Monday, December 3, 2012

Marathon Weirdfest on The Hidden Experience

Mike Clelland and I got down to it for a marathon, three-hour podcast on some of the mind-bending movies we've been digging into lately. From there the discussion travels down some very strange roads and covers some very weird ground.

Many people recognize the 1970s as the Golden Age of American Movies, but fewer realize that it was also a golden age for the cinema of the strange. The Internet has unearthed some long buried gems and Mike and I are there with our treasure map to help you discover some of these resonant, rewarding and downright magickal movies.

From Hidden Experience:
There is an almost forgotten genre of film-making that emerged in a narrow chapter of the early 1970's. Within this sub-set is a messy blending of creepy occult, ancient aliens and UFO abduction, and many of these were made for TV movies. Something weird emerged that seems quite evocative looking back on it now. 

We talk about The Stranger Within, The Cage (and lots of other Star Trek episodes), The Crimson Cult, Hangar 18, Night Slaves, Stephen King's Tommyknockers, Simon King of the Witches, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, In Search Of, the evangelical documentary Ancient Aliens De-Bunked, a series of 70's UFO documentaries with Rod Serling, the Stargate series, Mission from Mars, author Bruce Rux, the complicity of NASA in this weird mess, The Outer Limits, Night Slaves, Jeff Kripal, Jacques Vallee, remote viewing, Russel Targ, The Norrlis Tapes, The Invaders, Quinn Martin, The Mephisto Waltz, God Told Me To, Bedeviled with Louis Jourdan, Bill Cooper, Jack Webb's Project UFO and the genesis of the X-Files. (Whew!) 


Red Dirt Reporter said...

Thank you for posting this. I was young, but these films seeped into my young mind and I've never quite shaken them. And I don't want to. That "faded" yellow-y look to everything. Wow. Love it.

Raj said...

Great interview, Chris.

It calls to mind something I call the Aesthetics of Perception, which is essentially the process of understanding the subtle atmospheres and hidden imagery of storytelling (to ourselves and others; the process that basically drives all human experience.

The universe is indeed horrific, but in terms of Perception Aesthetics it's not nihilistic, a la Lovecraft or numerous despair-inducing torture-porn movies. More accurately our universe is theistic, full of mysterious 'supernatural' powers and impossible communications.

It's a theistic/mystical universe only because beneath the physical and mathematical it's essentially an artistic universe - non-linear thematic expression. You can see evidence for this on every level of creation from the micro to the macro. In my opinion Science will never really crack super-tech until they figure this out and internalize it.

I believe that all the best scientific visionaries had some partial cognizance of this notion. Nothing is really supernatural or paranormal, it's just artistic. And all the devices employed by artists are also employed by reality itself. Mirroring, conflating, foreshadowing, implication, subtext, etc; we stole all that shit from reality. How could it be any other way? Our Mystery Cults are proof of this. Our science simply isn't finessed enough yet, IMHO, and probably never will be due to the human animal's appetite for blunt brutality.

But because the universe expresses itself in fractal, visionary ways that are fundamentally artistic in nature, it means that our own works of art can act as portals, windows and microcosms of the universe at large - especially works of art that contain a sophisticated but ambiguous theistic framework. Not God and Satan necessarily, but some atmosphere of larger signs and higher or deeper powers at work - because this is the genuine mode of expression of the external world, people just don't usually recognize it.

So these magonian films you've been delving into are so good at channeling elusive signals because they are structurally and associatively similar to the way reality actually operates. These films have a keener understanding of the Aethetics of Perception, in other words. Just grist for your mill, dude.