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There is a difference between "trippy" and "psychedelic." "Trippy" is what people who mostly have never had psychedelic experiences ascribe to weirdness in art, and "psychedelic" is art - be it music or film or whatever - that simulates or outright induces a state of altered consciousness as a proxy or alternative to psychedelic drugs, dream states, meditation, etc.
People really like to pat themselves on the back a lot in their neurotic quest to dismiss all 60s or occult techniques, imagery, sounds, tropes, whatever. I can understand this to some degree. A lot of the 60s was just goofy. The case I'd make for this and Lucifer Rising is that this is about as good as this kind of thing can be done.
It is not for everyone.
Here Anger turns everything up to 11 in a relentless torrent of Thelemic, Satanic, and Nazi imagery, nudity, drug use, and blasphemy.
This is a psychedelic film or, I guess, if you're just too hip or grounded or intellectual or contemporary or whatever for Kenneth Anger, an attempt at one. The purpose here is to get on top of you, by which I mean, tap a nerve. This is a torrent of input - visual and aural - pumped mercilessly into the viewer's senses.
The disturbing soundtrack, varying film speeds, interlaced light effects and occult imagery (flashing unicursal hexagrams, etc.) are clearly meant to unsettle and induce a state of altered consciousness of some sort, but in my case it just kind of made me uncomfortable. In a good way. This is not to say a pleasant way. An effective way. (Is this film itself, a magickal working of sorts?)
I can't help it. I like this, even if I don't *enjoy* it exactly. This is not an exploitation film. This is the real deal: the Age of Horus spontaneously exploding through (and nearly obliterating) the Age of Aquarius.
Evil hippies, man.
I found this nightmarish, frantic, and disconcerting. I suppose if you can simply dismiss the whole of the 1960s and the whole of the occult of the time, you can dismiss this, too. I'm just not that cool I guess.
Worth a watch as art and as film-making with a different purpose than usual (while this is entertaining, I don't think this was conceived of as primarily "entertainment").
There's no plot here. If you need one, don't bother. Watch with an open mind.
Then go to Church after.
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