September 2023 Issue

Hallucinogénie invites you on a mesmerizing cinematic journey into the realms of the surreal and the transcendent. Inspired by the concept of photogénie put forth by filmmaker Jean Epstein, our program explores how images on screen can become portals to altered states of consciousness, akin to the enchanting effects of hallucinogens. Laura Irvins refers to photogenie as "a brief moment, the way the actor moves his head, the beauty of a face, a flicker of an expression that seems to contain all the meaning in a scene."

Through a diverse selection, we migrate from the photogenic to the hallucinogenic image. Cinema allows us to not only record but to imagine and project. In this curated attempt, visuals, sounds and narratives intertwine to transport us beyond the boundaries of reality. As we watch and listen, are we experiencing an experimental process? Is this reproduction faithful to what occurred? Does a trip into the inner realms justify the lack of narrative coherence and provide the filmmaker with more of an artistic license?

Through an array of film forms and scientific experiments, we unravel the cinematic mysteries that mesmerize, captivate, and leave us in a trance, much like the transformative power of hallucinogenic experiences themselves.


Jacob Kirby United States, Nepal 2016

Descending the Mountain

Maartje Nevejan Switzerland, The Netherlands 2021

Antidote (2022)

Marc Silver United States, United Kingdom, Peru, Ecuador 2022


Jean Detheux Canada, Belgium 2011