360 Essentials: Top 10 Psychedelic Films
films released in Cairo
rarely fall into this category, there’s something about a quality psychedelic
film that has the ability to leave you spellbound for hours, or even days for
To set the record straight, a psychedelic experience does not
necessarily involve the use of mind-altering substances, but it’s deeply cairorevamp_usered
in freeing the mind of ordinary clutter and experiencing a flow of creativity,
sensory stimulation, and an all around higher state of spirituality and
that in mind, Cairo
360 has compiled some of our favourite psychedelic, obscure and trippy films.
Viva la Muerte (1971): Directed by Fernando
Arrabal and set during the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, this film not
only curses the boundaries of fascism, but is told through the eyes and mind of
10-year-old Fando. The film imaginatively explores the child’s natural
curiosity for truth and fate. From Oedipal fantasies to Fando’s search for
answers through visions and the subconscious, this film is anything but
ordinary; be prepared to be left feeling bewildered at the end of almost every
A Scanner Darkly (2006): A riveting cast brings to life the incredible novel
by Philip K. Dick through an animated lens in this compelling cult classic. Bob
Arctor (Keanu Reeves) sets out on an undercover mission to crack down on America’s
war on drugs. However, before he knows it, he is caught in the middle of the
so-called Substance D. With a scramble
suit and a number of bizarre hallucinations; there’s no doubt that you’ll be
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998): This is quite possibly
the best Johnny Depp film made to date. Depp and Benicio Del Toro set out on a
three-day journey to Vegas that truly and hilariously defines the absolute
epitome of that deeply desired American Dream. From the incredible soundtrack to the Vegas landscape of utter
stimulation and complete weirdness, you might be compelled to head out on a
wild trip of your own.
Alice in Wonderland (1951): Just like the trailer
says; there are wonderful tunes for your heart and wonderful thrills for your
eyes. Alice in Wonderland is an
all-time novelty for the psyche of the child as well as the elder with a childlike
heart. Between the vicious queen of hearts and the hatter, tweedle dum and
tweedle dee; the constant play and imaginary tools create a compelling world
filled with beautiful colours, dreams and Lewis Carroll’s playful poetry.
A Clockwork Orange (1971): Another cult classic,
Stanley Rubrick adapted this ultra-violent and often disturbing film from Anthony Burgess’
1962 dystopian novel. Step into Alex’s life, where the battle between good and
evil doesn’t play out well. Experimental language and administered medicines lend
a hand to the ongoing emotional ramble that he finds himself in. The film’s
metaphoric tendencies aid in viewers’ bewilderment.
Yellow Submarine (1968): George Danning brings
to life iconic Beatles hits through this animated film; a novelty to many
worldwide. While the Beatles have provided a significant amount of entertainment
for the psychedelic vista, this film not only depicts their music in a lovely
and peculiar way; but it’s also appropriate and crazy fun for all ages with a
stomping glove and other unusual creatures in tow.
Waking Life (2001): Playing the main
character, Ethan Hawke moves his way through this odd animation focused on the
play world between dreams and consciousness. While he steps out on a mission to
discover the idiosyncrasies within, the animation technique used in this film
creates a dream-like world within the consciousness of anyone watching.
The Fountain (2006): In a stunning film
whose tale spans over one thousand years, director Darren Aronofsky takes us on
a gripping journey of love, death, spirituality, as well as the matter of
simple existence; all of which is woven into three parallel stories. Picturesque landscape and exquisite
architecture back the acting of Rachel Weiss and Hugh Jackman as they trek through
time facing life-changing moments; this film will have you moved.
Eraserhead (1976): Written and directed
by David Lynch, this late 70s surrealist film has left audiences baffled for
decades with its various interpretations and unfamiliar surprises. The visual
and sound experiences drawn from its non-linear and at times horrific sequences
are strangely confusing. The formula creates a rather trippy experience starring main
character Henry Spencer.
Dumbo (1941): Another Walt Disney
hit that spans across generations, this sweet story of friendship between the
enormous-eared Dumbo and the wee little mouse is one that will never get old.
From a train that talks to the dancing pink elephants, Ben Sharpsteen creates a
stimulating visual encounter for viewers on the other side of the screen. Don’t
underestimate the psyche of Disney!