The Wall

Arch 443/646: Architecture and Film
Fall 2009


The Wall 1982
Paprika 2006


Discussion Questions:

Please answer the questions below. Use paragraph form. Your answer should be around 400 words. Email me your responses in Word .doc format to: I will be posting these each week after the class. You should be prepared to deliver your answer in class -- but paraphrase, do not read it. There are 28 students and we can take no more than 1 hour and 15 minutes for our discussions.

Please reference other course films as indicated. If I have not indicated the use of other films, please feel free to include any that you think might be of significance to your question.


updated Saturday, January 9, 2010 12:41 PM


1. Matthew Barbesin

Compare the use of the manipulated "symbol" in Equilibrium and The Wall. Include reference to the use of animation for the symbol in The Wall. How does the animation of the symbol in The Wall play into a different sort of manipulation? Link this to the type of animation/manipulation we find in Paprika.

In Pink Floyd’s The Wall, the hammers are one of the symbols of the movie. The hammer insignia is used as a symbol of power and destruction by Pink when he becomes a dictator. The use of which is mainly satirical, Roger Water or art director Gerald Scarfe created it to evoke a feeling of aggressive, fascist power. It is also meant to reinforce the movies theme of isolation and alienation. By turning Pink into such a iconic Nazi-like figure, Waters subtly suggest that perhaps all wars and fascist ideas springs from a similar social cycle of disconnection.

The movie Equilibrium makes use of the Tetragrammaton, which is an occult mystic symbol, specifically from Kabbalism, or Jewish mysticism. The Tetragrammaton, or the Great Four Letters are the following: Yod He Vau He, and is the great and unpronounceable sacred word, YHVH. It was also used in Nazism to represent their ideology, which was totalitarianism. I believe the later was the connection in which the movie was trying to make.

In Equilibrium and in The Wall, the symbol’s iconography is blatant and is a clear reference to the Nazi Regime. Both movies deal with the idea of isolation a alienation. Equilibrium deals with it on a more public scale while The Wall deals with it on an individual scale.

The Wall does an incredible job with all of the animation. It is so powerful and it amplifies the movie much more. This movie combines many different aspects of art by putting together great music, awesome animation and spectacular filmmaking. The use of which is to differentiate between what is reality and what is not. The wall makes use of animation to capture scenes that would not normally be able to capture using regular filming.

Needless to say, in Paprika, the dream sequences are exquisitely and vividly portrayed. The pace is manic at times and dreams and reality often converge to confuse the characters and especially the views of the audience. However, the difference here is entire film is shot in animation, which could be the point that the director is making: that the lines between reality and dreams are so crossed that they is no difference.



2. Stephanie Boutari

Both Paprika and The Wall use the device of "The Show" in an unsettling or manipulating way (ie. we normally associate the circus and the stage show with something happy or positive). Why do you think this role of setting has been chosen and used this way? Do you think it is successful?


3. Laura Fenwick

Both Paprika and The Wall use the device of "The Parade" in an unsettling or manipulating way (ie. we normally associate the circus and the stage show with something happy or positive). Why do you think this role of setting has been chosen and used this way? Do you think it is successful?


4. Li Ting (Nora) Guan

The Wall makes use of a very wide range of lighting types throughout the live action portions of the film. Compare the use of lighting in this film to Equilibrium and/or Zoo, and comment on the inability of a fully animated film like Paprika to avail itself of this sort of cinematic device (ie. having to animate light in the frames instead). Does it makes its manipulations or presentations of film spaces better/different/worse?

Both of “Equilibrium” and “The Wall” used a wide range of light types throughout the live action portions of the film. The basic lighting scheme is a three-point system, consisting of a key light, a fill light, and a back light. There are also eye light, background light and kicker light, etc. By changing the intensity, diffuseness, position, and number of these lights, different effects can be obtained.

In Equilibrium, the use of backlighting is an effective technique to highlight silhouette of the body and separate the main character from the surroundings. This type of light suggests that the Cleric is powerful and is above the mass majority in the social order. The wall also uses same type of light when Pink strikes the wall alone. The light manipulates an isolated and lonely atmosphere. By choosing to build a mental wall between himself and the rest of the world, Pink lives in an alienated mental environment.  Another example could be the use of tones of light. In “Equilibrium”, the warm light is present in the underworld, while the cold light is used to emphasize the sterile nature of the Librian city. The sense crime’s room is full of colorful and textured materials. Warm hues fill the whole room with dusty air. The soft light control with the spacious quality present a place of antiquity and homey. On the other hand, the Librian’s citizens live in an identical, absolute symmetrical space with cold lighting. In “The Wall”, a grimy tone of light is used throughout the movie to emphasize the alienation and destruction of Pink’s mind. There are also moments of high contrast in the use of light effect. For instance, the scene of Pink’s mom resting in the garden under the sunshine is so quiet and relaxing. It is in high contrast with the cold backlight used as he leans upon the wall after finding out the affair of his wife. The use of light can effectively manipulate the atmosphere of the scenes.

“Paprika” is a fully animated science fiction film that creates light in the frames. There are both advantage and disadvantage of it makes manipulations of film spaces. A good animator often exaggerates the shape, color, emotion, actions as well as light. By making aspects of the motion “larger than life” more clearly communicates the idea of the action to the audience. The light is certainly exaggerated in “paprika”. For example, the bright end of the corridor turns into black after the detective kills Osanai. This creates a lot of tension of the action. However, it is surreal at the same time. Because animation is based on 2D instead of 3D, it lacks a sense of depth as well as detail. The light types vary throughout the movie, but the subtleness cannot be captured. To conclude, a fully animated film creates tension and contrast of story by manipulating the light in the frame, but at the same time it loses the detailed and subtle effects of light.



