomplishments blends several different media into an exciting form while sustaining its artistic integrity. Imaginative, shocking, daring, repugnant, and thrilling, the hallucinatory imagery of The Wall will haunt your dreams and remain a part of our cinematic vocabulary for a long time to come."


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