Ästhetik des Psychedelischen : Befreiungsversuche im Kino

First tested und used for therapeutic purposes in psychiatry, LSD entered the sub- und counter-cultural field of the beatnik and hippie movement in the 1950s and 1960s as a chemical promise of individual liberation from societal restrictions. In this process, “psychedelic” movies emerged as a new genre, picking up narratives of the substance-induced freeing of the mind and developing cinematic stagings of being “high” on LSD. The article compares a selection of “psychedelic” movies produced since the 1960s, including “The Trip”, “Easy Rider”, “Altered States” and “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”. It focusses on the question of how narratives of the chemical transgression of the mind, understood as part of the counter-cultural movement, transformed into representations of intoxication as expression of individual fragmentation and pointless escapism at the mercy of societal constraints.


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