If we think about films that have left our collective minds blown, and supremely confused it has to be Inception and Interstellar. Be it the intricate plot or the complex narratives, these movies left us completely bamboozled. But there’s a brand of cinema that is curated just to mess with our mind and it’s called psychedelic cinema.
Though it’s not that popular in India, places like Korea, Spain and France make some beautiful surrealist cinema that set your brain on melt-down mode. As famous Chilean director Alejandro Jodorowsky puts it: This brand of cinema makes you feel like you’re on LSD, without taking LSD.
Here’s our list must-watch psychedelic movies to give you an experience you won’t forget:
1) The Holy Mountain
Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Holy Mountain is a movie with multiple layers. It is a commentary on blind followers of religion, a commentary on human nature and how messed up our ideologies really are. After watching this movie, everyone has their own explanations on what the movie was about. There are no dialogues, just bold and sharp imagery that will leave you perplexed.
2) DMT: The Spirit Molecule
DMT is a chemical that is found in every living being on the planet. The movie explains how the government wants you to be told what is right and wrong through the media but DMT and other hallucinogens allow people to think for themselves and make them step outside the bounds of normal thinking.
It explains how a 10-minute trip can alter you as a person, forever.
3) A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
The world’s first Iranian vampire movie, this cult film begins as a drama, goes into the gore/thriller genre and in the end turns out to be a romantic flick. The brain-melting scenes in slo-mo will make you zone out and enter the beautiful world of surreal cinema.
4) Enter the Void
“Is this how the movie ends?” is the only thing you’ll keep asking yourself once you watch the entire thing. The movie revolves around acid and the hallucinations people have on acid. It’s a trip, quite literally.
5) Un Chien Andalou
This 30 minute-independent film made 90 years ago is now available on YouTube. The movie begins with a razorblade cutting an eye and leaves you with multiple questions once it ends. Some find inspiration in the movie that is a commentary of the unstable human mind, while some say it’s just random incidents thrown in together to look like a coherent plot.
The visuals are created by surrealist artist Salvador Dali. Need we say more?
6) Daisies (Sedmikrasky)
Made in 1966, this dark movie doesn’t really have a plot. It follows two female protagonists (a first for Czechoslovakia) as they travel and talk about the world with political undertones. The psychedelic imagery alongside a running commentary about how doomed our planet is will trigger some major existential crisis within your soul.
7) 2001: A Space Odyssey
This movie covers a voyage to Jupiter and it makes Inception and Interstellar look easy-peasey-lemon-squeezey. It covers topic as evolution, time and space loop holes, black holes and other pretty interesting subjects. What happened in the last 10 minutes has been discussed in various forums and everyone has their own explanations.
8) 3 Women
Touted as one of the most unusual and compelling films of the 70s, this masterpiece begins as a humorous movie on sisterly-love but then takes a turn so sinister, it will leave give you major goosebumps.
9) Requiem for a Dream
Starring Jared Leto, this movie shows people trapped in between their own addictions and has a very depressing ending to a very depressing movie. Seriously, if you want your kids to stay away from drugs, show them this movie.
10) Jodorowsky’s Dune
When Jodorowsky said psychedelic cinema makes you feel like you’re on LSD, this was the movie he talked about. It was so ahead of its time, that it could not be produced. The movie was never made but the documentary encapsulating the journey of Dune won several awards. If the movie was made, it would have been a cult sci-fi flick today and Star wars never would’ve happened!