My first approach to Pink Floyd was more than 20 years ago, because my father bought a Laser-disc (vinyl type, 2 sized audio and video, previous to the DVD) of Pink Floyd’s live concert “Pulse”. From that time to now, I have become a big fan of Pink Floyd’s music and spirit.
Regardless the fact that I recommend everyone to see Pink Floyd’s “Pulse”, this time I want to talk about another epic masterpiece of the band.
“Pink Floyd live at Pompeii” is a concert documentary film directed by Adrian Maben, which features the band playing in the ancient Roman Amphitheatre in Pompeii, Italy. The concert was shot in 1971 and released in 1972. Years later, in 2003, Maben (director) released a DVD version of the footage re-mastered with additional audio/video material.
The DVD starts with space shoots from the Apollo space program and visual space effects which slowly start fading combining with the intro of the song “Echoes” being played by the band live in the ancient Amphitheatre. As the band perform, we can see images of nature surrounding the place, perfectly placed with the music.
A perfect combination of nostalgia, colors and a deep journey about how music was understand and created more than 40 years ago.
The director’s cut version includes recorded interviews of the band, explaining their creative process during the recordings sessions for the big seller album “The Dark Side of the Moon” (1973) on Abbey Road Studios.
We could see the band talking about their music, drugs (regarding their good friend Syd Barret, former Pink Floyd musician) and even a funny reflection about oysters.
“It’s all extensions of what’s coming out of our heads”, as David Gilmour (guitar and vocals) said, is one of the many phrases the band said in their interviews, regarding the use of the analogue synths and guitar FX for their compositions.
One of the special moments is the trance moment in the song “A Saucerful of Secrets”. It’s a chaotic song, full of anger colors, with a repetitive and accelerating drum beat, in perfect combination of the screaming guitar FX and the aggressive piano. Roger Waters (bass, vocals) is doing percussion in this song, and experimenting the peak moment when he goes and hits the gong (which the director makes the analogy with the sun). This epic shot is the cover art for the material. The song then continues with a beautifully contrasting peaceful melody, which breaks all the chaos.
“ (…) There was this silence (…) this is the place where the Pink Floyd would have to be, because Pompeii has a lot going for it. It has death, it has sex, ah… and it has something that is still living there, and pink Floyd in that Amphitheatre could bring the hole thing back to life”, words from the director Adrian Maben speaking about developing his idea for the film.
I still feel that sometimes I need to listen this masterpiece to feed my soul with all this colors and feelings. I recommend all of you to get comfortable, and watch this movie with high volume and let go your feelings.
Feel free to share here your opinion of the movie and/or suggesting me to review about any conceptual musical concert-film that you like.
Until next time!