Buy Tickets

Wed, March 20, 6:59pm

Psychedelic Visions And Expanded Consciousness Los Angeles in the ‘60s and ‘70s

Michigan Theater (Screening Room)

Hyperkinetic experimental film and animation in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s both echoed and informed the volcanic psychedelia that defined this era. Presented by Adam Hyman, Executive Director of Los Angeles Filmforum, co-curated with Mark Toscano. Films by James Whitney, Chick Strand, David Lebrun, Peter Mays, Daina Krumins, Beth Block and others. Screening drawn from Filmforum's project and series Alternative Projections: Experimental Film in Los Angeles, 1945-1980.

Sponsored by:

Community partner: WCBN

Films Showing:

Les angeS Dorment

(Felix Venable, 1965) 9 min

The only extant film made by the legendary Felix Venable, a primary mentor and friend to Jim Morrison.  Venable’s own mythic status among Doors fans in part derives from his...


(James Whitney, 1966) 9 min

One of James Whitney’s several cinematic masterworks, Lapis develops a series of impossibly dense mandala patterns in increasing intensity, set to a Ravi Shankar track.  Whitney spent several years developing...


(Chick Strand, 1967) 3 min

A gorgeous and delicately haunting film that uses hand-processing, solarizing, and contact printing techniques to transform various sequences of found footage into an ethereal and enveloping experience. -Mark Toscano Restored...

Evolution of the Red Star

(Adam Beckett, 1973) 7 min

“Colored pen-and-ink drawings, like topological maps of biomorphic objects, grow and evolve from the red star.  Once the master image is formed, this continuously throbbing, pulsating sight is used to...

Binary Bit Patterns

(Michael Whitney, 1969) 3 min

A series of increasingly complex computer generated abstractions develop in multi-colored mosaic patterns in this early analog-digital hybrid piece. -Mark Toscano Print courtesy of the Estate of John and James...

Terminal Self

(John Whitney Jr., 1971) 8 min

A photo of a woman taken from a magazine is transformed practically beyond recognition, her outline and features smeared into a vaporous abstraction.  Points of visual convergence, which manifest as...

Coming Down

(Pat O’Neill, 1968) 4 min

By the time Pat O’Neill had gotten this psychedelic promo film ready for Joe Byrd’s group, the band had broken up. -Mark Toscano New print courtesy of the Academy Film...


(Peter Spoecker/B.Y.M. Productions, 1969) 9 min

Before becoming perhaps better known as a master didgeridoo performer and instructor, Peter Spoecker produced a handful of virtuosic animations, often quite deliberately under the influence of various hallucinogens.  Pulse,...


(Daina Krumins, 1972) 4 min

A psychedelic sci-fi performance film featuring otherworldly imagery and unconventional special effects, with an early original drone soundtrack by composer Rhys Chatham. “Although I was influenced by the ‘psychedelic’ art...

Twelve (The First Three Parts…)

(Beth Block, 1977) 9 min

“The first three parts of a twelve-part film which explores the history of imagery.  The first part consists of hand-painted and scratched film, the second part incorporates the use of...


(David Lebrun, 1976) 9 min

“Tanka means, literally, a thing rolled up. The film, photographed from Tibetan scroll paintings of the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries, is a cyclical vision of ancient gods and demons, an...

The Star Curtain Tantra

(Peter Mays, 1969) 14 min

“A trance film originally released in 1966 as The Star Curtain, about the settling and relaxation of the senses after a climax.  ‘Sentences’ of cosmic imagery were added in 1969...