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hypnagogue
#1
Sep4-05, 04:45 AM
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What movies, animations, paintings, novels, poems, songs, etc. have you come across that transport you 'inside' someone's head? That is, what artistic portrayals have you seen or heard that effectively communicate a sense of what it is like to experience a certain set of perceptions, thoughts, or other mental events, as experienced from the first person?

(I include music in the interest of keeping things open, although it's perhaps almost trivially true that all halfway decent music evokes some sort of emotion or another. My personal interest in this topic most strongly revolves around film and animation, perhaps because the integration of dynamic visual and auditory information does the best job of current forms of artwork of simulating consciousness as we actually experience it.)

A couple of excellent movie examples that initially spring to mind are "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" and "Natural Born Killers."

"Fear and Loathing" is a film depiction of a book by the same name written by Hunter S. Thompson and features some interesting film effects to convey Thompson's experience while under the influence of various drugs. For instance, in an early sequence Thompson takes LSD and the viewer sees eery clips of gross visual distortions and hallucinations.

"Natural Born Killers" is a film about a couple of insane mass murderers, and the cinematography is drenched with surreal and disturbing images, distortions, filming techniques and so on, often seemlessly overlapping with what just a moment before seemed like standard, objective storytelling. The ultimate effect is that the viewer feels as if he is inside the unsound minds of the main characters, seeing the world at times through their eyes so that the distinction between the objective and the subjective sporadically blurs or falls apart. While "Fear and Loathing" aims to convey more of an immediate sense of what it is like to experience certain states of consciousness, "Natural Born Killers" uses its imagery and filming techniques in such a way as to convey more of an abstract and pervasive psychological outlook on both the world and the mind.
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