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6 July 1972: La vallée/The Valley (Obscured by Clouds)

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Jul. 6th, 1972 | 06:00 pm

"La vallée" was filmed in Papua New Guinea.

For an insight into the mind behind the film, see the interview with Director Barbet Schroeder on this site dedicated to "La vallée."

"The Valley ... fuses fiction and documentary with improvised dialogue. Made with just a crew of just 13, this road movie by land rover, horseback and on foot, set to Pink Floyd’s shimmering psychedelia, is very much of the period – and one in which the director gets to unleash his thoughts about ‘finding one-self’ in a post-hippy era."
Full review

Valley Obscured by Clouds cast and crew

The entire cast and crew of La vallée: Michael is on the far right.
Photo is from this site.

According to Gerry Cullen, who became friends with Michael Gothard while working as an extra on "Arthur of the Britons" in 1972:

"Michael had finished working on that when I first met him ... He talked about the film quite a bit to me as to how he felt very good about that film.

It was years later before I had had a chance to see it and once I did I could see why, I think the storyline and the character he played fit his view of life, a sense of risks and adventure, willing to do what it takes to find out what it is all about. It’s just my thought but I think that was what kept him feeling most alive.

It was a time of discovery for people willing to travel to really delve into a culture and take risks. I think "La Vallee" expresses that for Michael, and he liked that film very much."

Harold Chapman also spoke to Michael about ‘La vallée.’ He says: "In a recent film [released in July 1972 in France] which I was a bit puzzled over, and wanted him to explain, he was more or less playing himself, a man of VERY few words. He was leading a small band of hippies on a trek in a tropical landscape situation in search of something or other which I couldn't quite understand.

Mike explained this as, 'we were asking questions, seeking answers, and only found more questions'. Which I thought summed up the movie to me."

Michael’s former girlfriend N.B., who first met him in 1984, says:

'He didn’t like watching himself. I never got him to show me any movie he had worked in. From what he told me, I think he liked the film “Up the Junction” and “Arthur of the Britons.” And the French one, “La vallée.”

He wasn’t very good at learning new languages. He was o.k. with a bit of French (since he had lived in Paris for a year), but he rarely said anything in French and if so, he had a hard time to get the pronunciation right.'


IMDB entry

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