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.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

This is What Oliv­er Sacks Learned on LSD and Amphet­a­mines

Aldous Huxley’s LSD Death Trip

Ken Kesey’s First LSD Trip Ani­mat­ed

How to Oper­ate Your Brain: A User Man­u­al by Tim­o­thy Leary (1993)

Beyond Tim­o­thy Leary: 2002 Film Revis­its His­to­ry of LSD

by | Permalink | Comments (3) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Comments (3)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
  • kostas says:

    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!

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.