FLicKeR, a new film by Nik Sheehan based on John Geiger's Chapel of Extreme Experience: A Short History of Stroboscopic Light and the Dream Machine, makes its world premiere at Hot Docs in Toronto on April 23rd 2008
The Dream Machine looks simple enough: A 100-watt light bulb, a motor, and a rotating cylinder with cutouts. Just sit in front of it, close your eyes, and wait for the visions to come.
The Dream Machine offers a drugless high that its creator – poet, artist, calligrapher and mystic Brion Gysin – believed it would revolutionize human consciousness.
He wasn't alone. Kurt Cobain had a Dream Machine. And William S. Burroughs thought it could be used to "storm the citadels of enlightenment."
With a custom-made Dream Machine in tow, director Nik Sheehan takes us on a journey into the life of Brion Gysin – his art, his complex ideas, and his friendships with some of the 20th century's key counterculture figures.
John Geiger appears in FLicKeR, alongside greats like Burroughs (in archival footage), singer Marianne Faithfull, singer/artist Genesis P-Orridge of Psychic TV, poet John Giorno, punk rocker Iggy Pop, filmmaker Kenneth Anger, and artist/turntablist DJ Spooky.
A hypnotic documentary, FLicKeR asks crucial questions about the nature of art and consciousness, and imagines a humanity liberated to explore its creativity in complete freedom.
""This cinematically refined portrait of the self-destructive artist, remembered by his friends and compatriots uses interesting visuals and creative sound design to bring us into the world of an almost forgotten mid-century innovator.""
- - FLicKeR wins the Special Jury Prize for Best Canadian Feature Documentary at Hot Docs Canadian International Film Festival