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10 Mind Expanding Films That Will Take You To A Different Plane of Consciousness

Film can do many things. It can provide entertainment with its bombastic nature of bright colors and loud noises, it can offer a sense of escapism with its suspension of disbelief, and it can help us understand ur fellow human beings better with its storytelling and presentation of narratives we would otherwise not come across.

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However, it can also help us toward a higher state of consciousness with dreamy visuals of things we have never seen before or with suggestions of those things we cannot see. Here we look at just a few films that may help you do just that.

 

1. Baraka

Rather than focussing on one particular culture, this documentary reels through 25 different countries with gorgeous visuals of how people around the world live but it foregoes any sort of traditional narrative and just shows a day in the life of global citizens. What makes it such a beautiful film is that it forces no questions to be asked and does not offer conclusions. If any are to be drawn, they must come from the viewer alone.

Just showing the world for what it is, a beautiful awe-inspiring place filled with wonder and beauty, is one of the films greatest strengths and it deserved to be watched at least once in a lifetime.

 

2. The Mirror

Created by Soviet-era Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky, The Mirror is as magnificent a film as it is frustrating. Diving into the memories of a dying mind the film is all about the thoughts and feelings of a regular life lived and as such focuses intently on the little things like the rustle of leaves. This break from the normal in to-the-point filmmaking can feel heavy going when scenes such as rain falling last for minutes by themselves.

The art of the film is that it shows the regular, the extraordinary of the unextraordinary, in all of its unwavering beauty and the detail put into a life are unimaginably well thought out.

 

3. The Seventh Seal

A 1950s classic that is an existential drama that is pretty heavy stuff about finding meaning without God, the movie is renowned for its themes and craftsmanship at an early age of film-making. In one particularly iconic scene, Bergman's character sits down by a gloriously pretty beach to play chess with a personification of death.

It is used as a divide between heaven and hell and when you see the misty waters lapping at the stony shores you can see how this instant and dreamy juxtaposition was chosen for such a setting.

 

4. Red Desert

A stark and striking piece of Italian cinema about alienation as the protagonists stalk odd landscapes and deal with existential questions and the nature of feeling like an alien in a human body. The colors pop as plague and plight are dodged throughout the film in breathtaking vistas of the subliminal consciousness and the physical views.

It prods the viewer to question the very nature of life and its purpose and where the global dystopia will end up.

 

5. Meshes of The Afternoon

A story about the space between sleep and death, for one is surely just preparation for the other, as a woman finds herself trapped in a dream and so tries to kill her own body whilst being watched over by a hooded figure.

In 1959, the originally scoreless film received the addition of classical Japanese music and both versions are as eerie as they are fabulous with questions about the woman being awake or not, alive or dead being left entirely up to the viewer.

 

6. Dreams That Money Can Buy (Girl With The Prefabricated Heart)

With short sequences from surrealist artists by Man Ray, Max Ernst, and Marcel Duchamp, the group also enlisted producer mastermind Peggy Guggenheim to help provide them a female perspective on their piece about love, marriage, and objectification.

Flipping the objectification of women on its head by having literal shop mannequins discuss the nature of love whilst decapitating men, it is a jarring stream of consciousness.

 

7. The Spirit of The Beehive

A Basque film that is an arresting political allegory of Franco’s regime in Spain and the marks it left behind, we see a young girl silently playing with a shadowy spirit before she has to decide where her allegiances lie in this world.

It is unnerving but also presents children as emotionally complex and aware beings in a medium that so often oversimplifies their outlook. 

 

8. Ticket of No Return

A flamboyant, obnoxious lead character crashes her way across Europe and into Berlin in a hedonistic haze in a warped sense of reality that questions the very foundations on which Western society are built.

Given that it was made when Berlin was split into East and West, there is extra poignancy in its questioning the nature of consumerism and luxuries.

 

9. Return To Oz

In the 1980s, this cult sequel to the classic Wizard of Oz took the fantastical themes and amped them up to 11 with trippy little sequences of men on wheels and cabinets of talking heads n something far more surreal and much darker than you would have imagined from the series.

Delightfully freaky with much use of mirrors and trickery to create something akin to a Tim Burton nightmare if he were on a bad trip.

 

10. Samsara

From the same people that made Baraka, this film is the same concept but with different cultures and countries in focus as it silently shoots through life on Earth in a vision of pure art that just shows humanity being human.

So perfect and pure it is a magnificent peace that is uplifting and life affirming as it is confusing and hectic.

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