5. Matt Hartney

Which of the versions of the scream in The Wall gives us a clearer image of the manipulation of reality that is being presented? Whyor why not?

Both versions of the scream presented in The Wall serve to reinforce the dominant themes of the film, themes of distorted control structures, oppression, and revelation. They serve also to  underscore the hedonistic depths of madness to which Pink, the ‘human screamer’ and reclusive rock star, will sink. Both scenes present a view of reality in which consequence is either absent or hyper-present, distorting the viewers perception of which events in the film are actually real and which are conducted solely within the mind of the nihilistic protagonist.

The first sequence invokes feelings of desperation and imprisonment, as the viewer is brought further into the series of events that have formed Pink’s life. It is a culmination of the events of his childhood, and marks the first moments where a latent, dark side within Pink has begun to emerge. Conformity and control, presented in the form of schoolmasters, hammers, walls, and talking posteriors establish modern society as an authoritarian, fascist superstructure for the purposes of grinding away at human ingenuity in order to produce bland servant ‘pigs’ for the modern economy. The artifice of this society, the wall and the city, becomes a synecdoche for the population enslaved, screaming to be freed from bondage.   
If the first, animated scream is one of agony, the second scream, as performed by the protagonist, is one of liberation. The self indulgent rock, having destroyed his apartment (and nearly injured a groupie in the process), his guitars, and all the trappings of his success, hurls a chair through the window of his apartment and runs to the opening, clutching at the jagged frame. As his hand spills blood he screams into the night, before collapsing, catatonic from the realization that all he has lived has been a fraud. He emerges from this catharsis as a crazed dictator, eyebrows shorn and in full military address. This transformation realizes the dreams of the oppressor – Pink, the fragile artist, becomes the penultimate conformist, the fascist dictator.

In these respects, I would argue that both screams are equally valid, and serve to reinforce each other, the ‘one’ and the ‘other’. The film presents both the tragedy and sublime alienation of conformity, and as such, each of these scenes is present to convey these experiences, in the most rapturous of ways, a deafening scream.



6. Michael Hasey

Compare the use of the corridor in this scene in Paprika to the use of the corridor in the intro scene in The Wall. How are the respective uses of the corridor room type used to manipulate the realities of the film? How are these scenes either similar or different in setting up the emotion or anticipation of the audience?

The use of corridors in the films Paprika and The wall vary quite significantly.  In Paprika the audience is continuously brought back to a dream scene or ‘memory’ where a police officer relives his nightmare of shooting his best friend in a long red and orange hallway.  This scene, which is shown multiple times throughout the movie, uses repetition and visual distortion to create anxiety within the audience.  This anxiety is primarily created to dramatize the scene, allowing the audience to be caught up in its confusion and torment.  Although the audience anticipates some sort of resolution after the hallway scene has repeated for the second or third time, it doesn’t come until after the fifth.  By this point, disappointment and annoyance comes into play rather than the grand climax that the director hoped for.  The hallway scene in The Wall however, does the opposite.  The viewer is set at a very low perspectival level in a bluish grey hallway with doors on either side.  Crawling along the floor towards the end, a faint musical melody becomes audible.  Almost immediately, the audience recognizes it as a Pink Floyd song.  For fans and non-fans alike, this faint tune sets up the scene perfectly for the super star rock band, and creates a building anticipation as the music grows louder and louder.  Rather than repeating like the hallway scene in Paprika, it is only played once, bringing about stronger emotions and authentic satisfaction.  Personally and perhaps obviously, I find the use of hallways in Pink Floyd much more effective than that of Paprika.  Rather than being annoyed with the constant repetition and anti-climax like I had when watching Paprika, I was deeply satisfied with the way in which the hallway acted as a catalyst for the excitement and thrill beyond the closed door.



7. Richard Kim

The role of technology and its historical or futuristic references in The Wall and Paprika are quite different. How is each appropriate to the type of manipulated reality that it being presented? Cite external references (other films) that may have been referenced that would have influenced these films.



8. Clayton Lent


Compare the more abstract presentation of blood in (select scenes in) The Wall with the literal presentation of the same in Paprika. Why would the "live" film choose to "animate" the blood where the animated film would present it more realistically? Compare this to the blood sequences in The Shining where the red liquid gushes from the elevator doors.

Paprika depends upon a stark comparison between the dream fantasy sequence and ‘real’ violence. Blood is carefully introduced in such a manner that it is introduced in the presence of actual harm to the human body. This produces an effective shock, one that is essential to the narrative progression. If the danger of those who’s dreams are infiltrated was not properly established (with careful use of blood) the story would likely lose it’s interest. Blood is manipulated into representing mortal peril.

The Wall
presents blood as an object of speculation. It is a purposefully desensitized portrayal. Blood still represents the liquid of human life, yet in The Wall, life is questioned. It is a turbid story of a man’s painful life and his eventual disconnection from that reality. A barrier of ‘numbness’ grows between him and reality, and so in parallel blood is presented with cool conduct. Through foreshadowing it is expected, or it is presented as an inevitability. These aspects are best shown in the hotel room ‘fun with razors’ and the early world war first aid effort scenes, respectively. Blood is presented as fact of reality, benign to the point of uncanny.

