Brion Gysin wants to turn you on to his psychedelic Dream Machine.
FLICKER (Nik Sheehan). 75 minutes. Opens Thursday (November 27) at the Bloor and runs to December 2. For times, see Indie and Rep Film. Rating: NNNN
Who can resist the idea of a drugless high?
Nik Sheehan asks just that in Flicker, a fascinating exploration of the Dream Machine and Brion Gysin, the artist/poet/mystic who promoted it in the early 60s.
Get close to the Dream Machine - a metal cylinder with cut-?outs that revolves around a light bulb - close your eyes and experience a soothing, sometimes hallucinatory effect that Gysin and cohort William Burroughs believed could permanently alter human consciousness.
Sheehan, with his own Dream Machine in tow, visits Gysin's old friends, including Marianne Faithfull and filmmaker Kenneth Anger - who respond to the sight of the contraption as if it were the Holy Grail - and new fans, too, like DJ Spooky and Iggy Pop. The wide range of creative people hot for the Dream Machine testifies to its allure.
Sheehan's not sure if he wants to make a movie about the Dream Machine or about Gysin's art, philosophy and influence, but that's all right. The hallucinatory images, the quick cuts, the split focus all reflect the era in which Gysin worked and dreamed.
Yes, there will be a Dream Machine at the Bloor for you to check out. It didn't exactly blow my mind, but then neither did LSD. So who knows? It could work for you.