film – Psychedelic Frontier make the most of your dose Fri, 11 Jan 2019 12:00:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 48719013 Welcome to NYC’s Psychedelic Film & Music Festival Sat, 29 Sep 2018 12:44:28 +0000 Welcome to NYC’s Psychedelic Film & Music Festival

One of the most intriguing film and music festivals is coming to New York City, and it’s all about tripping: The Psychedelic Film and Music Festival is billed as “an ode to the exploration of altered states of consciousness created by music, art, film and psychedelia.” Its mission is “to explore the outer limits of consciousness with respect for others and the planet. To create a new paradigm for the adventurous.”

Highlights include a performance by psych-horror soundtrack musician Simon Boswell, a talk with ethnopharmacologist and botanist Dennis McKenna (brother of the late Terence McKenna), the world premiere of comedian Shane Mauss’s new film, Psychonautics, along with a post-screening discussions with Shane himself, and the world premiere of the feature documentary From Shock to Awe, about two combat veterans healing trauma with psychedelics. Check out the loads of other incredible films and performances on the festival website.

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Deleted “Avatar” Scene Shows Hallucinogenic Vision Quest Mon, 08 May 2017 12:10:15 +0000 Deleted “Avatar” Scene Shows Hallucinogenic Vision Quest

Did you know the script of James Cameron’s Avatar, the 3D blockbuster from 2009, originally called for a full-on psychedelic vision quest? The scene must have gotten cut fairly late in production, because it was filmed with live actors and animation had already begun. The CGI renders were left in a blocky, unfinished state, but it’s easy to tell what’s going on.

Titled “The Dream Hunt,” the scene is a fascinating glimpse into the spirituality of Pandora’s native Na’vi culture. The main character, Jake Sulley, agrees to take part in the initiation ceremony, in which he must take potent psychedelics in order to become a man.

“The Na’vi say every person is born twice,” explains Jake. “The second time is when you earn your place among the people — forever.”

A communal and deeply spiritual ceremony, the scene reflects a clear influence from indigenous medicine ceremonies here on Earth.

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“Room 8” — The Ending of this Short Film is Mind-Blowing Mon, 05 May 2014 11:41:17 +0000 “Room 8” — The Ending of this Short Film is Mind-Blowing

This 7-minute film blew me away. At  first the stark tone and lighting drew me in. Then things started getting trippy in Room 8 and I couldn’t look away.

It’s a fantastic film with echoes of Escher, Borges, Christopher Nolan, and Richard Kelly. (You probably know M.C. Escher and Christopher Nolan, but Jorge Luis Borges was an Argentinian writer whose incredible stories often featured mirrors, mazes, and infinity. Richard Kelly is the director of Donnie Darko and The Box, two very trippy movies.)

Definitely hit full screen and pay attention for this one.

Incredible as it may be, I don’t think I’d want to watch it while tripping. That drawer would haunt me!

If you liked this, you’ll get a kick out of Christopher Nolan’s student film Doodlebug, which probably influenced this work.

Continue reading “Room 8” — The Ending of this Short Film is Mind-Blowing at Psychedelic Frontier.

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Bungee Jumping Into the Godhead Thu, 30 Jan 2014 12:30:56 +0000 Bungee Jumping Into the Godhead

The vine has spread her tendrils across the world and a genuine archaic revival was underway. My bags were packed, South America beckoned, and the ancient mysteries of the rainforest awaited. I wanted in on it…

Rak Razam

I sat down with Rak Razam, the writer, producer, and main subject of the new film Aya: Awakenings, for a 45-minute interview covering everything from the legacy of Terence McKenna to the intense 5-MeO-DMT trip that occurs at the climax of the film.

The documentary, an adaptation of the book of the same name, covers the ayahuasca tourism phenomenon through the lens of Rak’s personal experiences in Peru.


The Interview

Stream it here or download the mp3.

Rak describes his film as an etheogenic journey for the audience:

There’s this synesthesia that happens in the film, where because of the narration taking you on the emotional left-brain journey, and the soundscapes and the visuals, it hits all the right spots of our sensory modalities and triggers a shamanic reaction.

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Endtrip, a Sublime and Disturbing Take on Death Tue, 12 Nov 2013 13:32:49 +0000 Endtrip, a Sublime and Disturbing Take on Death

This video will take you on one freaky journey. Some parts will remind you of Enter the Void, the DMT-dusted death journey from Gaspar Noé, but other parts are completely original. From the Vimeo descripton:

Endtrip is an animation short film in which we experience a breathtaking trip through the bizarre and fantastical unconsciousness of a drug overdosed girl. This visually stunning journey offers a glimpse into the extraordinary and strange workings of the mind.

