Live At Pompeii

Pink Floyd

After seeing Pink Floyd's Live At Pompeii over 25 times on both the big and little screen, the last thing I needed was a DVD. I already have a bootleg, isn't that enough? But when it was announced that the Director's Cut of Live At Pompeii was coming to DVD, that changed everything. I had to have it. After watching it, however, I was left scratching my head, pondering over how the extra edits and NASA space footage inserted by director Adrian Maben in what was originally an abysmally slow-moving film made it exasperatingly different. I dig all the black and white stuff with the band sitting around, eating oysters, playing footsy, and recording "Echoes." But if you memorized each and every frame during those midnight movie festivals like I did, this director's cut could be interpreted as a blatant mutilation and sour defacement of a superb piece of cinema.

Once you get past that, the pros definitely outdistance the cons. For one, the DVD is remarkably inexpensive. Two, the picture and sound have been revitalized up to 21st century standards. And third, the original film is stashed under the Features menu. Quite frankly, if you need any video of Pink Floyd, this is the one to own. For the uninitiated, there's something be said about having two versions of Pompeii. Either way, you get Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Rick Wright and Nick Mason performing some of their most ambitious and challenging music before Dark Side Of The Moon turned them into a massive commodity. Whether in the studio or among the ruins of Pompeii, Pink Floyd exuded a special brand of magic that no one has been able to successfully emulate. Watching Live At Pompeii makes you realize that 30 years ago, the possibilities seemed to glide on an endless rainbow fraught with imagination and intensity that doesn't necessitate intervention.

~ Shawn Perry

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