Flicker - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Flicker Reviews

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½ February 5, 2013
Although the film's main focus is on the Brion Gysin/Ian Sommerville Dreamachine, this is a documentary about the life and genius that was artist/writer/cultural engineer Brion Gysin. The film details Gysin's relationship with William S. Burroughs, a common bond between magicians that soon became the greatest literary friendship of the 20th century. Stemming from the European Dada movement of the early half of the twentieth century, Gysin and Burroughs developed a popularized literary method, known as the "cut-up technique" which later influenced a generation of inspiring artists. Together Gysin and Burroughs were cultural assassins; cultural engineers; artists before their time producing work which the world was not yet able to grasp. Unfortunately however, Gysin became a conjurer of his own words, living an impoverished life, swallowed up in his own spell. Fortunately for us, there are pieces of art such as this, dusting off shelved illuminations from forgotten morsels of human intelligence; illuminations from a forgotten personality and eclectic visionary, Brion Gysin.
Super Reviewer
January 13, 2010
Wow! This was interesting. I had never heard of the machine that provides a natural high - the dreamachine. It seems strange that it fell out of favour from its original rise in the sixties but perhaps narcotics were more appealing.
½ August 15, 2009
this is a documentary about the "dreamachine", a stroboscopic flicker device whose frequency range corresponds to human brain alpha waves that leads one to specific experience of complex color patterns, shapes and symbols when "looking at it" within a close range, with closed eyes.. since the machine, relatively easy to make in do-it-yourself home conditions, is a brainchild of burroughs close friend brion gysin (made with the assistance of ian sommerville) this documentary focuses on brians personal life, friends and main ideas as much as on the dreamachine itself.. the subjects speaking in the film are mostly brians friends or beat movement sympathizers or just folks otherwise involved in the dreamachine or brians work.. it is a decent, pretty much informative documentary but it often seems just too sketchy and you have all these neat little stories involving brian and his invention, but it doesnt reflect the potent subject matter as much as it could, still you get a more or less satisfying amount of different views on how the dreamachine could be understood by the films participants from shamanic and spiritualistic readings to linking with early cinema, 60s drug culture,perception scramblings, "death of art" etc. but most of the documentary functions like a pretty nice set of anecdotes interrupted by various clips and visual effects simulating the effect of the machine.. some of the participants are leila hadley luce, kenneth anger, dj spooky, john giorno, iggy pop, marianne faithfull, genesis p-orridge, lee ranaldo etc. with all its wasted potential, this is still a fairly interesting documentary, and i could certainly recommend it to both newbies in the subject matter and devoted gysin/burroughs/dreamachine fans..it really makes one want to make a dreamachine or at least get it from somewhere and check its effects out firsthand.. and there are a couple of websites where one can find the instructions for that.. give this fun little film a try!
July 2, 2009
It is unfortunate that RT confuses this movie Flicker (2008) with Flicker (2009.) Flicker is a scary movie starring Katy Houska. Look it up anywhere but RT.
July 1, 2009
Nice documentary about the "Dreamachine" It amazed me and made me want to make one for myself.
½ February 23, 2009
this was a pretty good documentary but it could have explored some of the ideas, paradoxes, and implications of it's subject much more fully. i enjoyed seeing some of my favorite artists like genesis p-orridge and kenneth anger interviewed. this film is a good introduction to the dream machine but it could have been better. go build one now!
February 15, 2009
The documentary itself wasn't bad, but the subject of it - the trippy hallucination-inducing Dream Machine - is an amazing contraption. I highly recommend building one yourself and staring into it with ambient music on...it's really quite the experience.
½ January 25, 2009
Well, I know stuff I didn't before. Poor continuity in the narrative.
October 6, 2008
Entertaining and informative documentary on Brion Gysin, focusing mostly on his alpha state, hallucination/seizure inducing dream machine. Takes you around the world interviewing the artists, intellectuals, and hoteliers who knew him best. Will make you want a dream machine of your own.
½ September 25, 2008
Interesting documentary on Brion Gysin, the inventer of the cut-up technique and of the legendary dreammachine which delivered a drugless high to numerous known writers as William S. Burroughs (close friend of Gysin), artists, singers and musicians of the 60s, 70s and 80s. With appearences by Marianne Faithful, Iggy Pop, Jean-Jacques Lebel, Lee Ranaldo(Sonic Youth, Genesis P-Orridge
July 24, 2008
really good
must see
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