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Psychedelic Movies

Here is a run down of Goa Freaks favorite top psychedelic movies. We have tried to select and recommend you the best trippy movies that are purely psychedelic or include psychedelic scenes and motives.  
 
01. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Fear and Loathing has one of the best trip scenes of any drug involved movie ще have seen. Actually it is pretty much one long drug fueled crazy adventure. Who can forget the drugged out hotel check-in and reptile zoo bar ! The film has become a true cult smash and is sampled over and over again in popular culture from music, to art to just about anywhere psychedelic drugs are involved. Great acting and Terry Gilliam behind the controls. Awesome movie. This is bat country. A fine example of psychedelic movie making. One of the all time top movies to watch.
 
02. Fritz the Cat / 9 Lives Of Fritz the Cat
Fritz the Cat is a 1972 American animated comedy film written and directed by Ralph Bakshi as his feature film debut. Based on the comic strip of the same name by Robert Crumb, the film was the first animated feature film to receive an X rating in the United States. It focuses on Fritz (voiced by Skip Hinnant), an anthropomorphic feline in mid-1960s New York City who explores the ideals of hedonism and sociopolitical consciousness. The film is a satire focusing on American college life of the era, race relations, the free love movement, and left- and right-wing politics. Fritz the Cat is the most successful independent animated feature of all time, grossing over $100 million worldwide.
 
03. The Trip
Director Roger Corman had just had a big hit with his biker film The Wild Angels (1966) and The Trip was an attempt to further exploit the youth counter-culture market he had stumbled onto. Roger Corman was not the originator of the LSD film but The Trip was the most high profile in the brief fad for LSD films during the late 1960s. In this drama, Paul Groves (Peter Fonda) takes his first dose of LSD while experiencing the heartbreak and ambivalence of divorce from his beautiful but adulterous wife, played by Susan Strasberg. He starts his trip with a "guide," John (Bruce Dern), but runs away and abandons out of fear. As Paul experiences his trip, he wanders around the Sunset Strip, into nightclubs, and the homes of strangers and acquaintances. He considers the roles played by commercialism, sex, the role of women in his life. Jack Nicholson wrote the original screenplay. Corman encouraged Nicholson's experimental writing style and gives between 80 and 90 percent credit to Nicholson for the final shot script in the director's commentary appearing on the DVD of this film. Corman only slightly modified the story to stay within budget. Acid movies 101.
 
04. Pink Floyd : The Wall
Pink Floyd The Wall is a 1982 British live-action/animated musical film directed by Alan Parker based on the 1979 Pink Floyd album The Wall. The film is highly metaphorical and is rich in symbolic imagery and sound. It features very little dialogue and is mainly driven by Pink Floyd's music. The film contains fifteen minutes of elaborate animation sequences by the political cartoonist and illustrator Gerald Scarfe, part of which depict a nightmarish vision of the German bombing campaign over the United Kingdom during World War II set to the song "Goodbye Blue Sky". The film depicts the construction and ultimate demolition of a metaphorical wall, alienation. One of the best trippy movies ever.
 
05. Yellow Submarine
Another music based film, Yellow Submarine is a 1968 British animated feature film based on the music of The Beatles. It is also the title for the soundtrack album to the feature film, released as part of The Beatles' music catalog. The film was directed by animation producer George Dunning, and produced. The real Beatles participated only in the closing scene of the film, with the fictional counterparts of The Beatles voiced by other actors. The film received a widely positive reception from critics and audiences alike. It is also credited with bringing more interest in animation as a serious art form. Time commented that it "turned into a smash hit, delighting adolescents and esthetes alike". The animation of Yellow Submarine has sometimes falsely been attributed to the famous psychedelic pop art artist of the era, Peter Max; but the film's art director was Heinz Edelmann. Edelmann, along with his contemporary Milton Glaser, pioneered the psychedelic style for which Max would later become famous, but according to Edelmann and producer Al Brodax, as quoted in the book Inside the Yellow Submarine by Hieronimus and Cortner, Max had nothing to do with the production of Yellow Submarine. As far as classic animation goes its one of the best movies ever.
 
06. The Holy Mountain
Sit back.. Relax and get ready to roll. A film that screams "product of its time," The Holy Mountain was Alejandro Jodorowsky's dizzying elegy to the sex, drugs and spiritual awakening of the late 1960s and early 1970s -- a suitably bizarre follow-up to his El Topo (1971). Fascinating although it only fitfully makes sense, The Holy Mountain is beautifully shot and designed, and it suggests what might have resulted if Luis Buñuel, Michelangelo Antonioni, and George Romero had all dropped acid and made a movie together. A Christ-like vagrant and thief wanders through a perverse and unfriendly land until he encounters an enlightened one, who gathers the thief and six of the world's most powerful individuals for a spiritual pilgrimage. If that description sounds a bit sketchy, well, narrative isn't this film's strongest suit. But if you want to see the conquest of Mexico re-enacted by reptiles, soldiers shoot innocent people as birds fly from their wounds, and a wizard turn feces into gold, this is the movie for you.The central members of the cast were said to have spent three months doing various spiritual exercises guided by Oscar Ichazo of the Arica Institute. The Arica training features Zen, Sufi and yoga exercises along with eclectic concepts drawn from the Kabbalah, the I Ching and the teachings of Gurdjieff. After the training, the group lived for one month communally in Jodorowsky's home before shooting began. Jodorowsky was also instructed by Ichazo to take LSD for the purpose of spiritual exploration. He also administered psilocybin mushrooms to his actors during the shooting of the death-rebirth scene. The Beatles member George Harrison was intended to play the main character but he withdrew when he read in the script he had to wash his anus in front of the camera ! As far as trippy movies go - this takes the cake !
 

