A long time ago I learnt a valuable lesson in life. Don’t sweat the opportunities that you miss as they have gone and you can’t get them back, just move on and wait and try to grab the next one. However, when you are reminded of one of those opportunities and how close you came to having one in the palm of your hands it can really sting, I mean REALLY sting.
Tuesday night we went to see Roger Waters The Wall. The movie event of his 4 year tour of the same name. It was a Documentary based around his tour but it was also his journey to seek out the final markers of the resting places of his Father and Grandfather who both died in the First and Second Wars.
To put it bluntly, the film was just out of this world. It was everything I had imagined it would be. I had heard recordings from the tour from each year of its iteration, and I had seen videos on You Tube of the show, but until you see the spectacle on a Screen bigger than your computer monitor, it just doesn’t prepare you for what you are seeing. It was loud, it was vivid and most of all it was in your face and relevant for now. That sting I was talking about up there, was August in 2013 when I could have had tickets to see this epic live at Wembley Stadium… and turned it down… my gut hurt at the thought.
The movie’s introduced by Liam Neeson who explains how the original production of the wall back in 1979 affected him as a young Northern Irish Actor coming to London from a troubled Ireland. I think it is a story that many people who have listened to the album or seen the show before can relate to, I know I can. The Wall is a hugely personal album to me and I have mention so on this blog numerous times before. A good friend once told me that hitchhiker’s was his bible and the The Wall was his National Anthem. For me, The Wall is a journey I take when life needs to calm down and I need my own little space. I won’t bore you with the story about “my wall”, you can read about all that fun stuff elsewhere.
Once the intro is done, we see Roger Waters setting off for a road trip, he arrives at a monument at a War Memorial. No words spoken. He takes out a trumpet and plays the open refrain from the production…. and then…. A huge plane flies over… and it felt like the room shook! For a smallish cinema, they had really gone all out to provide a decent sound system for the event, and for that I salute them. From then on in, it’s “Roger Waters – The Wall“. There are inserts filmed about Waters journey around France and Italy searching for the monuments, but a large part of the movie is concert footage, and I have to say, I have never seen a concert movie filmed with such skill and love before. It is plainly obvious that the dates chosen for filming were planned well in advance and everything was rehearsed and nothing seemed left to chance, it was perfection. The sights of the audience singing along to music that was created before they were even born was amazing, and to see the passion on their faces as they sang along with Comfortably Numb, that one song alone means so much to so many people. Never take for granted what a lyric or a melody can do for one persons soul.
One thing that my Mum mentioned after the movie ended that hadn’t occurred to me personally, Waters’ had totally altered the meaning behind The Wall for this venture out. It was no longer about the Rock Star alienation and politicized the story. It didn’t sit well with her. She totally enjoyed the Movie, but the in your face politics of the meaning behind the show was too much. I have to be honest I think if I hadn’t been following Roger Waters for so long and been keeping up with his “real life” points of view and then I went and spent my hard-earned on a couple of tickets to the show, it would probably have been a bit jarring to me too. Rock & Roll, depending on where you stand, probably isn’t the place for high level politics! Mind you, don’t tell Rog that will ya!
The filmed inserts did at times, if I am honest become slightly annoying and random, but for the most part they felt absolutely right and flowed with the meaning of what the movie was saying, which was portraying Roger’s journey. At certain times, I got the impression that the people riding along with Roger in the car were just ghosts in his mind. Maybe I finally got the symbolism in a movie first time around. It only took me 15 years with The Wall movie!
Numb Like Hell
The movie ran at around 2 hours and 13 minutes, which my poor old posterior felt by the time Run Like Hell started. It is such a gripping movie that you really don’t want to get up and go and get another drink or more snacks during. It has been quite some time since I had been to the cinema, so I didn’t have the luxury of the pause button to have a comfort break. Maybe in future visits to events like this, I would probably venture further a field to a cinema with more comfy seating or maybe I’ll just have to get used to not having two or three cigarette breaks during a movie.
This movie comes out on Blu-Ray later this year apparently (November I have been told), it will be on my wish list as soon as it has been officially announced. Mr Waters has never been one for strict release dates. If by some fluke of nature you see this on in your area over the next few days, do yourself a favour and go and see it, even if you aren’t a massive Pink Floyd or Roger Waters fan, this is more than just a Floyd or Waters thing, this is… Art!
Until Next Time…