on 1 November 2008
The latest DVD release that all Floyd fans should get hold of is Eagle Entertainment's A Technicolor Dream DVD! It tells the fascinating story of the emergence of the Underground scene and features brand new original interviews with a chirpy Roger Waters, Nick Mason and other people who played a significant role in the development of the whole underground movement.
The DVD runs for over two hours and uses a vast array of excellent and rare video footage to tell a comprehensive story of how the underground scene developed, how the Pink Floyd came to be the house band of the underground - even if Roger apparently didn't even know what the underground was - and how the energy of the underground went on to push Pink Floyd onto the EMI label with their debut album Piper at the Gates of Dawn.
The story would not be complete of course without an analysis of Syd Barrett's mental struggles and him "moving away" from the commercial side of music which he apparently did not enjoy. Of course, Syd famously objected to playing on Top of the Pops because he felt it too commercial and one of his heroes John Lennon didn't have to play it!
The DVD has an excellent narrative and uses many rare video pieces to tell the story. This is fused together with modern day interviews with the likes of Roger Waters, Nick Mason, John "Hoppy" Hopkins who founded the IT magazine, Joe Boyd, Peter Jenner and more. Unfortunately, the Technicolor Dream performance by Pink Floyd on one beautiful 1967 summer early morning is not captured in any significant way but that does not take away from the fact that the DVD is an excellent and well put together documentary.
The bonus content on the DVD features three of Pink Floyd's first music videos from the 1960s, as well as several interviews with the likes of Roger Waters (18 minutes), Nick Mason (8 minutes), Peter Jenner (15 minutes), Joe Boyd (13 minutes) and Miles for just 3 minutes. The complete Floyd music videos are of Scarecrow (Pathe Newsreel from July 1967), Arnold Layne promo (Peter Whitehead, March 1967) and Astronomy Domine from Look of the Week from May 16th 1967.
Unfortunately the hilarious "Hans Keller Interview" with Syd Barrett and Roger Waters was not included in its entirety which is a shame. But the other bonus material makes up for it - especially Roger Waters rather amusing and animated interview!
In addition to the bonus content on the DVD, a reproduction of Mike McInnerney's famous poster for the Technicolor Dream all night happening has been reproduced. It is only the size of the DVD case itself so it a little on the small side. But it is a nice addition nonetheless.
The DVD sheds light on how these sorts of posters could come about as art students of the time were paid to go to university which afforded them the time to pursue other interests such as being a musician, making films or perhaps putting artistic skills to work by creating the clothes, imagery, art, light shows and other such creative efforts of the underground scene.
It is a truly excellent DVD! One for the Christmas whish list!
I picked this up as it was advertised as having music from `The Pretty Things' a great and very underrated band, and Pink Floyd (what can be said).
This documentary I have to say is much better that I was expecting a lot of archive material that I have not seen before from the 1965 poetry reading at the `Albert Hall' right through to the Technicolor dream in 1967.
Strong interviews from Roger Waters (surprisingly funny), Nick Mason (as dry as ever) and even Phil May of the Pretty Things (would like to have heard more), plus many of the key players from the 'Free School' mid sixties.
For Pink Floyd fans there is the addition of 3 1967 performances in full as bonus material, the Black and white `Arnold Layne' promo, the Pathe colour promo of `Scarecrow', and `Astronomy Domine' from the BBC.
To sum, an informative and more interesting than usual, approach to the music and times of the summer of love concentrating on the Free School.
on 1 January 2009
Found this by accident on here (Amazon is good for that sort of thing!), bought it, watched it... As I say in the 'title' the program is well put together and manages to squeeze in a fair amount of information told by the usual suspects. I appreciated the very small but nice detail of having real lightshow sequences in there and the interesting sound collages... Why not 5 stars ? The general story has been told many times by the same people and most of all the same footage appears over and over again. In a way it would be good for people to stop making documentaries about early Pink Floyd and the scene for a while until someone can come up with truly 'rare' and unseen or not commonly available footage. And there is a fair amount out there: B&W film of the Floyd at the UFO playing an incredible version of Interstellar, filmed by a german film crew as well as various short but wonderfully evocative bits and pieces that have appeared over the years in documentaries. B&W and colour Soft Machine at the UFO (which hardly get a mention at all in this documentary) amongst other things. The V&A have extraordinary photographs of lightshows with or without bands taken at various clubs. A new documentary full of these still or moving images would be such a treat ! The inclusion of the Pretty Things was an interesting aspect as well as the more prominent mention of lightshows, which were one of the truly original artistic innovations of the movement. As for unreleased Pink Floyd tracks, most fans will remain frustrated by the bands reluctance to release the many treasures that lurk in the archives of EMI. One thing to wish for would be the Oct 1966 version of Interstellar Overdrive released officially, cleaned up and remastered....one of the few things not in the hands of EMI....one day perhaps ! How about the full footage of the 14 hour Technicolour Dream shot by the BBC and others ? Anyway, apologies for the rant. Do get this DVD for a well presented and evocative introduction to the magic years that were 1966/67.
on 30 August 2011
This is a fascinating take on the birth of the Counter Culture in the UK and covers most of the important events of 1965 through to 1967 and the Technicolour Dream event that took place at Alexander Palace. It features rare footage fom the time and recent interviews with many of the important players who made it all happen. Some like Miles, Hoppy and Phil May have survived very well - others such as Kevin Ayers rather less so.
The problem is that the film also covers in great detail the story of early Pink Floyd, I suspect for commercial reasons. While the Floyd were undoubedly an important part of the underground this , as Roger Waters and Nick Mason very honestly admit , was in great part due to their having management that ensured they were in the right place at the right time , rather than because they were important contributors to the thoughts and philosophy behind the movement. Indeed Roger admits to knowing very little about the underground.
So , what we really have here is two stories - that of the Counter Culture and that of Syd Barrett era Floyd , the Floyd name being used to sell the less commercially viable story of the Culture. They are both interesting stories but I do feel that it makes the final film rather unballanced with Floyd appearing more important than they actually were - and before Floyd fans object (I am one!!) - in a cultural rather than musical sense. Indeed ironically most of the soundtrack to the film is actually provided by the Pretty Things rather than Floyd!
The film probably could not have been made without the commercial appeal of having Pink Floyd splashed across the publicity and while the Floyd footage is largely very familiar , the new interviews with Mason and Waters are of interest. So watch the film and then read the books by Jonothan Green , Miles and Joe Boyd to get the complete story of that most fertile time in British Culture
on 25 May 2011
well worth watching. anybody whom is a fan of 1960's underground culture,and pink floyd in particular,have a lot to watch in this. interviews with some of the key movers from the time (alas no barrett!) give great insight into the time. saying this,there is very little mention of some of the horrible violence that clouded the 14hour technicolour dream,so the view is somewhat jaundiced. it time was'nt quite as rosy as this documentary tells it.
on 1 June 2011
This DVD doesn't contain many complete songs but it does contain a very comprehensive documentary about the underground music and art from the mid to late 1960s, Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett are mentioned prominently as well as The Pretty Things and other bands such as The Soft Machine.
There is some great info about the music and art and fashion in the 1960s, some that I had not previously known about.
This is a good watch for a quiet Sunday afternoon.