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Lush, sensual, and aurally hypnotic, this renowned cult classic from Barbet Schroeder (Barfly, Reversal of Fortune, More, Maitresse) was shot by the legendary Nestor Almendros and scored by Pink Floyd. Set in the rainforest of New Guinea, a restless diplo
While The Godfather was making moviegoers an offer they couldn't refuse, La Vallée was wowing art-house crowds with its flower-powered search for paradise in the jungles of New Guinea. It's there that an adventurous diplomat's wife (Bulle Ogier), hoping to find the forbidden feathers of a rare exotic bird, embarks on a deeper, more personal quest when she encounters a makeshift family of hippies seeking an unmapped valley from which visitors are said never to return. Like the structurally similar cult films from its era (including Walkabout and Aguirre: The Wrath of God), La Vallée dazzled the post-'60s subculture with free-spirited adventure and enigmatic beauty, captured here through the peerless lens of cinematographer Néstor Almendros. The hippie vibe seems mildly dated but its sensual context is timeless, and a climactic encounter with the primitive Mapuga tribe retains an intense cross-cultural mystique. Pink Floyd's celebrated soundtrack is mostly heard as background ambience, but it effectively enhances the film's compelling atmosphere of mystery and expectation. --Jeff ShannonSee all Editorial Reviews
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Outer and inner realities begin to merge, eventually reflecting and enhancing each other in mystical parallelism. She becomes possessed by a sense of seamless unity between her self and her environment. Feeling herself flow into the world around her is a joyful reward that richly compensates for forfeiting every accoutrement of civilization.
Anyone expecting to see them giggling merrily over tropical drinks in a valley of palm trees and friendly monkeys is in for a rude shock. This is an honest film. Our little self-styled cult of postmodern zealots knows the price of following the inner path and they have prepared themselves to pay it fully. We do see their valley though we may not readily recognize it as paradise. The Valley obscured by clouds is the ultimate parallel symbol in this film of symbols: it is the undiscovered depths of ones being, and an enabling realm of detachment totally cut off from self-alienating civilizations. La Vallee marks a path by which one aspires to universal harmony through unfettered spiritual freedom.
Schroeder uses varying combinations of sound and picture as an expressive tool. As the story progresses, he steadily diminishes emphasis on words while increasing the importance of images. Conversations in rather bland settings dominate the first part of the film (excepting some rapt moments under the seductive spell of magic feathers). Gradually, visual elements gain prominence. The final scene is in the style of silent film, with only sparse dialogue inserted like a few lines of printed text in a Chaplin movie. Our experience of this shift from word-biased content to image-biased content is also Viviane's experience as she gradually reaches into parts of herself that are beyond words. This structural analogy lets us join her inner transformation through our eyes and ears, thus making the abstract seem real. It also unifies style and substance in a way that contributes handsomely to the film's focus and intensity. Every aspect of this film was created solely by movie professionals. La Vallee is an impressive example of the unique potential of their craft.
Those who would turn to this film mostly to hear Pink Floyd's music should buy the CD instead. Three years later Pink Floyd released Wish You Were Here which has a similar theme.
I give it a 3 star rating cause I'm a huge Pink Floyd lover. For me it was a "must-have; must-see". The movie is about a hunt for a valley that is some secret kept by the natives. A paradise if you will. Yet when they finally get there at the end of the movie, you don't get to see it. Done with the style of say.... "The Man Who Fell To Earth" with David Bowie. Difficult to watch with enough sex to keep you watching. I would recommend the movie to collectors, not those looking for a "good movie".
I would like to thank Amazon however for a timely delivery, and safe keeping of my product.