Both Paprika and The Wall, use blood as an essential element in support of the ‘realities’ in the films. It is a universal element of human life, and holds specific meaning for every person. The two particular methods of presentation of blood described above are likely present in any introduction. Blood is frightening and strange. Neither of the films use blood in such a strong manner as The Shining. In the Sequence where a red liquid, presumably blood, explodes from an opening elevator it is both surreal and terrifying.  The massive volume of liquid shifts between horrifying and unbelievable. It is as if the blood from a Mayan ritual was gathered just to be loosed in order to scare the occupants of the hotel.

I have identified two methods of portrayal of blood in Paprika and The Wall, these likely do not constitute the extreme ‘poles’ of variance in the use of blood in film. Rather, they identify a relative scale of specific manipulation (or use for specific means). In The Shining it is as if this relative scale were blown up and thrown on the screen in the production of horror.



9. Kevin Lisoy

Compare the animated manipulation of The Wall (object) to the Parade in Paprika as destructive devices/sequences in the films. Do you think the use of animation helped or hindered the success of these sequences?

Both The Wall and Paprika use animation in different ways.  Although Paprika is animated in its entirety, the surrealism of the dream parade would not have been accomplished with real-life footage.  Both this parade sequence and the animated wall add another layer of depth to what each is portraying.

Looking into the wall animation in Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”, this sequence simply could not have been possible without the animation of the wall.  Since the reoccurring object is the wall, animating it brings it into another realm of analogy.  By manipulating the reality of the wall, the viewer is able to view it in much more interpretive way.  It allows the wall to represent whatever the film is attempting to show.  The advantage to this is that animation can be very finely tuned and not restrained by “real-life” forces.  The Wall without animation would obviously not have been the same.  Having a constant duality of reality and manipulated reality is crucial to the different levels of interpretation that The Wall presents.
In Paprika, the duality obtained by animation and reality is not the same, but animation is still an important element in the film.  The morphing characters of the parade could not be obtained as precisely as morphing animated characters.  The morphing characters do however allow the animated parade to take on another role that seems to be even more artificial than the rest of the film.  Since the parade represents the inner psyche/dreams of the characters, the already animated film takes the parade to a new level with a dynamic animation.

This move is a very clever way of dealing with a manipulated reality in an already manipulated medium, but I think it would be even more interesting to use “real-life” actors in the parade to reverse the role of realities.



10. Anne Ma

Both The Wall and Paprika make use of the "doll face", although in different situations. How is this simple image used to alter the reality presented by the space or the scene?

The dream-like state is an integral part of both films Pink Floyd The Wall and Paprika, although portrayed in different contexts. A similar representation used to emphasize a manipulation of reality is the use of the ‘doll face’. The Wall uses the doll face as a mask literally over a real person while Paprika uses the doll face as part of an actual doll. The underlying similarity between the two films is the fact that the doll face is existent within the dream-like state.

In The Wall, one of the two scenes in which the doll face mask is used is during the sequence for the song “Another Brick in the Wall” when the children sing about their unjust education treatment. The scene exists as a form of dystopia where the educator treats the children as one whole versus individual children each with their own unique personalities. The doll face mask acts as a facade to the reality of these individual children. The fact that real faces are not there anymore already evidently shows a manipulation of the scene. The second scene in which the mask shows itself is during the neo-Nazi rally. The doll face crops up midway during the rally when the crown goes wild. The scene exists not quite as a dream sequence but a hallucination of Pink in which his concert is converted into an assembly for neo-Nazism. Again the masking of real faces evidently shows a manipulation of the scene.
In Paprika, doll faces also appear in multiples grouped together. They are generally seen as a huge crowd forming a large Japanese style throne. In contrast to the similar blank expressions of doll masks in The Wall however, each doll face in Paprika shows different expressions and features. The doll throne exists as part of a lively parade in the manifestation of Shiba’s dream as observed by the team. Eventually when dreams start merging and dreams and reality merge, the parade of inanimate objects, animals, and cultural icons exists as a representation of dreams in general as its crossed over into the real world. The dolls are actually part of Himuro’s real life where he makes dolls as seen in his office. However, as he’s attached deeper and deeper into his own dream and that which is manipulated and controlled by the chairman, he becomes a doll himself and is lost within his dreams. The dolls serve as somewhat a transition point between what actually exists in the world and the dream world. They start relaying the subconscious thoughts of Shiba, for example with Tokita enters Shiba’s dream and finds himself surrounded by the dolls.
Both The Wall and Paprika use the doll face as a mask for concealing what is actually happening and thereby alters the reality that the audience sees of the films.


11. Xin (Emma) Ma

Compare the use of child like renderings in Paprika and Renaissance. How do they feed into the film devices? How could this be compared on some level to the inclusing of animated sequences in The Wall?

The quality of a child-like drawing usually provokes a feeling of incorruptibility. However, the contexts of both movies place these artifacts in a garish light of malice and fear. The cartoons also depict characters in the respective films, which introduces a duality in the way the audience might perceive a protagonist.

In Renaissance, the artist is not a child, but a stunted man, who is unable to express his emotions in a rational way, nor is there logic to guide his actions. The bright, primary colours depict a harsh reality which lacks gradient or tone, and illustrate the lack of depth in character‘s thought process.

The toys depicted on the walls of the corridor in Paprika lead Chiba to her first experience with the nightmare of the toy parade. They are also in stunningly bold colours, with no midtones. They foreshadow the forms of the toys the protagonist finds the the theme park at the end of the hallway and throughout the dream (and waking) states throughout the remainder of the film. The jarring contrast between one’s reactions to child-like drawings manipulates objects of innocence into that of evil, thus warping the audience’s sense of reality by destroying an idea of comforting origins. This method is especially effective in creating fear and anticipation in both films.

