When I was in high school the drug flick of choice for most kids was “Pink Floyd The Wall.” (Hereby referred to simply as “The Wall.”) This was the film to watch while high or tripping. Me? I found it boring. I always thought the best film to see while under some mind-altering substances would be “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” or “Under the Rainbow.” Not obvious choices, but if you’ve seen them, you know why I picked them. Neither of those have that great conceptual soundtrack, though, which is apparently why my unimaginative peers spent their time smoking a bowl to dancing hammers instead of chickens in cages.
I’ll admit that I’ve never taken in a movie while high or intoxicated. I’ve never seen the appeal. I have seen “The Wall,” however, and while I like the album, I find the movie to be incredibly boring to someone in a “normal” state of mind. Is it because I’m not doing drugs while watching it? Of course not, though I think my stoner friends would say different.
Movies that can only be enjoyed while screwed up are kind of pointless to those who aren’t on drugs. They seem disjointed and play like a bad student art film. To suggest that there is some higher meaning in them that can only be discovered through drugs is ultimately a cop out because for there to be some greater message, the film can’t be flawed in the first place. It’s like someone needs an excuse to get high, so they pop in the Floyd film. It may make them feel like they are above the moron who smokes a joint while watching “Everyone Loves Raymond,” but there really is no difference.
I believe all drugs should be decriminalized, and I don’t care if people do drugs … even while watching a film. I do, however, take offense to the fact that some people think certain movies need drugs to enhance the experience. Movies aren’t laser light shows. They are works of art that should be like a drug for the mind without any outside help. Movies like “The Wall” don’t need drugs to make them more enjoyable. They need good editors and better writers.
There’s a world of difference between “The Wall” and a movie like “Requiem for a Dream.” You can guess which I think is a more powerful and far superior film. It’s the one that doesn’t require intoxicants to get its point across because it is an intoxicant. I’ve known plenty of junkies in my time, and every one of them who has seen “Requiem for a Dream” says it’s damn close to what life is really like for them. It’s an experience they all know, while the Floyd film is just something to do while under the influence. I understand that the two films are trying to do two very different things, but “Requiem for a Dream” succeeds as a movie and as a drug trip, while “The Wall” only works if you’re on drugs. It’s not a drug, and that’s its main fault.
I don’t know what the new drug movie is for high school kids. I left that world behind years ago. I’m hoping, however, that it isn’t something as cliced as “The Wall.” My high school peers were worthless drones without an ounce of creativity, and I’m pretty sure most of them are selling insurance these days. That said, I have this message for today’s youth: Kids, if you don’t want to end up like my idiot classmates, and you just have to get high while watching a movie, watch something like “From Justin to Kelly” or “Pitch Black.” That shows moxie. “The Wall”? That proves you’re an idiot, and nobody likes an idiot. Especially not one who gets fucked up while watching Bob Geldof play actor. Now go rent “Clash of the Titans,” visit that creepy guy behind the liquor store, and prepare for a night of stoned fantasy bliss. Hey, it’s better than homework.
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Posted on December 2, 2004 in Features by Doug Brunell
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