662 – Blueberry (2004)

spacetime coordinates: Wild West in the 1870sblueberry0403Blueberry (French: Blueberry: L’expérience secrète) is a 2004 French acid western directed by Jan Kounen. It is an adaptation of the Franco-Belgian comic book series Blueberry, illustrated by Jean Giraud (better known as Moebius) and scripted by Jean-Michel Charlier. However, the film has little in common with the source material. The film starred Vincent Cassel as the title character along with Michael Madsen and Juliette Lewis. Although the film is a French production, the film is in English to match the story’s setting in America’s Wild West in the 1870s.

Jean Giraud, the illustrator of the original Blueberry comics, appears in a cameo role in the film, while Geoffrey Lewis, who had appeared in several spaghetti Westerns and his daughter Juliette Lewis play a father and daughter in the movie.blueberry-promoThe movie features several elaborate psychedelic 3D computer graphics sequences as a means of portraying Blueberry’s shamanic experiences from his point of view. Jan Kounen, the director of the film, drew upon his extensive first hand knowledge of ayahuasca rituals in order to design the visuals for these sequences, Kounen having undergone the ceremony at least a hundred times  with Shipibo language speakers in Peru. An authentic Shipibo ayahuasca guide appears in the film and performs a sacred chant.

The film has managed to build a reputation as a cult success and as a trip filmTetsuo Nagata‘s cinematography is also referred to as ‘sublime’. Tripzine noted the film has “the best, most accurate, most lovingly crafted shamanic rituals and psychedelic visuals ever created for home viewing”, and praised Blueberry’s uniqueness among westerns for having a climax that revolved around shamanic ritual rather than a gun battle. (wiki)

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