Avant-Garde Poet Henri Michaux Creates Educational Film Visualizing Effects of Mescaline & Hash (1964)

You don’t need to understand French to appreciate the project. In 1964, the Swiss pharmaceutical company Sandoz (now Novartis) commissioned the Belgian writer, poet and painter Henri Michaux to produce a film that demonstrated the effects of hallucinogenic drugs. The company saw the film as a way to help its scientists get closer to the hallucinogenic experience — not surprising, given that Sandoz was the company that first synthesized LSD back in 1938.

Henri Michaux had already published accounts where he used words, signs and drawings to recount his experiences with trip-inducing drugs. (See his translated book, Miserable Miracle.) And that continued with the new film, Images du monde visionnaire (Images of a Visionary World.) At the top, you can find the trippy segment devoted to mescaline, and, below that, Michaux’s visual treatment of hashish. Watch the complete film, except for one unfortunately blemished minute, here.

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Beyond Timothy Leary: 2002 Film Revisits History of LSD


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  1. kostas says . . . | September 5, 2013 / 4:16 am

    WOW!Great music also but i have a question.In the film says that music is made by Gilbert Amy,but as i found out later is a jam by the band or musician named Pir!But i can’t find any more details about Pir,can someone please help me ’cause the music is perfect!

  2. juepucta says . . . | September 5, 2013 / 4:44 pm
  3. Pir says . . . | September 14, 2013 / 11:36 am

    Hello Costas, we’re really glad that you like our music to the Michaux film!nWe are a band from Stockholm and the music consists of parts from jams that we record in our rehersal space with a small portable recording device. nThere are a couple of old jams uploaded on https://myspace.com/pirmusik/nWe have also recorded on analog tape in a studio which we are pressing on vinyl right now. The sound quality is way better and I would also like to think the same about the music :)nJust send a mail to pirenmusik@gmail.com if you are interested in getting hold of a copy when they arrive from the pressing plant.nCheers, Pir

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