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La Vallée (1972)

Cast: Bulle Ogier, Jean-Pierre Kalfon, Michael Gothard, more...
Director: Barbet Schroeder
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Homevision
Genre: Drama, Foreign, France, Adventure, Erotica
Running Time: 105 min.
Languages: French
Subtitles: English
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Recently Rented By Ptaines

An early film by director Barbet Schroeder, La Vallée stars Bulle Ogier as the wife of a diplomat who embarks on a journey through the jungles of New Guinea in order to locate a rarely seen type of bird feather. During the course of her quest, she meets up with a group of free-spirited hippies who are seeking their own personal Shangri-la. She becomes involved in their alternative lifestyle; however, their idea world comes crashing down when they begin to interact with a local native tribe. Future Oscar winner Nestor Almendros' cinematography and the counter-culture attitudes helped make this film a success in art-house theaters. ~ Perry Seibert, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Unique, slow, atmospheric, and moody by larbeck August 18, 2003 - 6:14 PM PDT
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful
It took several years for this 1972 French film to make it to my home Dallas. It was the first foreign film with subtitles that I ever saw and that was a theater known for "adults" films. Seeing it now, it is a wonder what the fuss was about. Slow and atmospheric, it will disappoint those who crave action.

There are many more languages than French in the film and not all of the dialogue of the indigenous peoples is subtitled - but them the characters could not understand them as well. There are many scenes between the Westerners and the indigenous people that do not seem scripted at all. There is a feast and three pigs are killed for this feast. This film has *not* been endorsed by the SPCA. Such is life.

The Pink Floyd soundtrack is quite buried in the mono mix - you would do better to seek there album, "Obscured by Clouds", if it is Floyd you seek.

But as a parable of idealism vs. materialism, it excels. We have a French woman, wife of a diplomat, on a search for illegal feathers of endangered birds in New Guinea. She meet a cadre of freaks who inhirited a little money and are on a trek to one of the last unexplored areas, high in the mountains, marked obscured by clouds by the last map made by an aerial survey. They are convinced it hides Paradise. On this trek, they meet and try to connect with the indigeous people - people unspoiled by the ways of the captialist West.

This film is nothing like I have seen before or have seen since. It will not answer all of your questions but it will make you ask them. If you are a Republican, it will just bore you to tears and put you to sleep.

I love it.

It is a spase DVD - with no extras, a single mono audio track and subtitles. It is letterboxed and the source film is not prefect. Then neither is life.

I still love it.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 5.95)
22 Votes
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