In Renaissance and Paprika, especially in the latter, it is interesting to note that the drawings were not created by children, but adult animators who produce their notion of a child’s drawing, infused with all the dark intention of the film.

The Wall uses animation in a similar way, which manipulates the impact of the ideas closer to the ambitions of the director due to the malleability of the medium (drawings rather than people). As the movie itself is highly caricaturized and imbued with symbolism, animated scenes were very productive to the creation of the overall vision.

All three movies deal with animation as an extension of the dream (some to a more literal extent than others), used to emphasize overarching themes and iconography in the movies in a more direct manner than would be otherwise possible.



12. Christopher Mosiadz

Describe the difference in both perception and impact of the "close view" as used in live action film and animation. Which do you feel is more successful? Why or why not?

The close-up shot is traditionally used in film to allow the viewer to enter the character’s intimate space, revealing certain characteristics and emotions that would otherwise go unnoticed from afar. This unnaturally close view intensifies feelings that the character is experiencing and allows us to feel sympathy for, and establish a connection with, the character in question.

The above screenshot from Pink Floyd’s The Wall makes very effective use of the close-up shot. The sequence begins with an extreme close-up of his wrist-watch, pan’s down to his hand to reveal the burnt out cigarette and closes in on his face where we begin to see flashbacks of riots and war. This scene successfully sets the tone and mood for the film in which we establish an emotional connection with the main character leading us into the film questioning his alienation and pain. This technique is continually re-visited throughout the film to maintain this critical connection with the viewer.

In Paprika, similarly, our sympathy for the characters increases the closer physical proximity the camera is to them. For instance, when we see Tokita about to break some bad news about the DC Mini to the Director, the camera zooms in on his face to reveal the beads of sweat pouring down his face, intensifying the tension and anxiety within the scene. The viewers begin to identify, more readily, with his situation when the close-up shot is utilized.

Another interesting technique employed in Paprika, with respect to the close-up shot, is portrayed in the screenshot above. The relationship with the character’s is intensified with the blurring of the background, distilling the action taking place in the foreground and making it that much more significant.

The close-up shot is also used, on the contrary, to instill fear or revulsion into the viewers if they are forced to be in close proximity with an already established hated antagonist within the film. For instance, at the end of Paprika the antagonist that is attacking everyone’s psyche is framed with a close-up shot, instilling a sense of revulsion because the audience wants to escape from the forced proximity that is cast upon them.

The close-up shot is the most successfully used in Pink Floyd’s The Wall because there is a distinct human side of live action films that cannot be easily re-produced in the style of animation utilized in Paprika. As human beings, we ourselves can relate more to less manipulated realities of live action rather than the detachment that most animated films pursue.



13. Tyler Murray

Talk about the use of children or child referenced elements in The Wall and Paprika and compare these to the role of children in The Shining and Equilibrium. How are children used as a device to manipulate realities?

In The Wall and Paprika child references are used to provoke and unsettle the audience through a perverse portrayal of innocence corrupted by evil. In this scenario the almost allegorical reference to child toys and youth is used to heighten and exagerate the abusive toll of the perpetrator of evil. In this way the instance example of a childhood reference can have a deeper reference to the rest of the movie, in the case of Paprika that innocence also refers to the world of the subconcious. For the wall, the reference is more direct but hits a vein deeper in the corruption of the education system, the government, and society on a whole. Comparing these movies to Equilibrium, and The Shining, there is still this reference to innocence, however in these cases that innocence is something that can be seen as a quality which is able to overcome the evil. In all movies the director attempts to leverage the innocence of a child to emphasize either its having been conquered or its triumph.


14. Brian Muthaliff

Compare the choices made in terms of the animated "threat" of nature in each film. Relate this to A Zed and Two Noughts and the significance of the snails.

There is something extremely effective when something fragile and innocent is manipulated to a point in which its preconceived idea is no longer legible. The Butterfly, an extremely fragile creature is turned into a mass of ‘blue’, engulfing everything it touches when multiplied. Similarly, there is an inversion of characteristic, when the two flowers portrayed in The Wall become violently aggressive as their relationship grows throughout the scene. These choices of representation bring into perspective an abstract view of the problems that arise through the respective films. The storyline in The Wall revolves around the dysfunctional relationships that exist with and around the artist. The mass of butterflies, I believe, speak to the obsession of control and power that drive the invention for viewing dreams, a conversion from an idea that began as something beautiful and fragile, into something uncontrollable.

As illustrated in the A Zed and Two Noughts, this same type of depiction presents itself as inevitability. The snails, tiny and insignificant, prove to be the figures of with most control. They’re singular objective, consume, speed up the process of decay, produces a cascading effect, inverting their role as small insignificant creatures to the culprits that ruin the project.

In all films, there is an inversion of the insignificant to something of great power as an abstract representation of the major problems that exist within them.  



15. Adam Schwartzentruber

In both Paprika and The Wall the buildings come to life. Is one style of animation more effective at making this a believable manipulation in the plot? Or if the the style, is one transformation more comprehensible?

I find the most comprehensive style to be the anime quality of Paprika.

While both comprehensible, the humanistic and realistic human qualities of the characters in paprika give the viewer a continuous experience which they can understand as another world or reality.

