5 movie moments that can induce Psychedelia

We’ve all been there, wondering what the ‘Hoo-ah!’ just happened…


All of us have been hit with movie moments that turned us into an epiphanic Homer


We want to focus on the moments in movies with a psychedelic bent…visuals that melt and mingle with explosions of colors…sounds that touch us with tentacles…restructured realities fitted in unforeseen dimensions…you know, the usual.

Here’s our pick:

  1. Enter the Void- Sexual visions and rebirth: This movie, if analogized with psychedelics, comes close to DMT in terms of the effects it has on the viewers. There are a number of intense scenes in the movie but the ending scenes which takes us into the sexual fantasies of all the people that the protagonist has met during his travels in the realm of the dead, and the final moment of rebirth is something you have to watch to completely comprehend.

  1. The Matrix- Architect’s speech: This was apparently supposed to explain the whole plot of the movie. All those of you in the same age group as me who were able to understand it back then, well, bravo! I hope you have enough space in your house for all the Nobel prizes you might win…

Us mere mortals can simply sit back and enjoy that ‘nearly bad-trip’

  1. Altered States- Final transformation scene: Sensory deprivation tank, an ancient Mexican hallucinogen, and animorphing into our non-human ancestors. This movie is weird in an uncompromising, not so palatable way, which is also weirdly refreshing. You might not like it enough to watch it again or explore it in depth, but you won’t forget this surreal sequence

  1. Harvey- the virtual reality of Mr. Elwood P. Dowd: What a warm-hearted tale that proves there is no other power like the power of imagination. James Stewart plays Elwood P. Dowd who imagines a 6 ft. tall rabbit ‘Harvey’ accompanying him everywhere. He has assigned out-of-the-world characteristics to the rabbit; ‘Harvey’ has overcome the barriers of space & time, he could stop time, he is beyond negative human emotions like envy and he is always pleasant. For Dowd, it is as if he is moving around with two schools of thoughts, and Harvey for him is the way out of the troubled reality that he had wrestled with for 35 years. He philosophizes that he had been smart in life before he met Harvey, but he recommends beings pleasant over being smart, and this learning he attributes to Harvey.

Why not yearn for such a (sur)reality when it can sort you out for life? Since he started projecting ‘Harvey’ out of his own perception, neither did he hurt anyone nor did he ever get bored. Throughout the movie, he always appears so enjoyable, amusing & happy. Check this dialogue:

Elwood P. Dowd: I always have a wonderful time, wherever I am, whomever I’m with. [Source: IMDb]

There are a number of psychedelic, perception changing, reality shattering instances on how you can choose your own way & own reality in order to be happy for life. The movie is as if a mockery on how easy it ultimately is to attain peace & happiness.

I feel like rewatching the movie right now for the plethora of realizations it throws and in newer forms when you watch it again… and again. However, this one dialogue I think is what stands out for me as the highlight of the movie & the most important (un)characteristic attributed to ‘Harvey’.

Elwood P. Dowd: [talking about Harvey] Did I tell you he could stop clocks?

Dr. Chumley: To what purpose.

Elwood P. Dowd: Well, you’ve heard the expression; ‘his face would stop a clock’.

Dr. Chumley: Mm-hmm.

Elwood P. Dowd: Well, Harvey can look at your clock… and stop it. And you can go anywhere you like, with anyone you like, and stay as long as you like, and when you get back… not one minute will have ticked by. [Source: IMDb]

  1. Waking Life: every single scene– This movie is a lucid dream in itself, one where the protagonist wanders through the visually stunning labyrinths of his inner world. We see him discover the subtle nuances of who we are inside, including our yearnings to move beyond our sanctioned realities. Every single individual he meets  in his dreams reveals to him a part of what makes us human, through the vast sea of emotions and words as he finally discovers what it truly means to be one with oneself. Travel through layers and realms of our dreams as this epic piece of film by Richard Linklater truly takes us into the world of our subconscious (and unconscious), forcing us to experience raw psychedelia with every passing moment, dialogue and visual stimulus.

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