The Graduate (1967) Director: Mike Nichols
“Mrs Robinson, are you trying to seduce me?”
An witty exploration of the confusion of youth, portrayed with comic brilliance by Dustin Hoffman, who plays “Benjamin Braddock” a recent graduate who begins an aimless, wandering existence when he returns home from university to live with his parents. Anne Bancroft plays the legendary “Mrs Robinson”, a family friend who approaches Benjamin with a very indecent proposal.
The accompanying musical soundtrack by Simon and Garfunkel is a significant work of art in its own right.
Also see: Best Christmas Films on Netflix
We suddenly found a way to explore a continent [through psychedelics] that we didn’t know existed and not many other people knew existed either. Ralph Metzner
Whether or not you agree that psychedelic experiences can be useful, there is a growing consensus that the so-called “War on Drugs” has been a catastrophic failure. This is not a difficult case to make and constitutes more an illustrative side-note to this really quite beautiful film. Instead, the focus is on the nature and utility of the experiences themselves and the substances that induce them. The background around their illegality and the establishment crusade against them, acts only as further evidence for their revolutionary potential. Read More…
Philosophy of mind, free will and existence are well represented in this collection of films on Netflix now. Though the films do not deal in the complex semantics of philosophy, as it is studied in academia, they are nonetheless meaningful meditations on the essence of truth, being and existence.
Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010) and Into the Abyss (2011) Director: Werner Herzog
Two documentaries from the magnificent Mr Herzog which vary wildly in tone, with Cave of Forgotten Dreams exulting in the very finest aspects of human nature and Into the Abyss doing exactly as its title intimates.
Cave of Forgotten Dreams examines the elaborate Paleolithic cave paintings recently discovered in the Ardèche Valley. It is an inspiring exploration of the origins of creativity and human curiosity.
Into the Abyss, however, explores the converse of those impulses: murder and destruction. It features two death row inmates who have received the ultimate sentence for a gruesome crime. In a very detached way, Herzog muses on the nature of death and vengeance.
DMT: The Spirit Molecule (2010) Director: Mitch Schultz
DMT: The Spirit Molecule is a fascinating meditation on the mystery of human consciousness. It specifically focuses on the research of Dr Rick Strassman an American psychiatrist who undertook groundbreaking research into the effects of the psychedelic drug DMT on the human brain. The result of his experiments were incredible and raised profound questions about our perception of time, space and indeed the entire Universe.