The discontinuity of the animation in the wall, often lacking a human element, seems to make it less comprehensible to the viewer and requires more effort on the viewers part to engage the material being presented. The transformations which occur in Paprika, are more easily comprehensible for these reasons.

The style is quite different although I don’t believe a particular style of drawing or to a difference in comprehension here. It depends largely on a definition of style, which I would normally limit to drawing style, however if we include the style of animation there is quite an obvious difference.
The perspectives from which The Wall is shot are much less personal than Paprika. This means that many shots lack a human element in them, or are taken from perspectives which are devoid of realistic portrayal. This makes the audience slightly disconnected from the story of the film. This disconnection or less realistic portrayal/sequence is not less comprehensible as segments, but rather more difficult to comprehend as a whole since their story is not intertwined and attached by common characters compared with Paprika.



16. Sam Sutherland

Live action and animated films both use extreme angles of view in creating their scenes. Which strikes you as more effective in presenting a manipulation of reality? Reasons?

In the case of live action films, such as The Wall (or at least the live-action sequences of this movie), extreme angles usually act as a means of communicating emotion, usually emotion that could generally be regarded as “negative”. Extreme angles usually indicate that something is not as it should be. Perhaps this is because the human eye does not naturally perceive the world in extreme angles, and when an extreme angle is captured on film, we automatically know that it is in some measure “unnatural”. No one would film a normal wedding ceremony with the camera tilted to one side, for instance, but they might film the detective walking into a room where he is about to discover a crime scene on an angle. Generally, theatre-goers are very used to this technique today. It’s one of the standard filming techniques. It’s not particularly innovative anymore, and its use merely indicates that one is a literate filmmaker.

In animation, however, extreme angles mean a little more. Since they are more difficult to do in animated films (they require greater dexterity from the animators), they serve to heighten the quasi-reality of the animated world. People-notice, in other words, when an extreme angle appears in an animated movie. In an animated film, extreme angles are more effective at manipulating the reality, making it seem more realistic even though the characters may be obviously cartoons.



17. Joon Yang

Why do you think the director has used the preoccupation with the TV as a central theme of the film?

The director portrays Pink’s preoccupation with TV excessively, because it either shows his isolated and disturbed state of mind to the viewer, or reminds him of traumas in the past.

First significance of TV in the film lies in reminding Pink of his memories, specifically about the war. As he watches the TV that portrays military environments, he sinks back into his memories of the past. He finds himself in deserted place ruined by war, transformed into a small boy. Then he, as a little boy, travels through his traumatic memory of not being able to find his father after the war, at train station full of returning soldiers.

Second significance of TV is that the way Pink watches TV, shows his state of mind that is disconnected from outside. When he discovers about his wife’s infidelity and brings a young girl to his room, he is isolating himself without showing any notices about outside world. His sight is only focused on TV screen. However he is not focusing on the contents of TV, either. The significance of TV does not lie in the fact that he is watching it, but in his mere staring at it. Meanwhile, the TV screen continues to project images and sound. In a way, TV is a representation of Pink’s state of mind, isolated and disconnected, in two ways. First way is done through Pink’s attitude towards watching the TV, where the TV almost becomes a mere excuse to not interact with outside world. He is staring at the TV, but he is actually going through his own chaotic thoughts in his head. This shows when he completely ignores the girl while watching TV. It can be assumed that he is actually thinking about his wife’s infidelity instead, without caring about the girl, nor the TV. Consequently, in a moment he suddenly bursts into anger and physical violence. He destroys everything around him, and eventually throws the TV out the window. It shows that he has been obsessing over his own chaotic thoughts in his head while staring at the TV, and finally the built up anger exploded. The second way the TV represents his state of mind is through its character and role as a projection screen. Like Pink, TV does not properly interact, receive or communicate to the outside world. The TV has its own contents (thoughts) and it merely projects it. No matter how fresh or interesting the content is, it can be argued as outdated because the content already has travelled such great deal of time and space in order to get to the viewer, and his surroundings. It is also irrelevant to the viewer, regardless of how interesting the content is, because it does not communicate with him. It only projects what it has got to show. Such character is shown when Pink is floating in swimming pool while the TV is continually projecting in a messy room. Regardless of the audience, whether there is a whole crowd, or none at all, the TV does the same thing. It is ignorant of its surrounding and does not interact with it, which is a lot like Pink’s state of isolated mind.



18. Ryan Yeung

Compare the portrayal of "live" violence in The Wall - the flashback war scenes (close up) versus the scenes with Pink. Which felt more emotional? Why?

The flashback scenes of World War II primarily manipulate reality using violence to show the horror and the pain suffered throughout.  In the flashback sequences, we understand and expect this grand portrayal of violence and suffering. The idea of bloodied soldiers and ditches of corpses are anticipated with a scene on World War II. The violence exhibited by Pink, however, are more sudden and unexpected. It is startling when Pink goes ballistic and trashes his entire room. Additionally, when Pink is shaving, there is an anticipating thrill of whether he would cut himself or more importantly whether he would commit suicide. This use of violence is more thrilling and represents the idea of isolation and insanity.

Comparatively, there is a difference in the expected and unexpected portrayal of violence in the film. The portrayal of “live” violence in The Wall, in the flashback sequences, is more ambiguous and less impactful. For one, the scene is clichéd and though this is an older film, our modern eyes have seen for more emotional war scenes, especially with violence. More importantly, it is ambiguous in who we are supposed to be feeling for. It is not understood that it is Pink’s father who is in the war, and who dies in the war until after the opening sequence. In the end, the flashback sequence is a scene of confusion for the most part.

