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Altered States

  • Directed by Ken Russell
  • United States, 1980, 102 mins., English

Based on the novel by Paddy Chayefsky, William Hurt stars as Edward Jessup, a psychologist who begins dabbling into research involving both psychedelic substances and sensory deprivation tanks. Upon encountering a substance known as First Flower while traveling in Mexico, Jessup self-administers the drug, experiencing hallucinations and visions verging on and eventually penetrating the real. “It opens at fever pitch and then starts soaring—into genetic fantasy, into a precognitive dream of delirium and delight.”—Richard Corliss, Time Magazine.

Genres: Sci-Fi

Other Films by Ken Russell

Lisztomania

In his flamboyant, anachronistic style, Russell transposes the excesses of 1970s superstardom onto Franz Liszt (played by Roger Daltrey), while throwing in an homage to Charlie Chaplin. The crescendoing pastiche of pop culture reaches its peak with a vampiric incarnation of Liszt contemporary Richard Wagner (Paul Nicholas) commanding an army of children and a Nazi