Directors: Roger Waters & Sean Evans
Rue 21 Productions/Universal Pictures
But that didn’t stop me from checking out the brand new concert film/doco that captures Roger Waters’ impressive staging of the album as live show during his recent around-the-world victory-lap. And I’m glad.
I still love a lot of Floyd but can’t take the worst OTT/emo shenanigans of Roger Waters, Lyricist. But it was hard to argue with the scope and scale of this show – mesmerising in fact, and though it didn’t make me any more curious or open to revisiting the original album (a record I surely played to death – R.I.P.) I still found some (er) “joy” in hearing these versions. That shithot band Roger’s been building across his solo career (Jon Carin, Snowy White, Graham Broad in particular, so familiar with the Floyd material as well as Roger’s solo songs) and the audacity of it all – there’s just something that works about seeing this wide-scale, widescreen production finally, definitely writ large.
Also in the documentary snippets, Waters visiting graves, talking about the impact of the wars, the loss of his father and grandfather before he knew them, there’s something not only cathartic but genuinely touching. Like it finally makes sense. Where previously The Wall has seemed so ludicrous millstone here it takes its proper spot. Waters has never (really) been embarrassed by it, but plenty of his fans have.
It’s interesting, too, to note the impact of the original movie. Waters has his issues with that film and with its director Alan Parker. Parker has all but disowned the film, but there in the final Trial scene we have the animations from that movie – so amazing at the time, and a little cringe-inducing when you’re fully grown and have watched it over and over, sure. But there was just something that worked about taking this all in in this way.
Millions of Floyd/Waters fans can’t be wrong right? Well, it’s not just that.
This concert film shows an at-peace Waters relishing the role of entertainer/performer and somehow, possibly by fluke even, there’s an added prescience to this dramatic work of his; as a document he’s revisited across the years this feels like the definitive reading. And there was some comfort to take in that.