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)

imdb

612 – Davi Kopenawa, Bruce Albert, Alison Dundy – The falling sky – words of a Yanomami shaman

The Falling Sky is a remarkable first-person account of the life story and cosmo-ecological thought of Davi Kopenawa, shaman and spokesman for the Yanomami of the Brazilian Amazon. Representing a people whose very existence is in jeopardy, Davi Kopenawa paints an unforgettable picture of Yanomami culture, past and present, in the heart of the rainforest–a world where ancient indigenous knowledge and shamanic traditions cope with the global geopolitics of an insatiable natural resources extraction industry.the-falling-sky-1In richly evocative language, Kopenawa recounts his initiation and experience as a shaman, as well as his first encounters with outsiders: government officials, missionaries, road workers, cattle ranchers, and gold prospectors. He vividly describes the ensuing cultural repression, environmental devastation, and deaths resulting from epidemics and violence. To counter these threats, Davi Kopenawa became a global ambassador for his endangered people. The Falling Sky follows him from his native village in the Northern Amazon to Brazilian cities and finally on transatlantic flights bound for European and American capitals. These travels constitute a shamanic critique of Western industrial society, whose endless material greed, mass violence, and ecological blindness contrast sharply with Yanomami cultural values.

Bruce Albert, a close friend since the 1970s, superbly captures Kopenawa’s intense, poetic voice. This collaborative work provides a unique reading experience that is at the same time a coming-of-age story, a historical account, and a shamanic philosophy, but most of all an impassioned plea to respect native rights and preserve the Amazon rainforest. (amazon)

“When I come back from a trip among the white people, the dizziness leaves my eyes after a while and my thought be-comes clear again. I no longer hear cars, machines, or airplanes. I only lend an ear to the tooro toads and krouma frogs that call the rain in the forest. I only hear the rustling of the leaves in the wind and the rumbling of the thunders in the sky. The ignorant words of the city politicians gradually vanish in the quiet of my sleep. I become calm again by going to hunt and making my spirits dance.

The forest is very beautiful to see. It is cool and aromatic. When you move through it to hunt or travel, you feel joyful and your mind is slow-paced. You listen to the chirping of the cicadas in the distance, or the cries of the curassows and the agami herons, and the clamor of the spider monkeys in the trees. Your worries are eased. Your thoughts can then follow one another without getting obscured.”