Imbuing a film’s frame is color. Chaotic, controlled, purposefully placed with meaning, it is a focal point and a visual resonator for the eyes. Stretching beyond the constraints of a frame, some films explode with color, releasing moving images from page to screen and embodying a drug-tripped fantasy of wide-eyed attention. It’s classic psychedelia in a blur of reality and cinema.
In a supercut edited together by Chris Ashton, 50 films with moments of psychedelia are spliced together for the ultimate kaleidoscopic experience. Beginning with a subdued, imperfect rendition of “Rhapsody in Blue,” the video makes a quick transition to a fast paced orchestration of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. Loud and vibrant, merely blinking could lose a burst of color or a swift motion. Featured films include the animated science-fiction film, “Fantastic Planet” (1973), Luis Bunuel‘s heralded early experimental short, “Un Chien Andalou,” Alejandro Jodorowsky‘s “The Holy Mountain,” Powell and Pressburger‘s “The Red Shoes,” “Across the Universe,” Stanley Kubrick‘s “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “Vertigo,” “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” and the absurdist dadaist Czech masterpiece “Daisies,” among others. At one moment we witness a tide-eyed spiral and the next moment we see James Stewart‘s disembodied head from Alfred Hitchcock‘s masterpiece. The editing is crisp and surreal.
No moment is spared for wanting, or waiting for an explanation. The eye may try to take in everything, but upon the first watch, the video explodes with color and shapes passing too fast to take in all at once. The details and minutiae of each configuration abound with vibrant pastels, and at times the muted tones are mesmerizing in this supercut. Regardless of a film’s release date, or whether it’s live action or animation, if it is psychedelic in nature it can be sure to be found here.