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The Valley (Obscured by Clouds) (1972)

La vallée (original title)
| Drama | April 1977 (USA)
Filmmaker Barbet Schroeder explores themes of sexual freedom, mind alteration, and pursuit of paradise against the backdrop of an early 70's encounter with the Mapuga rain forest tribe in upland New Guinea.

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(screenplay), (dialogue) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Jérôme Beauvarlet ...
Yann
Monique Giraudy ...
Monique
...
Olivier
Jean-Pierre Kalfon ...
Gaetan
Valérie Lagrange ...
Hermine
Bulle Ogier ...
Viviane
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Storyline

Viviane, a French Consul's wife, is in New Guinea to find exotic feathers for export to Paris. She encounters four European travelers who are en route to "La Vallée": The Valley, high in the Guinean mountains, is shown on maps as 'Obscured by Clouds' and is beyond their previous experiences. Viviane joins their trek to find rare feathers and soon becomes entwined in their journey. Their extended stay with the Mapuga tribe brings a denouement between western and indigenous values before their final quest toward the 'Valley of the Gods'. Written by Neal Wells <nealypie@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

April 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Valley  »

Filming Locations:


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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

| (5.1)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The soundtrack to this film was released as a Pink Floyd album. Due to a spat with the film company after filming was complete, the Floyd decided not to mention the planned film title, "La Vallee," in the album's title and instead chose to call the release "Obscured By Clouds," echoing a line of dialogue from the film. In response, "Obscured By Clouds" was added as a subtitle so it could gain from Pink Floyd's popularity. This turned out to be a good move as Pink Floyd would soon gain even more fame with the release of "Dark Side of the Moon" just a few months later. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: [V.O] In the heart of New Guinea, one of the world's largest islands, the Australians discovered these mountains in 1954. No roads lead to them. They are inaccessible. We are above unexplored regions. They are not on the map or more precisely, they are shown only as white spots. It is the unknown.
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Connections

Edited into Hell of the Living Dead (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Free Four
Written by Pink Floyd
Performed by Pink Floyd
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User Reviews

Pink Floyd, Hippies, Natives, and the Truth.
6 February 2001 | by (Northampton, Ma) – See all my reviews

The Valley is not for everyone's taste but is still worth a look. Sometimes looking like a cross between Jimi Hendrix's Rainbow Bridge and National Geographic, the Valley pretty much centers on the same themes of the former although it exhibits a much more lucid character development, not to mention poetic discourse. The Valley brings up many ideas of its era: free love, mind expanding drugs, psychedelic music, and ontological excursions. However, the foremost point seems to be a clash between the first and last cited, and sometimes presented sporadically.

The film follows a girl who latches on to group of hippies on an expedition for the `Valley obscured by Clouds.' Her primary motive is to collect rare feathers for her husband in France, but she inevitably falls in love with two of the hippies. Amongst their infidelities and hypocrisies, the group manages to find aid with a friendly New Guinea native tribe who slaughter pigs and perform ritualistic dances. Finally, the group makes their way back on the path, but do they?

Although somewhat slow at moments (i.e., the group's interaction with a peaceful African tribe) the Valley primarily has a steady pace; however, this minor flaw is (!) obscured by the beautiful cinematography and scenery. I enjoyed a large percentage of this film (especially the incidental music composed by Pink Floyd) but the ending a bit abrupt, a quality that may upset some viewers wanting more. Nevertheless, the Valley is still a great film with a beautiful story and beautiful images.

Note: about the music, if you're looking for another Pink Floyd album in this movie, forget it! As mentioned above, it's purely incidental and few of the Floyd's songs are in this film. Go buy the complete soundtrack in the stores.


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