Check it out (full-screen mode recommended):

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Golem, a cerebral short film about human culture Mon, 09 Sep 2013 16:23:18 +0000 Golem, a cerebral short film about human culture

Golem is a short film by Patrick Mccue & Tobias Wiesner. It’s hard to describe, but the filmmakers say it’s based on ideas of “freedom and curiosity, fear and security, abstraction and fiction, the lack of accessibility in face of unknowing and the need for generating meaning.”

Watching it, I couldn’t help but think of how very psychedelic these topics are — not because they’re “far out, man,” but because they are important. These are exactly the kinds of big-picture revelations that cross my mind while in a state of heightened awareness.

Thoughts like these–whether inspired by an intense conversation, a mind-opening trip, or a beautiful short film like Golem–can make everything else seem small in comparison. How can I get caught up in television dramas and other diversions when the grand themes of humanity are being played out? Golem, like a good acid trip, reminds me to think bigger.

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Mirror City, a trippy kaleidoscopic time-lapse of cityscapes Mon, 29 Jul 2013 16:10:06 +0000 Mirror City, a trippy kaleidoscopic time-lapse of cityscapes

Mirror City is a short time-lapse film showing five American cities like you’ve never seen them before. Filmmaker Michael Shainblum took footage of urban landscapes and reflected it at different angles to create the mind-bending kaleidoscopic journey below. Some shots are mirrored only 2 or 4 times, but others show 8 or even 16 reflections of a cityscape at once.

Filmmaker Michael Shainblum describes the video on the Vimeo page:

When I first started Mirror City, I wanted to create a video that was completely out of the norm. I wanted to showcase something unique and artistic, which takes Timelapse photography into a more abstract direction. Mirror City is a visual story through some of the great American cities: Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. These clips were all processed from their original form, into the kaleidoscopic visuals that you see in this video.

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The Chain of Destruction and the persecution of drug users Thu, 04 Jul 2013 01:14:49 +0000 The Chain of Destruction and the persecution of drug users

It’s almost Independence Day in America, and millions of people will celebrate this weekend with backyard cookouts, fireworks, and time with  family and friends. But please take a minute to consider the people in America and abroad whose freedoms have been revoked because they committed the non-violent crime of drug possession.

The War on Drugs is a war on people, most especially poor people and minorities. It the modern version of a witch hunt.

Eugene Jackecki’s documentary The House I Live In discusses the American War on Drugs with refreshing candor. This seven-minute segment covers the “chain of destruction” which occurs whenever a society ostracizes and persecutes a particular group of people. It happened to witches in colonial times, to Jews and other “undesirables” in Nazi Germany, and it’s happening to recreational drug users today. Certain parallels always emerge. The five stages in the chain of destruction are Identification, Ostracism, Confiscation, Concentration, and finally, Annihilation.

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Tierra Vida: An Ayahuasca Journey Mon, 01 Jul 2013 19:18:29 +0000 Tierra Vida: An Ayahuasca Journey

There have been a flurry of ayahuasca documentaries lately, but I think this one takes the cake. In 2012, Alex Ward lived out of a backpack for 8 months, participated in over forty shamanic ceremonies, and went exploring “far beyond the veil of reality with Ayahuasca.” A freelance artist and filmmaker, Alex was originally looking for artistic inspiration to spur his creative pursuits. But as he puts it, “I got a little more than I bargained for.”

Lucky for us, he made a short (26 min) video testimonial about the experience and what he learned from it. Check it out! Alex’s voice is hypnotic and even the music by The Fossil Club is sublime.

Alex has also produced a whole series of testimonials featuring the likes of Rick Doblin, Simon G Powell, and others called The Psychedelic Dialogues. You can find more of his work on his website, and connect with him on Facebook or Twitter.

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Three psychedelic Kickstarter campaigns fully funded Tue, 25 Jun 2013 15:30:57 +0000 Three psychedelic Kickstarter campaigns fully funded

Another sign of the times: three different Kickstarter campaigns relating to psychedelics have recently been funded! Alex Grey’s Entheon art temple, web magazine Reality Sandwich 2.0, and the film Neurons to Nirvana have all exceeded their fundraising goals in the last couple weeks.

The first is Entheon, the brainchild of visionary artist Alex Grey. The Entheon campaign made over USD $200,000, far exceeding the original goal of USD $125,000 and making it the second most funded art project in Kickstarter history.

So what is Entheon? According to the Kickstarter page:

For over 30 years, the art of Alex Grey has reached the hearts and minds of people all around the globe with its portrayals of the physical and subtle anatomy of individuals in the context of cosmic, biological and spiritual evolution…

Our plan is to build a permanent exhibition space for these iconic works of art, along with works from other visionary artists.

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