On the other hand, The Wall is a story of one character, Pink, and his development through the themes of isolation and insanity. The scenes with Pink are fundamentally more meaningful and thus more emotional since the story is all about Pink; we form a connection in understanding Pink’s journey in breaking down the Wall. The scenes with him thrashing the room after finding out his wife has had an affair are understandable and we begin to feel for him.

It should also be mentioned that the animated sequence with the German eagle depicting World War II, for myself, was the most emotional because it depicted the idea of fear and dystopia very well. The large ugly monstrosity that transforms into a stronghold where thousands of planes come out and bomb the world is an idea that is very frightening. However, this I feel is unrelated to Pink’s emotions and understanding the character development of Pink, and is therefore a different theme altogether.


19. Ashley Wood

Compare the effectiveness of Pink's dream sequences in The Wall - "live action" versus "animated". Is one version more effective than the other? Explain.

Pink’s dream sequences in The Wall are conveyed in two mediums, “live action” and “animated”. Of these two sequences the animated dream sequences convey a stronger sense of effect. This potency translates with a higher level of strength as it illustrates the fine surrealism which is parallel with the state of dreaming. The graphic art of the sequences begins to build on the rich emotion, imagery and sound that is the dream.
Dream as a state is often represented within film as a direct and straight forward representation of the characters tribulations. As in The Wall the dream sequence rivals the emotional state which Pink is doused with, his childhood and his current wallowing. The sequences with this dreaming push at the morphology of the depressed state and convey moments of absolute haze and dissolution.

The morphing state and changes in the animated sequences begin to push Pink into the collision and turmoil of his inner emotions. The dream as a clear conveyor of this turmoil is also deeply embedded with the notions or alienation, isolation and a very real sense of not being in control of ones own actions. The flower scene is an early indication of this uncertainty and vicious change that is so prevalent to the dream. The sequences describes the sensuality and magnetism between man and women. Barriers, twisting, turning, chasing, a waiting for connection and then the sudden change to the death, danger and contempt of a the cut flower, wounded relationship or damaged ego. It is in these powerful abstract notions of the dream that convey the emotions of Pink and the potency of the animated sequence.

The last scene depicting the trial of Pink illustrates the clear disillusion of the dream in its effectiveness as a animated state. The surreal figure, a giant spread pair of legs speaking out of the anus, summons the metaphorical wall to be destroyed and the relinquish of Pink’s isolation.

In the dream states that Pink experiences, the animated sequences appear to prevail as a stronger notion of engagement towards an exhibition of the alienation which Pink is experiencing. The surreal nature in which these animated sequences are exhibited by far rival the live action sequences and leave to view with a stronger memory of the animated.



20. Giovanni Comi

The basic setting with the TV and chair seems to reappear continuously throughout the latter part of the film The Wall. How are these simple furniture items able to create an effective manipulation of the realities presented in the film?



21. Miklos Csonti

In this particular scene contrasting angles of view are used. Comment on the purpose and success of this in setting the mood for this event.

The contrasting angles of view create a juxtaposing sequence between a chaotic and an organized world.  The low angle views are generally framed at a slight angle to the floor.  This creates a distortion of the room, which along with the clutter of stuff in front of the camera shapes a very chaotic and seemingly uncontrolled setting.  The high angle views on the other hand reveal that the clutter of stuff which seemed to be simply scattered over the floor are in fact highly organized and deliberately placed pieces of carefully selected items.  These two distinct methods of framing the scene are interchanged several times and the effect created due to their juxtaposition is a reflection of the uncertainty the audience has of Pink’s motivation for his rearrangement of the room.

At this point in the film it is very difficult to assess the mental status of Pink.  The sequence takes place shortly after his outburst in the hotel room during which time he destroys anything he can get his hands on.  Shortly afterward he confronts the wall that has been isolating him from the outside world but it seems that he is too late; the wall won’t budge.  It is directly after this confrontation that we find Pink back in the hotel room attempting to piece together and organize the mess he created.  It almost seems that he has become self-aware of his isolation and is trying to once again regain control by restructuring the hotel room with symmetry; a symbol of perfection and control.  However the nature of his attempt is so bizarre that we become unsure whether he is truly getting better or whether he is simply developing an obsession which would become a sign of his ultimate disconnection from reality.

The song playing during this sequence is the latter half of ‘Is There Anybody Out There?’ lending a very tranquil and peaceful undertone to the scene.  This effect, however, combined with the highly contrasting methods of framing the scene, along with the actual content, renders the sequence to be unbalanced and irresolute.  We are left with a sense of hope yet we remain unsettled.  In the end the scenes leaves us with no clue as to what direction his mental health will take; unfortunately the subsequent scenes leave us no doubt.



22. Joel DiGiacomo

Both a "real" and an animated verson of this sequence are used. Are both necessary? Is one better than the other? Is one or the other more effective at arousing emotion? Explain.

