La Vallée (The Valley) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

La Vallée (The Valley) Reviews

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January 29, 2017
While the story is quite weak the movie impresses for its settings and visuals and has a conspicuous documentaristic side. The native people are filmed with respect and without any attitude of superiority. The movie characters accompany us to meet an indigenous tribe by first leaving our western frame of mind.
August 21, 2014
Nice cinematography. No substance though for a film with potential. It's about finding paradise, but it has so many filler moments that the philosophical moments of which there are few, are completely lost.
May 13, 2013
"La Vallée" was Barbet Schroeder's 1972 follow-up film to "More" and is especially notable because of it's soundtrack music by Pink Floyd, a kind of trance-rock, later released as the album "Obscured by Clouds." It is the story of Vivian (Bulle Ogier), the young wife of a French diplomat, who while shopping alone for tribal artifacts in Papua/New Guinea meets up with Olivier (Michael Gothard) and a small band of (hippie) explorers who claim to be able to put her in contact with providers of the rare plumage of the Bird Of Paradise, which has been hunted to near extinction. Trafficking in the colorful feathers is illegal but a few are known to be still available in remote interior outposts. The hunt for the exotic and beautiful feathers is eventually subsumed into a greater search, when Vivian agrees to accompany the band of free-spirited wanderers into the mountainous interior of the island where the leader of the group, Gatean (Jean-Pierre Kalfon), hopes to find "the valley," a legendary, perhaps nonexistent, paradise from which he claims that, if it has ever been found, no one has ever returned.
Through the days of journeying, there are encounters with remote inhabitants portrayed (in improvised footage) by members of a real New Guinea tribe. Vivian is introduced to experiences of free sex, natural drugs, nature worship, and vague utopian philosophy that seems to involve mainly the shedding of all vestiges of western mores and civilized conduct. The obviously real slaughter of pigs for a collective aboriginal feast is a disturbing scene - it tells us the director was stretching for verisimilitude and gives us an indication that this fable is hardly a fairy tale.
As the group's exotic adventures continue, beautifully photographed by award-winning cinematographer Nestor Almendros, they climb ever higher into the mountains, first surrendering their land rover for horses, and then the horses for an arduous trek on foot. Eventually they are lost in mist on a clouded mountaintop, exhausted and without any remaining food and water. The film ends in a revelation which may be more mystical than real and as the pulsating Pink Floyd music plays us out, one is reminded of the old adage that the journey is sometimes greater than the destination.
I cannot call "La Vallée" classic cinema, but the use of exotic locale, the cinema verité style, and the symbolism of the story make this film a curiosity at least, that now, half a century on, reminds us of a time when turning on and tuning out was considered an act of brave artistic exploration.
½ October 28, 2012
The woodstock nation tripping out in Papua New Guinea, seminal seventies cinema.
April 27, 2011
Strangely hypnotic film in which nothing much happens.
February 15, 2011
Not a great movie but ne which brings back memories of my youth and finding my sexuality. The Pink Floyd album Obscured By Clouds (the movie's soundtrack) makes the movie better than it really is.
May 27, 2010
Not a very good movie... Great soundtrack though ;)
December 29, 2009
An improvement over Schroeder's More in almost every way. Still, the movie does get incredibly dull at times, especially during the festival scene.
Super Reviewer
October 16, 2009
Another movie that proves how stupid hippies are. The Pink Floyd soundtrack was highly underrepresented.
October 15, 2008
Visually stunning film that features a dipolmat's wife on holiday in New Guniea as she strays from her life and goes in search of a rare birds feathers. The photography is really gorgeous and the soundtrack provided by Pink Floyd, which turned out to be their Obscured by Clouds album, is awesome. The tribe scene is haunting and mezmerizing.
September 20, 2008
Definitely not everyone's definition of a great movie. That's fine with me.
Super Reviewer
July 17, 2008
[font=Century Gothic]In "La Vallee," Viviane(Bulle Ogier) is avoiding the boring life being the wife of the French Consul of Melbourne and its accompanying serial cocktail parties by working as a buyer for a boutique in Paris specializing in native arts. While browsing at a trading post in New Guinea, she accidentally stabs Olivier(Michael Gothard) in the foot with a dagger. He introduces her to his friends and to a rare feather which beguiles her. They are heading to a valley that is obscured by the mist which is in the general direction of where the feather came from. Despite the illegality of trading in rare feathers and the restricted land they are about to venture into, Viviane accepts the invitation to join them...[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]Written and directed by Barbet Schroeder, "La Vallee" is a spellbinding odyssey, both personal and geographical, with a perfectly ambiguous ending. The movie was made at a time when many people were leaving home to explore themselves and the world around them and this is especially true for Viviane who has a foot in both worlds, not totally comfortable with the people she is seeking to exploit. Uptight at the travelers' sleeping arrangements, she is immediately drawn to Olivier and have sex not long after meeting. These are explorers who are interested in parts of the world about which not much is known.(It is a specific arrogance of Europeans that if a white person did not go somewhere, than it does not count as having been explored.) The movie treats the indigenous tribes with great respect but I would have liked to have heard more from the other two female members of the expedition, Monique(Monique Giraudy) and Hermine(Valerie Lagrange).[/font]
July 13, 2008
I have no idea why the word "erotic" is so closely associated with this movie. Anywho, I loved the cinematography and... I don't know, there's something mesmorising about it. I agree with many criticisms, but I'm drawn in nonetheless. Plus, seriously, Pink Floyd. I wonder if it served as an inspiration for The Beach, hmm, maybe?
February 26, 2008
This would garner 1 star if it wasn't for Pink Floyd's sountrack and the beautiful settings and cinematography. Also, what's so erotic about it?
December 12, 2007
Only worth watching for the superb Pink Floyd soundtrack, which you can get anyway by listening to their Obscured by Clouds album. Actual movie is pretentious hippy cr*p.
December 3, 2007
Pink Floyd at their best. What a soundtrack. This movie was one of the influences that bought me to PNG for 12 years. It was every bit as exotic as the movie promised. Must have for any movie collector
November 20, 2007
Not such a good movie but... It pink Floyd's obscured by clouds
November 13, 2007
The cinematography is amazing and obviously the soundtrack. The acting not so much, but I vicariously enjoy it and am transported to a free-love Papuan garden of Eden, despite the cultural chauvinism and irritating hippy-ness of it all.
November 13, 2007
despite some lousy acting and a mediocre script, the context (glorious new guinea as the last frontier of back-to-nature idealism), cinematography and a stellar pink floyd soundtrack make this necessary viewing. oh, and this bird nerd can dig all those amazing birds of paradise. if nothing else, dig the mudmen sequence.
September 13, 2007
I need to watch it, because the soundtrack is "Obscured by Clouds", my favorite album of the Floyd
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