BFI's Midsummer Psych-Out

by Modculture 12 June, 2008


The Flipside crew at London’s BFI have another fine event on the agenda – the Midsummer Psych-Out.

As the name suggests, this is a night of mind-blowing visuals and late 60s tunes, which takes places on Saturday 21st June from 6:20pm. The film program is outlined over the page (taking place in two parts), with the visuals followed by a ‘freak out’ at no extra charge to the swirling psychedelic sounds of DJs Mariko and Anti-Gravity Man (The Girls in the Garage) in Benugo bar. Tickets are £8.60 each show or a joint ticket is available for £12.50 (concessions £9.25).

First show – 18.20 NFT1

Chappaqua (USA 1966)
Dir. Conrad Rooks. 82mins
Beautifully shot by Robert Frank, with a great Ravi Shankar soundtrack, but rarely screened today, this psychedelic stream of consciousness collage is overloaded with beautiful imagery to blow your mind. A troubled young man leaves New York to seek drug detox in a sanatorium in France. On the way he licks up LSD from the carpet at a Fugs gig, scopes Moondog on the sidewalk and encounters Allen Ginsberg chanting in Central Park, before ‘Opium Jones’ – William Burroughs in top hat and tailcoat – offers sage advice. Far out!

Triptych In Four Parts (USA 1958)

Dir. Lawrence Jordan. 12mins
Beat film by visionary collagist and animator, Larry Jordan. Join poets Michael McClure and Phillip Lamantia, plus artists John Reed and Wallace Berman, as they go in search of psychedelic experience and religious epiphany in the peyote grounds of deepest Texas.

Second show – 20.30 NFT 1

The Trip (USA 1967)
Dir Roger Corman. 85mins
Deemed so shocking that it was banned in the UK until 2002, The Trip is most notorious of all the 1960s Acid films. Directed by exploitation veteran Roger Corman – who tried a tab himself, in the name of authenticity – it tells the tale of a stressed out TV director (Peter Fonda) who drops acid to find himself. Under the influence, accompanied by an Electric Flag soundtrack, he flips at the Laundromat, finds himself interrogated by strange hooded figures, and wigs out on the Sunset Strip. It’s a Lovely Sort of Death, you dig?

Looking For Mushrooms (USA 1959-67 + 1997)
Dir Bruce Conner. 15mins
Originating during Timothy Leary’s Mexican sojourn with West Coast experimental filmmaker Conner, this flickering rush of rustic landscapes and crumbling gravestones was later extended and soundtracked with Terry Riley’s ‘Poppy Nogood and the Phantom Band’. Result: one intense and heavy trip.

All films introduced by William Fowler and Vic Pratt, Curators, BFI National Archive

Find out more at the BFI website

Via Cinedelica