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Pink Floyd: Learning to Fly (1987)

Pink Floyd performs in the music video "Learning to Fly" from the album "A Momentary Lapse of Reason" recorded for Columbia Records. A young man working in a wheat field sees a plane flying... See full summary »

Director:

Storm Thorgerson
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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Initially created as a backdrop film for when Pink Floyd played the track on their 1977 In The Flesh tour.

Director: Gerald Scarfe
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Cast

Credited cast:
Pink Floyd ... Themselves
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Storyline

Pink Floyd performs in the music video "Learning to Fly" from the album "A Momentary Lapse of Reason" recorded for Columbia Records. A young man working in a wheat field sees a plane flying and is moved by a desire to fly. Following a mysterious figure, goes to a cliff edge and ties feathers to his arms. He jumps and is transformed into a bird that soars over the land. Written by Shatterdaymorn

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music video | See All (1) »

Genres:

Short | Music

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Details

Country:

UK | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 September 1987 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Music Video See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Goofs

Stunt man's face visible when the young guy jumps to fly. See more »

Connections

Featured in 1988 MTV Video Music Awards (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Learning to Fly
Written by: David Gilmour, Anthony Moore, Robert Ezrin and Jon Carin
Performed by: Pink Floyd, David Gilmour, Richard Wright, and Nick Mason
Produced by: Robert Ezrin and David Gilmour
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User Reviews

 
An exciting and inspired flight of imagination
18 May 2017 | by Rodrigo_AmaroSee all my reviews

To achieve greatness and beauty with a certain sense of simplicity; to regain your once lost power and make it happen again but with some difference than when of your previous glorious state. This description applies to both this video clip and to Pink Floyd's career at that very moment, their first combined effort without the presence of Roger Waters and the whole controversy surrounding "The Final Cut" (mostly a Waters project, lawsuits everywhere and Gilmour and company got the band's name for use). As said many times by the band members when of their return to the musical scene with "A Momentary Lapse of Reason", they weren't confident with their music anymore, they knew that a change of sound and vision was essential for staying in the business but they also couldn't afford to lose their loyal fans they conquered in between 1960's and 1970's. Basically, it's a new start over, learning to fly with new wings in order to redefine yourself. Pink Floyd succeed it. It's a great album though criminally underrated - listen to "Terminal Frost" just so you can experience true beauty. This song was the one that brought them back to life and the clip was fundamental in presenting the band to a new generation (although "Another Brick in The Wall" part from Alan Parker's film became an official MTV clip).

Going for what matters the most, the video is very simple: a young man on a field, the sensations that comes his way and urge to fly inter-cut with a Pink Floyd presentation, this time a mega event filled with backing vocals, musicians and the three remaining band members. Storm Thorgerson's concept doesn't necessarily interprets the song, just its magic and main points. A spectacular cinematography that follows our lead character transforming into a bird while making a fatal leap is one of the most spectacular clip moments of all time, with an aerial shot that looks both frightening and amazingly beautiful. In several ways, the song and the clip are quite inspirational just as the band's trajectory which followed with another successful tour with "The Division Bell" which produced more Floyd clips - like the visual spectacle of "Take it Back" and the reflective "High Hopes". Another fun fact of "Learning to Fly" if my concept of a band coming back to life seems ridiculous, some say that Gilmour was taking flying lessons at the time - he's a licensed pilot actually - and all his learning moments were the basics for the lyrics. Perhaps.

"Learning to Fly" is a perfect match between image and sound, one that 30 years later doesn't look or feel dated, makes you believe in everything you see (by the way, the Floyd concert feels like a magical event, great lighting, colors and they followed this visual idea through their future tours after this), and what a magnificent way to make us imagine the flight of Icarus, as I'd like think this represents in parts (flying with feathers but with a different result). A couple of views and you're refreshed, inspired and getting a bright perspective of everything. Clips hardly ever achieve that. 10/10


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