In the ‘making–of’ video, the director states that this film is about a man’s journey into insanity. As the animated version of this sequence comes far later than the live–action version, it stands to reason that the film–makers decided to use animation to represent that insanity, or in other words, a further distancing from reality. It was useful to use both in contrast with each other to signal the lead character’s (Pink) degrading mental state. In the first sequence, what at first could be ‘real’ turns out not to be. In the second, the whole sequence is obviously a fantasy. In this vein, of course, one could argue that the live–action segment packs a more powerful emotional punch than the animation, since it is more unnerving to realize what might have been real isn’t, rather than knowing it was a dream all along. The youth rally scene, for instance, would have been much less effective as an animation. Having two versions of the same scene is different though. In the larger context of the film, seeing as many of the elements in the animated sequence have already been expounded, their revised representation gains effectiveness through association and contrast. The teacher, for example, is now much larger, greener, and more violent than ever before, and the force with which the sausaged children are expelled from their grinder is now much greater. This serves to indicate, of course, that now things are much worse in this guy’s mind.


23. Alejandro Fernandez

A very different attitude towards mirrors is presented at the beginning and during the film. How does this use of mirrors reflect cinematic devices that we have already seen used this term, and is is presenting something new in its alteration of the realities presented in the film?

In the film, The Wall, the director, Alan Parker has used mirrors to capture the tension between the individual self and the collective self.  The main character of the film, Pink, struggles with the trauma of his fatherless childhood, and suffers the oppression of society and the loneliness that it brings.  In the beginning of the film we see a triptych shot of Pink looking in the mirror, as a boy, wearing his father’s military uniform.  This use of mirrors suggests that Pink is trying to understand who he is and make peace with the death of his father.  It also may represent the triangulation of the self as represented by mother, father, and son, since at this point we are learning about Pink’s childhood.  Later on in the film, we see Pink trash his apartment and destroy a number of mirrors.  This section in the film is a cathartic representation of his rage and anguish.  Pink cannot reconcile his existential grief so when he breaks a mirror it is an attempt to shatter the image of all that haunts him.  The image of the self, through the mirror is fabrication of society and culture.  Pink never chooses to be born into a society at war, in this case the Second World War, where his father died.  Thus, the destruction of the mirrors at this point in the film marks the theme of revolt and highlights the revolutionary legacy of WWII.  Pink refuses the image of his self which as been shaped by the circumstances of his life in society.  In the act of breaking the mirrors and in the scene where Pink passed out in front of the television we understand that he is willing to destroy all of himself in order to break with the manipulated images of self.  The mirror is a fascinating cinematic device that has many uses, especially when it applies to the representation of self.  In the Shining, Kubrick films a scene of Jack using a mirror and presents the audience with the notion that he has changed.  By filming the scene with the mirror, Kubrick suggests the manipulated image of Jack as he descends into the madness that drives the horror in the latter part of the film.  The mirror as an idea, reflects a perfect image but as a reality – manipulates the image, with its imperfect surfaces.  Where Kubrick uses the device to highlight the unsettling transformation taking place in Jack, Parker uses the mirror to stand for the manipulated identity of self in a society of isolation.  If the ‘Wall’, which is destroyed at the end of the film symbolizes the destruction of the collective self, the mirror symbolizes the destruction of the individual self.



24. Tania Fuizie

Compare the impact of the musical soundtracks for The Wall and Paprika on the success of the presentation of the material in the respective films. How does each support (or not) the manipulation of reality? Consider as well the balance between the role of the music (and lyrics) and the spoken word in the film.

One of the most important and visible features of the Paprika is the parade which its first appearance in the movie is confusing but as the movie goes forward, it became an inseparable factor from the whole story. The parade is shared in everyone’s dream and acts as the symbolic point where dreams and realities got mixed and manipulated through time. The Parade soundtrack which goes along the parade scene is composed of many different musical instruments and sounds and noises in the background which perfectly matches the origin concept of the parade as it is presented in the movie. It completes the graphic in traveling between reality and dream. Not only this soundtrack, but most of the music which is heard throughout the movie, have the same impact. Especially I think adding some touches of the Japanese music and vocals to the soundtracks which is not regularly heard in west, supports the character of the movie in manipulating the viewers mind.

Talking about the Wall, I think is a totally different story. The wall is not like regular movies which have some soundtracks to fill the gaps between the dialogues. Instead it is a music which is accompanied by some graphics. The music here is not following the routine form of movie soundtracks which are usually created or adopted from the existing written songs for escorting the course of the movie. The graphics have been created to support the music and to clarify some concepts in the whole story of The Wall. There is also a very little amount of spoken word in The Wall movie which I think perfectly supports the objective of the director and the Pink Floyd which is to create a movie out of the famous album of The Wall.



25. John Lee

There is only one animated sequence in The Wall where live action and animation come together. This technique was relatively new in 1982. Do you think that this helps or hurts the idea of the film?

In the making-of featurette, Gerald Scarfe, the film’s animator, describes the film as “a study of the alienation process.” As such, this scene is important to The Wall in that it represents a climactic moment of Pink’s isolation and insanity.

Far left, Gene Kelly with Jerry Mouse.
Left, Julie Andrews with animated characters in Mary Poppins.

Animated sequences, especially when combined with live-action sequences, have long been used to symbolize a departure from reality, before and after The Wall. Films such as Anchors Aweigh (1945), starring Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra, and Mary Poppins (1964), starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, effectively used animation to introduce an element of whimsical other-worldliness.

The Wall, of course, uses animation to portray a much darker story of distrust and alienation. However, as the animation in Anchors Aweigh and Mary Poppins offered a departure from reality into the world of imagination, Scarfe’s animated sequences in The Wall illustrate Pink’s increasing isolation from reality.