07. Fantastic Planet
FP is an animated sci-psych-fi film directed by René Laloux in 1973. The story is based on the novel Oms en série, by the French writer Stefan Wul. The film depicts a future in which human beings, known as "Oms" (a word play on the French-language word hommes, meaning men), are creatures on the Draags' home planet, where they are seen as pests and sometimes kept as pets (with collars). The Draags are an alien race which is humanoid in shape but a hundred times larger than humans, with blue skin, fan-like earlobes and huge, protruding red eyes. The Draags also live much longer than human beings – one Draag week equals a human year. Some Oms are domesticated as pets, but others run wild, and are periodically exterminated. The Draags' treatment of the Oms is ironically contrasted with their high level of technological and spiritual development. The film is chiefly noted for its surreal imagery, the work of French writer and artist Roland Topor. The landscape of the Draag planet is full of strange creatures, including a cackling predator which traps small fluttering animals in its cage-like nose, shakes them to death and hurls them to the ground. The Draag practice of meditation, whereby they commune psychically with each other and with different..

Psychedelic Movies part2

08. Altered States Ever had one of those "I've heard that sampled before !" moments ? Hallucinogen found a real treasure trove in this cult movie for his debut self titled гoa-trance album. The movie is a 1980 American science fiction-film adaptation of a novel by the same name by playwright and screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky. It was the only novel that Chayefsky ever wrote, as well as his final film. Both the novel and the film are based on John C. Lilly's sensory deprivation research conducted in isolation tanks under the influence of psychoactive drugs like ketamine and LSD. William Hurt plays Eddie Jessup, a scientist obsessed with discovering mankind's true role in the universe. To this end, he submits himself to a series of mind-expanding experiments. Quite a dazzling film for its time.
 
10. Easy Rider Classic stoner films don't get much more classic than this. The grand-daddy of all drug addled reflections on the 1960s counter culture. Easy Rider explores the societal landscape, issues, and tensions in the United States during the 1960s, such as the rise and fall of the hippie movement, drug use, and communal lifestyle. The protagonists are two freewheeling hippies: Wyatt, nicknamed "Captain America" (Fonda), and Billy (Hopper). Fonda and Hopper said that these characters' names refer to Wyatt Earp and Billy the Kid. Wyatt dresses in American flag-adorned leather, while Billy dresses in Native American-style buckskin pants and shirts and a bushman hat. The former is appreciative of help and of others, while the latter is often hostile and paranoid of outsiders. The movie's groundbreaking soundtrack featured The Band, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, and Steppenwolf. Editor Donn Cambern used various music from his own record collection to make watching hours of bike footage more interesting during editing.. Most of Cambern's music was used, with licensing costs of $1 million, more than the budget of the film !
 
11. The Doors In my experience people either love or hate The Doors, both band and movie. I give both band and movie two thumps up. It's not a great film but it certainly could have been a lot worse right ? Oliver Stone's homage to 60's rock group The Doors also doubles as a biography of the group's late singer, the "Electric Poet" Jim Morrison. The movie follows Morrison from his days as a film student in Los Angeles to his death in Paris in 1971, at the age of 27. Some people hate on the film because it only depicts the monstrous side of Jim's character. Director Oliver Stone said it best...."when you have to condense a person's life, a legend at that, into two measly hours you must take the highlights". Val Kilmer does an amazing acting job in this film. Should have been nominated for an Oscar if you ask me.
 
12. The Fountain The Fountain is a 2006 American romantic drama film, which blends elements of fantasy and science fiction, written and directed by Darren Aronofsky, starring Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz. The film comprises three storylines where Jackman and Weisz play different sets of characters: a modern-day scientist and his cancer-stricken wife, a conquistador and his queen, and a space traveler in the future who hallucinates his lost love. The storylines—interwoven with use of match cuts and recurring visual motifs—reflect the themes of love and mortality. Visually stunning, outstadning effects with a sublime soundtrack by Clint Mansell—the composer for Aronofsky's previous films Pi and Requiem for a Dream. Sadly the film was a box office flop. But then again, it was released at a time when the world was obsessed with the superficially of Paris Hilton. If you have a choice of spending your dollars on a Paris Hilton DVD box set or reflecting on that fact that everyone you love will die, most people will opt for the sugar.
 
