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Based on his pioneering work in the recent book High Weirdness: Drugs, Esoterica, and Visionary Experience in the Seventies, author and podcaster Erik Davis will explore the phenomenon of occult revivals, comparing and contrasting some of the factors that made the early 1970s and the late 2010s hotbeds of occultism, witchcraft, and visionary experience. Featuring films by visual artists Dustin Wong and Amanda Siegel.


The Politics of High Weirdness: a Litquake talk with Erik Davis and RU Sirius

For Litquake 2019, Erik Davis spoke with RU Sirius about the politics of high weirdness, then and now.


High Weirdness By Mail  by Ivan Stang

This hysterical hobbyist’s guide belongs in every hip library. Coot cat Reverend Ivan Stang, high holy of the Church of the SubGenius, has compiled a bestiary of American creeps and crazies so that you can write to them and receive mail that is weird, horrible, wonderfully absurd, or a combination of all three.

goodreads   /  wikipedia

1342 – The Divinity Student (1999 book by Michael Cisco)

“he is conscious of the Seminary expanding ancient and vast on all sides—the yawning cold hallways like caverns of stone, the dank subvestries and classrooms with bubbling peeling plaster walls and a mildewed smell, frosty choirs of icy wood polished to a dull luster by the chafing of nervous hands.”

“schooled exclusively in cold places, always rain and chill waiting outside the walls; he would anxiously look forward to the halfhearted springs and moist, wilted summers.”

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“A flat manylegged object exhaling odorless blue smoke scuttles over his left foot; he’s not disgusted, he doesn’t flinch.”

“Although he can’t see, there are shapes around him, darker shadows looming against the dark like cliffs and frothings like sea foam.There are things that seem like panels of transparence, windows, lightless as everything else but looking as if he’s peering through something, from one dark to another.”

“the streets buck and shift like the deck of a doomed ship, the air rises in hot transparent coils so that the city distorts, as if viewed through a window of wrinkled glass. The outlines of the buildings around him billow like smoke, they hide enormous roaring engines, legions of enemies.”

“his great coat is so black and terrible it’s almost leaking darkness, it smudges the air around him like a pall of coal smoke.”

“Passing the cemetery, he sees huge pulsing trees burrowing into graves with their roots, their branches forking like capillaries into fleshy clouds.”


Short but powerful, this neo-gothic novel, uses the crisp immediacy of the present tense to lead the reader on a hallucinatory journey from humanity to inhuman transcendence. After a miraculous recovery from near death, a young man known only as the Divinity Student is beset by strange dreams whose lingering effects further alienate him from his fellows. 

goodreads   /  weirdfictionreview   /  Michael Cisco

1306 – Midsommar (2019)

timespace coordinates: 2018 midsummer celebration at  the Hårga commune, Hälsingland, Sweden

(DISTURBING CONTENT)

MV5BMzQxNzQzOTQwM15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDQ2NTcwODM@._V1_Midsommar is a 2019 folk horror film written and directed by Ari Aster and starring Florence PughJack ReynorWilliam Jackson Harper, Vilhelm Blomgren, and Will Poulter. It follows a group of friends who travel to Sweden for a festival that occurs once every ninety years and find themselves in the clutches of a pagan cult. A co-production between the United States, Sweden and Hungary, Midsommar is scheduled to be released on Digital HD (on Apple TV) on September 24, 2019 and on DVD and Blu-ray on October 8, 2019. (wiki)

According to Ari Aster, this was meant to be his first horror movie since Hereditary (2018) was intended to just be a family drama.

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imdb   /   The Wicker Man (1973)

882 – The Minds of Men (2018 Documentary)

minds of men poster“The Minds of Men” is a 3+ year investigation into the experimentation, art, and practice of social engineering and mind control during the Cold War – a mind-bending journey into the past that gives startling insight into the world we are living in today.


(Directors: Aaron Melissa Dykes Runtime: 3h 43min)  imdb


Project MKUltra / The Human Use of Human Beings / Teleology / Cybernetics / Rockefeller Foundation / BioelectronicsBSR / Sensory deprivation



 

784 – Mandy (2018)

timespace coordinates:  the primal wilderness of 1983

Mandy-poster-1Mandy is a 2018 American action horror film directed by Panos Cosmatos and co-written by Cosmatos and Aaron Stewart-Ahn. The film stars Nicolas Cage and Andrea Riseborough. It is one of the last films scored by Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson. (wiki)a4170912737_10-1024x1024Pacific Northwest. 1983 AD. Outsiders Red Miller and Mandy Bloom lead a loving and peaceful existence. When their pine-scented haven is savagely destroyed by a cult led by the sadistic Jeremiah Sand, Red is catapulted into a phantasmagoric journey filled with bloody vengeance and laced with fire. (rt)

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 Mandy OST

imdb

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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