As the scene in question is the only one in The Wall in which live-action and animation intersect, it represents a climactic moment in the isolation of Pink. Preceded by flashbacks of Pink’s overprotective mother, the discovery of his wife’s infidelity, and driving away the groupie and trashing his hotel room, we clearly see his distrust of women and, as he cowers in the corner at the end of the sequence, his complete isolation; as the animated, highly sexualized flower morphs into a preying mantis and attacks Pink, we see his self-victimization and despairing loneliness. The combination of live-action and animation here makes these issues highly personal, directly relating Scarfe’s haunting animations—which, according to director Alan Parker, allow us to see “dark corridors that we might not have explored comfortably”—with Pink.

Therefore, this scene, by merging animation with live-action, is successful in heightening the highly personal nature of the film, underlining Pink’s loneliness and representing a climactic moment in the “alienation process.”



26. Raja Moussaoui

Both The Wall and Paprika play with dream sequences and some very confusing relationships between different presences of "self". Is either film more successful in explaining this with their respective techniques. (The scene presented here from The Wall is the only one where the past and present versions of Pink are seeen in the same scene.)

“The Wall” and “Paprika” both show the transformation and evolution of each of the main characters as they develop through out each of the films. The focus of “The Wall” is on the main character Pink, from his development as an unhappy child to his ultimate mental breakdown in his adulthood. This development is illustrated through many iterations Pink’s ‘self’; him as a child, losing his father to the war and living with an overbearing and neurotic mother, to him as an adult, with a failing marriage and eventually a crazed drug abuser, to a dream/fantasy sequence/hallucination of himself as a Neo-Nazi leader.

The character development in “Paprika” focuses on the character Doctor Atsuko Chiba, who has an alter ego, Paprika, who appears in the dream world. In this film, the two selves are very distinct from one anther. Chiba is a mature, serious adult, while Paprika is childish and playful. Chiba is has repressed feelings and is often angry, Paprika is carefree and cheerful. It is only when the dream world and the real word collide in the film that the two personalities are freed from one another. The turning point of Chiba’s character is when she adopts certain humanistic attributes from Paprika’s personality, and finally admits her love for her closest ally, Doctor Kōsaku Tokita.

I believe that “The Wall” was more successful in its depiction of the evolution of its character in order to give real substance to the question of ‘self’. We are told much more about the nature of the character and the circumstance which lead to his progressive breakdown. “The Wall” presents us with numerous live scenes and dream sequences which provide symbolic and literal evidence of situations where the character of Pink felt alienated. Through the depiction of his many selves, we see the progression of what culminates in him turning into his worst nightmare, a character who takes on a Hitler type persona, the same force responsible for the death of his father in the war.

The evolution of the ‘self’ of Paprika on the other hand seems much more one dimensional. Chiba is a repressed individual whose alter ego finally allows her to show her emotions and love. The dream sequences presented in the film are less effective in depicting the turmoil of the character as in the film “The Wall”. The transformation is not progressive but happens almost abruptly at the end of the film, when the two ‘selves’ part ways.

Ultimately, “The Wall” presented an interpretation of the idea of ‘self’ in a more stimulating manner, utilizing the circumstance of dream sequence to further develop the character study. In contrast, “Paprika” presents us with a much more literal interpretation of the same theme, with the dream sequences contributing little to the development of the main character.



27. Holly Young


Paprika can be characterized in general terms by using very bright colours. Renaissance is a purely black and white animation. The Wall uses a wide range of tonal qualities in both its live action and animated sequences. Comment of the capabilities of this range of use of colour in presenting a more theatrical feeling film.

In the three movies discussed here, Paprika, Renaissance and The Wall, colour (or lack thereof) is used as a method of removing the film audience from reality.  In Renaissance, we see things in only black and white (and – very rarely – grey, when conveying translucent materials).  Because we do not experience life purely in these shades, the world of Renaissance becomes a world apart from us, somewhere unfamiliar where our beliefs are suspended and we are removed from everyday experience.  Similarly, Paprika employs bright, saturated colours to achieve the same ends.  Although these types of colours are familiar to us (i.e. the bright red fire hydrant, the canary yellow school bus), we do not experience them in life the same way we do in the film: undiluted by depth and shadow.   Both these films use their colour palettes to remove their stories from our reality, and bring them into a sort of dream state.  Though Renaissance’s dream is one of dark shadow and intrigue, and Paprika’s one of frighteningly colourful intensity and possibility, both come across as compelling surrealist fantasies.

Pink Floyd’s The Wall is a little different than the previous films in the way it uses colour, as it not only makes use of both monochrome and bright colours for various scenes, but also incorporates those palettes we experience on a daily basis.  The latter is used so that we can identify with specific scenes (i.e. being ridiculed in front of the class by an elementary school teacher) and perhaps relate them to our own life experiences, and the former is used just as in the other two films, to remove us from this reality, revealing the symbolic intentions of the film and bringing us into the title character’s imagination.  In The Wall, the mix of relatable and ‘fantastical’ colour palettes is successfully employed to portray the mix of actual memory with unreal fantasy in the main characters reflection of his life and eventual descent into madness. 

The theatrical experience, by nature, is removed from the audience: taking place on a stage a certain distance away and making use of exaggerated motions, colours, and sounds in order to reach those audience members farthest from the action.  Because of this, a more theatrical feeling film would be likely to use bright, saturated colour palettes (as in Moulin Rouge), or black and white film (as in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari) to accomplish the same effect.  As theatrical productions are generally considered more ‘over the top’ than could typically be expressed with a more natural colour palette, it is an unlikely choice for a film in the same vein.  Of course, colour would be only one of many considerations (among set types, lighting, script, etc.) when creating a film in the theatrical style.



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