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Posted October 1, 2010
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Tanks for the Memories
I viewed this film on Christmas of 2007 and what a movie to be watching on the biggest holiday of the year. I stumbled across this movie accidentally in a movie retail store and just by the cover and the title; I had to check it out. Now I'm not saying anything incriminating, but the fact that the film is about consiousness expansion and the exploration of the mind with the use of psychedelics was a big draw. I'm in no way advocating the use of psychedelics or drugs, but I myself have had my fair share of experimentation and this film very much so touches on that subject; "Experimentation," only to a whole crazier level. Pretty much this film shows us what happens when we take experimenting too far or as a friend of mine would call it the "Syd Barrett Syndrome." The one thing that really drew my attention to the film was the use of Sensory Deprivation Tanks, which is widely unknown. Deprivation Tanks are used to explore and expand consiousness without the use of any drugs or psychedelics, but all with the brain, which in fact is the biggest psychedelic known to man. A tank is filled with water set to body temperature (98degrees) and the subject submerges themselve into the water and shutting the door behind him leaving no light. This creates Sensory Deprivation - No seeing, no feeling, etc. Then you relax and let the mind meditate and the trip begins. The Adrenal gland releases chemicals in the brain which allows the person to go on a visual journey, very much like looking at mandalas. So pretty much the reason why I'm babbling about all this is that the beginning of the film starts out with William Hurt's character submerged in a tank for a test study. The film follows his addiction to the exploration of the mind and in essence mankind. The film shows how his passion for exploring kills off his marraige, friendships and his job at a prestiges university. The feature is set in the 1960s during the time of the LSD revolution and doesn't really touch on the subject. The only other psychedelics the film discusses is Psylicibe Mushrooms (Magic Mushrooms) and DMT (the strongest psychedelic drug known to man). So the setting travels throughout his career from the 1960s into the late 70s. The film in my mind takes a huge left turn when the plot changes with Hurt's character thrusts into overdrive and goes from exploring the Mind to exploring Human Life. The visual aspect of the film is astonishing, especially for being a film made in the early ages of the 1980s. The film won an oscar nod with the sound editing which I can't blame for the intense sequences the feature provides. All in all, Altered States brings you an intellectual look into the world of consiousness expansion rather than other types of movies which glorify the use of drugs in a comedic manner or portray addiction in a commerical manner like "This is your brain on drugs." I was highly impressed and could only wish that there would be more films of this sort.
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Posted October 1, 2010
dream a horrible dream
i saw this movie when i was fourteen in 1980.it freaked me out.however it was very insightful, in a post-modern sort of way. it is comelling in characters and the bizarre journey of Hurt's scientist character. enjoyable but freaky.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.