So… you’ve been advised to stay indoors. Enforced time off seems like a dream in theory, but now it stretches out in front of you. How are you going to spend it? Well, your physical movement may be restricted for now, but that doesn’t mean your mind has to be.
To help you travel far and wide without having to go outside, we have compiled a list of 5 classic psychedelic films to watch from the comfort of your own home!
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
The novel on which this film is based, was written by cult hero Hunter S. Thompson. When you learn that the late Thompson’s ashes were shot into the sky by a cannon, atop a tower shaped like a two-thumbed fist grasping a peyote button, you might not be surprised to find out this crazy tale is based on true events. Set in 1971, directed by Terry Gilliam in 1998, this film follows writer Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp), and his attorney Dr Gonzo (Benicio del Toro). They travel from LA to Las Vegas to cover a motorcycle race, all the while consuming enough drugs to floor a rhino. Through hallucinatory visuals, in the already mind-bending set of Las Vegas, Raoul and Dr. Gonzo journey to the empty heart of the American Dream.
2001: A Space Odyssey
Kubrick’s 1968 classic. If you’re stuck inside, why not go to space…? Actually made before the 1969 moon landing, it will have you wondering if Kubrick could see into the future— or if the future based itself on Kubrick. From the much-parodied opening scene in which early man first uses tools, to sweeping shots of the spacecraft, to the psychedelic freak-out finale, it is a film like no other.
‘60s psychedelia distilled into 90 minutes. Loved by both tripping adults and kids alike, this colourful 1968 cartoon revolutionised animation, and is cited as an influence on everything from Pixar to South Park. It tells the story of Pepperland, a joyful place, under threat by The Blue Meanies, who hate music, love and beauty. Can The Beatles save the day? Perhaps with a song or two…
The Holy Mountain
Though definitely NOT for kids, this film does have links with Yellow Submarine. It was financed by John Lennon and Yoko Ono in 1973. Directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky, the film uses religious, occult and surreal imagery to tell a story that makes less sense, the more times you view it.
The Wicker Man
Also from 1973, (must have been a good year for psychedelics!) we are not talking the Nicholas Cage version here, pal. Uptight policeman Sergeant Howie, travels to a remote Scottish island to investigate reports of a missing girl. Upon arrival, he finds a bizarre and eerie community, filled with secrets, animal masks and naked dances. Paganistic imagery and ancient nature worship feature heavily. Although the climax is famous, it is no less shocking on first time watching. Perhaps a viewing of this will make you think twice before skipping through the daffodils this spring! (Useful for quarantining…)
We hope to keep you entertained during this time! For more to read check out our archive of blog posts!