Looking for Mushrooms (Long Version)
A psychedelic, meditative travelogue of rural Mexico, Bruce Conner’s first film shot in colour is a frenetic catalogue of images produced whilst searching for magic mushrooms.
An early and important touchstone in the artist’s fifty-year career and a modest landmark in histories of avant-garde cinema. A whirlwind of enmeshing surfaces that show time to be an elastic thing indeed, the film also briefly features Timothy Leary, the American psychologist famous for his experiments with psychedelic drugs.
Initially silent and looped the short version (1959-67) was soundtracked by the The Beatles ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’, a track from their 1966 album Revolver. ‘Turn off your mind, relax and float down stream, It is not dying, it is not dying.’
In 1996 Conner created the longer version of the film—screening at BFMAF—that repeats each frame five times, and is set to “Poppy Nogood and the Phantom Band” (1968), composed and performed by Terry Riley.