ALTERED STATES

Director Ken Russell
Year 1980
Starring William Hurt, Blair Brown, Bob Balaban
Rating R
Run Time 102min
Age Policy

18 and up; Children 6 and up will be allowed only with a parent guardian. No children under the age of 6 will be allowed.

This screening is part of our IFC Slightly Off Cinema salute to Best Buds.

When Ken Russell made ALTERED STATES in 1980, no one needed to do acid ever again because there was no way that any hallucination could ever top the visuals that he delivers in this movie.

Brilliant but admittedly insane scientist Dr. Edward Jessup begins experimenting with hallucinations caused by prolonged confinement in an isolation tank. When he meets Emily he warns her of his instability - clearly evident to her as he has visions when they have sex - but she insists they marry anyway. Years later the marriage falls apart and they go their separate ways, he to Mexico where he hopes to participate in a tribal ceremony involving a broth of psychedelic mushrooms that he is told will propel him into the void to unite with his unborn soul. Hallucinate he does, with time seeming nonexistent until he snaps back to reality hours or days later. He takes the mixture back with him and combining it with sensory deprivation finds that his visions develop further into physical manifestations - an x-ray reveals that his skull took the shape of an ape! His colleagues beg him to drop the experiments, with Emily drawn in as well fearing for his well-being. Fixated as he is, he sets himself in the tank again, unsupervised, and emerges as something terrifying. Watching ALTERED STATES in the theater will be like a sensory immersion tank - your skin will tingle, your eyes will widen, you'll be rich with cinematic platinum. 

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