13. Koyaanisqatsi An art-house circuit sensation, this feature-length documentary is visually arresting and possesses a clear, pro-environmental political agenda. Without a story, dialogue, or characters, Koyaanisqatsi (1983) (the film's title is a Hopi word roughly translated into English as "life out of balance") is composed of nature imagery, manipulated in slow motion, double exposure or time lapse, juxtaposed with footage of humans' devastating environmental impact on the planet. Forget trying to convince your friends how good this film is. Everyone seems to have a different take on it. What I can suggest is getting in the right "setting" . Turn off the lights, turn up the soundtrack , relax and prepare for a pure artistic experience. Mesmerizing trance like film-making.
 
14. 2001 A Space Odyssey Now , while more psy-fi than psych-fi , 2001 does include one of the most memorable trippy scenes to ever hit the cinema screens. Considering it was made with 1968 technology , that is some impressive stuff don't you think ? As the film climaxes, the main character takes a trip through deep space that involves the innovative use of slit-scan photography to create the visual effects and disturbing sequences of him noticeably stunned at what he's experiencing.. The colored lights in the Star Gate sequence were accomplished by slit-scan photography of thousands of high-contrast images on film, including op-art paintings, architectural drawings, moire patterns, printed circuits, and crystal structures. Known to staff as "Manhattan Project", the shots of various nebula-like phenomena, including the expanding star field, were colored paints and chemicals swirling in a pool-like device known as a cloud tank, shot in slow-motion in a dark room. The first time I saw this film I was, how you say, enjoying some of nature's bounty and this scene just about turned my head inside-out.
 
15. Enter the Void is a 2009 French film written and directed by Gaspar Noé, labeled by Noé as a "psychedelic melodrama". It stars Nathaniel Brown in his debut role, Paz de la Huerta, and Cyril Roy, also in his first role on film. The story is set in Tokyo and focuses on Oscar, a young American drug dealer who gets shot by the police, but continues to watch over his sister Linda and the events which follow during an out-of-body experience, floating above Tokyo's streets. Noé had tried various hallucinogens in his youth and used those experiences as inspiration for the visual style. One particular drug experience came later, when the director already was planning the film, and traveled to the Peruvian jungle to try Ayahuasca where it is legal. The experience was very intense and Noé regarded it "almost like professional research." Since few in the design team ever had taken a hallucinogen, it became necessary for Noé to collect and provide visual references in the forms of paintings, photographs, music videos and excerpts from films.

Psychedelic art and cinema

Psychedelic art, fashion, design and architecture were all contributed greatly to the creation of a psychedelic culture expressed in various artistic forms. Yet when it comes to reproducing the psychedelic experience, it seems that film and video had an altogether different potential. Psychedelic visions are after all not not static, buy dynamic and related to sound.
 
An effective use of moving pictures and a soundtrack can powerfully recreate elements of the psychedelic experience. This would appear to be part of the reason, why psychedelic film and video would achieve an even greater popularity than did the more static reproductions of the psychedelic experience such as art, fashion, design and architecture.
 
Already Huxley noted in his Heaven and Hell that the equivalent of the magic-lantern show of earlier times is the colored movie. “In the huge, expensive ‘spectacular’, the soul of the masque goes marching along” wrote Huxley. He was fascinated by various films with visionary properties, such as Disney’s The Living Desert and claimed that film has the power to create a “vision inducing phantasm”. Psychedelic elements have actually emerged on film already as early as the 1920s as could be seen in this short silent animation film from 1926 as well on Disney’s 1940s films Fantasia and Dumbo the Flying Elephant, which both contained elaborate psychedelic sequences, and whose chief visualist is reputed to have participated in Kurt Beringer’s mescaline experiments in 1920s Berlin.
 
The 1960s psychedelic genre of film distinguished itself through such films as “Psych-Out” (1968), “The Trip”, (1967), “Easy Rider” (1969) and of course the Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine” (1968) and Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey which was frequented in cinema by numerous tripping hippies who immensely enjoyed the closing hyper-psychedelic 30 minutes sequence.
And while the attraction and novelty of the psychedelic style seemed to diminish in the beginning of the 1970s, the attempts to recreate the psychedelic visual aesthetic on film kept evolving.
 
Experimental movie makers such as Vince Collins and Toshio Matsumoto explored psychedelic aesthetics throughout the 1970s, while new motion pictures introduced movie-goers to more elaborate and sophisticated cinematic renditions of the psychedelic experience, created about with the help of new production techniques and technologies in films such as Ken Russel’s 1980’s Altered States and Terry Gilliam’s 1998 version of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

But while these might seem as solitary examples, a far deeper cultural momentum was at work, advancing the integration of psychedelic aesthetic into popular culture. As I showed above, Huxley already noted the visionary aspect of commercial designs such as colorful printed advertisements or neon lights. As technology and media evolved side by side with late capitalism, psychedelic aesthetic and consumer society would find a common field of resonance.
 
Electronic media, which media theorist Marshall McLuhan described as humanity’s nervous system, and which Erik Davis called a technology of the self, would become a new and most effective form of consciousness altering medium. The visual properties of psychedelics, which expressed themselves not only through color but also through a new and more dynamic approach to video editing, would become integrated into the popular culture, while better, bigger screens and higher resolutions created a distinctly psychedelic hyper-real quality in many of the new clips and videos.

 

Read 1195 times Last modified on Sunday, 16 February 2014 10:23

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