Bob Geldof Goes Off at ‘Pink Floyd the Wall’ Screening: ‘I Was Just Embarrassed Every Day by How S–t I Was’

Camerimage 2023: The Live Aid legend joined Lifetime Achievement DP Peter Biziou for a rollicking Q&A

Bob Geldof and Peter Biziou discuss the making of "Pink Floyd the Wall"
Bob Geldof and Peter Biziou discuss the making of "Pink Floyd the Wall" (Photo: Katarzyna Rybarczyk)

Torun, Poland, is a quiet hamlet nearly three hours from Warsaw, and one of the hallmarks of the yearly Camerimage Film Festival—celebrating the best and brightest in the world of cinematography—is how tranquil and non-dramatic it is.

Until this year, that is.

After a not-having-it-at-all “Ferrari” star Adam Driver’s slyly profane rejection of a dopey audience query got the internet all hot and bothered, Boomtown Rats frontman and Live Aid mastermind basically Bob Geldof said “I can top that!” with a much more profane, much more indicting and all-around hilarious roasting of not only himself, but the film he was there to support: Alan Parker’s visually innovative 1982 rock opera “Pink Floyd the Wall,” one of several retrospective screenings celebrating the career of Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Peter Biziou, an Oscar-winning director of photography.

Of his performance as Pink in the fever-dream film based on Pink Floyd’s legendary 1979 album, Geldof minced not one word. “David Bowie is not a good actor. Sting is not a good actor. Bob Geldof is definitely not a good actor,” adding that this is the first time he has been able to view the film in many years after a few aborted attempts.

“I was just embarrassed every day by how s–t I was,” Geldof added, even while holding a special award created by the festival just for him. “I don’t like looking at myself, I don’t like listening to myself, I don’t like hearing myself. The last thing I want is see myself on the side of a building.”

Bob Geldof in "Pink Floyd - The Wall" (1982)

He also proceeded to state the reason for taking the gig (to take a cue from a popular Pink Floyd song…”money”) and that he a major fan of the rock band, while conceding that “Comfortably Numb” is “brilliant” and “Another Brick in the Wall” is aces as well. He was, however, not a fan of the shooting process, in which he endured a cut on his hand in the scene where Pink demolishes a hotel room (the take is still visible in the final film) and spent hours dealing with a “tiny c-ck” as a result of time spent in a cold swimming pool for one key scene in the picture.

His best memories of the film were working with the late director Parker, who passed away in 2020, and the soft-spoken Biziou, who has become a lifelong friend, even joking about how the latter is “very old and deaf” when Geldof became his de facto Q&A interpreter at the post-screening session.

Geldof expressed his regards for Pink Floyd bandmembers David Gilmour and the controversial Roger Waters (“I do not agree with him politically at all, but I can be friends with people I don’t agree with,” he added) but admitted he’s never really known what the film’s modus operandi is and was basically seeking a reprieve from musician life.

Geldof also mentioned the upcoming London play based on Live Aid, his global sensation fundraiser from 1985, and that there is an Imax version in the works. He stressed the importance of activism and staying vigilant on matters of homelessness and humanitarian efforts.

Biziou’s work—including screenings of his impressive lensing on films such as “In the Name of the Father,” “The Truman Show,” and his Oscar win for “Mississippi Burning”—will continue to show through the end of the Camerimage Festival on Nov. 18


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