“Everything you are going to be, you already are.” – The Dance of Reality
Deep within the rabbit hole of cinema, lives an abundance of psychedelic films that galvanize the imagination…capturing screenshots of the dream-world, and aesthetically articulating the astral realm of all potential. The work of these creators defies explanation, and can only be experienced to be understood.
Below, we’ve curated a list of 5 unforgettable psychedelic films that are deeply fascinating, and absolutely unforgettable (to say the least).
Must See: 5 Unforgettable Psychedelic Films That Defy Explanation *NSFW-ish*
Cat Soup (ねこぢる草 Nekojiru-sō): An experimental 2001 Japanese anime film directed by Tatsuo Satō, inspired by the work of manga artist Nekojiru. The surreal film follows Nyatta, an anthropomorphic kitten, on his travel to the land of the dead and back in an effort to save his sister’s soul.
Marquis: A 1989 French-language film, produced in Belgium and France, based on the life and writings of the Marquis de Sade. All the actors wear animal masks, and their voices are dubbed. There are a few scenes involving clay animation, and the Marquis’ talking penis named Colin. The film was a project by French cartoonist Roland Topor who earlier delivered the imagery for the animated cult classic La Planète Sauvage (1973). The tagline used in the US release was, “A bizarre tale of sex, lust, and the French Revolution.”
Funky Forest: The First Contact: An outrageous collection of surreal, short attention span non-sequiturs largely revolving around Guitar Brother, his randy older sibling, and the pair’s portly Caucasian brother.
Nêco z Alenky (Alice): In Czech director Jan Svankmajer’s surreal adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s classic children’s book, Alice (Kristyna Kohoutova) follows her stuffed rabbit through a portal inside her dresser to be whisked away to Wonderland. While the White Rabbit, Mad Hatter and Cheshire Cat are still present, the familiar magical world and bizarre characters have undergone an unsettling transformation in the director’s vision through the stop-motion animation of dead animals, puppets and other assorted objects.
The Dance of Reality: Cult filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky presents a fanciful interpretation of his childhood, set against Chile’s turbulent social and political environment.
In the YouTube playlist below you can watch the full versions of Cat Soup, Funky Forest, and Marquis – and also check out the trailers for Alice and The Dance of Reality!