Electronic Awakening Movie Trailer

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Director Andrew Johner has created Electronic Awakening - an interesting look at the relationship between music and religion from the viewpoint of electronic dance music and it's creators and fans. The trailer looks impressive. Let's face it, something like this could have produced a cheesy block of hippy clap trap but this looks really well produced and involves a number of respected orators and luminaries from the scene. Looking forward to the full release which has been made easier by the generous donations of many people through a kickstarter project. For more information visit the electronic awakening website.

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Posted on 27.7.11 by PsyAmb TAG : | 1 Comments ( ADD NEW COMMENT )

Top Psychedelic Movies Of All Time

Here is a run down of my favorite top psychedelic movies. I've tried to keep this list to the best trippy movies that are purely psychedelic or include psychedelic scenes and motifs.

I have not included trippy films of a more surreal nature as I feel that would deserve its own list outright. If you have any other recommendations for best psychedelic movies please comment here and let me know what else is worth seeing or any opinions you have on the psychedelic films listed here. Let's begin...

01. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Fear And Loathing in Loas Vegas Los Psychedelic MovieFear and Loathing has one of the best trip scenes of any drug involved movie I 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

psychedelic movies fritz_the_cat_poster-vhs-coverFritz 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. As far as animation goes it's one of the trippiest movies ever.

03. The Trip

psychedelic movies the-trip_poster_fondaDirector 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

top psychedelic films pink-floyd-the-wall-movie-poster-vhs-dvdPink 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

best psychedelic movies VHS_yellow_submarine-beatles-poster-dvdAnother 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

great psychedelic movies films top best Holy_MountainSit 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 species, is shown in transformations of their shape and colour.

08. Altered States

trippy films altered-states-dvd-top-psychedelic-movies-torrent-hurtEver 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 goa-trance albumn. 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.

09. Barbarella

barbarella poster dvd vhs cover top psychedelic movies best trippyA voluptuous outer space agent sex-kitten travels to another galaxy in search of a missing inventor in this science fiction send-up. Barbarella (Jane Fonda), an interstellar representative of the united Earth government in the 41st century, is dispatched to locate scientist Durand Durand, whose positronic ray, if not recovered, could signal the end of humanity.

Outfitted in an array of stunning Star Trek/Bond girl outfits and cruising around in a plush, psychedelic spaceship, Barbarella travels to the Tau Seti system and promptly crash-lands. She then spends the rest of the film discovering the joys of interstellar sex with a keeper of feral children (Ugo Tognazzi), a blind, beatific angel (John Phillip Law), and an inept revolutionary named Dildano (David Hemmings).

Brilliant psychedelic set designs, spaceships and sexy tight sex kitten cat suits ! Great stuff ! A remake was planned some year ago to be directed by Sin City's Robert Rodriguez. Last I heard these plans had fallen through due to the production costs.

10. Easy Rider

top best psychedelic movies easyriderClassic 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

the doors movie poster cover trippy movies all timeIn 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 movie poster coverThe 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

koyaanisqatsi movie poster dvdAn 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. Renegade ( a.k.a Blueberry )

Psychedelic westerns are few and far between. I wish there were more, I love spaghetti westerns and anything psychedelic so combining the two is just pure win-win.  Renegade is a French movie adaptation of the popular Franco-Belgian comic book series Blueberry, illustrated by Jean Giraud (better known as Moebius) and scripted by Jean-Michel Charlier.

The film starred the French star Vincent Cassel as the title character along with Michael Madsen and Juliette Lewis. Although the film is a French production, the language of the film is in English because the story is set in America's Wild West in the 1870s. Since the character of Blueberry remains obscure in the States, the film was released on DVD in America in November 2004 under the title Renegade and marketed very much as a conventional Western.

The film is best remembered for its animated sequence of a entheogenic trip. The movie features several elaborate psychedelic 3D computer graphics sequences as a means of portraying the main characters' shamanic experiences from his point of view.

Jan Kounen, the director of the film, drew upon his extensive first hand knowledge of ayahuasca rituals in order to design the visuals for these sequences, Kounen having undergone the ceremony at least a hundred times with Shipibo language speakers in Peru. The 3D animated sequence in this is one of the best trip portrayals in psychedelic movies you are likely to see.

15. 2001 A Space Odyssey

2001 A space odyssey odessy film posterNow , 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.

16. Enter the Void

enter-the-void-poster-image-psychedelic-movie-dvd-tokyoEnter 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. This is purely a visual experience, don't expect a great film per se - just trip out on the global neon candy scapes.

17. Fantasia

fantasia_poster psychedelic movies top best1940. More than 70 years ago. And still one of the top , perhaps the top, psychedelic animated films ever made. The third feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, the film consists of eight animated segments set to pieces of classical music conducted by Leopold Stokowski, seven of which are performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra.

One can only speculate on the true psychedelic intent, if any, behind the movie. However, many a teenage stoner will tell you that Fantasia and mind enhancing drugs go together like peanut butter and jelly. Hmmm... munchies.

These days it is quite popular to discover what music synchs with Fantasia. Much like people do with Pink Floyds's music synched to the Wizard Of Oz. Disney, never one to miss out on a quick buck or two, jumped on the 60s hippy cashcow and re-imaged the movie in the late 60s with a very different promotional poster including magic mushrooms and "blow your mind" catchphrases.

18. Dog Star Man

Avant-garde filmmaker Stan Brakhage has labelled his 1963 film Dog Star Man his "cosmological epic." This virtually indescribable film was released in a prelude and four parts. These were not titled but dated instead: Prelude, 1962; Part One, 1963; Part Two 1964 and so forth.

While toiling on this project, Brakhage also managed to finish The Art of Vision, derived from Dog Star Man leftovers, and wrote the script for Metaphors of Vision. If you're looking for a plot, you've come to the wrong filmmaker.

If you're looking for a fascinating mosaic of images combined to "interpret" the creation of the universe, then Dog Star Man will be right up your alley. A creation myth realized in light, patterns, images superimposed, rapid cutting, and silence. A black screen, then streaks of light, then an explosion of color and squiggles and happenstance.

Next, images of small circles emerge then of the Sun. Images of our Earth appear, woods, a part of a body, a nude woman perhaps giving birth. Imagery evokes movement across time. This avant-garde approach to film-making certainly isn't popular, even among cineastes who take film seriously. However, it's still an effective film, even if neither hide nor hair could truly be reaped from it.

There we have it ! All of these films are available on DVD lists now I believe so hit up your favorite DVD store for some real trippy treats. Youtube and IMDB are also worth investigating for some previews, samples etc.

Posted on 6.7.11 by PsyAmb TAG : | 69 Comments ( ADD NEW COMMENT )