Monday, April 18, 2011

4/20, redux

"Stoned consciousness by now is a historical fact, which means that the experiences of people high on grass have profoundly affected the aesthetics of movies for everyone: filmmakers and spectators, smokers and smokers alike."

Compelling words indeed, from critic Jonathan Rosenbaum, particularly in light of the stoner's favorite holiday, April 20th, now upon us. And having gotten an early preview of such films (having enjoyed a very special dessert during a presentation of heavy metal/monster/heavy metal monster movies hatched by SF impresario Jesse Hawthorne Ficks), your blogger's in the mood to set you up for 4/20.

The trick is to not necessarily seek out those films that are explicitly about marijuana (though there're a few of those on Jaman) but to widen the search to include genre films or experimental films that speak to the "radical shifts in orientation and perspective" that Rosenbaum discusses, like the trippy Devil Girl, or the zombie comedy Weirdsville. I'd also include films that are deliberately of a relaxing or transcendent bent, such as the mellow, spiritual travelogue Moments of Peace: Where the Path Leads or the karma-seeking Ashtar episode of Bridging Heaven & Earth.

It should be pointed out that the ingestion of illicit substances isn't a prerequisite for enjoying any of these films (nor are we implying that the makers of any of the above films are observing the holiday themselves). Whatever your orientation or trip, we wish you a green and happy April 20th.


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