Embark on a voyage into the realm of psychedelic and discover the therapeutic and psychiatric advantages of substances such as Ayahuasca, Mushrooms, Ketamine, MDMA, and beyond in The Importance of Strange Perceptions (2023). Witness a transformative Ayahuasca ceremony in Costa Rica and gain insight into the profound impact it has had on those who have undergone the experience first-hand.
«I think using cinema to show what a psychedelic experience is like can help people understand better what they can expect from taking these drugs. The experience cannot be described in words very well and visual demonstrations are much more helpful in circumstances like this. When you take psychedelics you see a completely different world and understand things completely differently. New connections are made inside the brain, the subconscious talks to the conscious and startling revelations can be made about pretty much everything»
Director, Editor, Writer and Producer of The Importance of Strange Perceptions, Moe Taylor kickstarted his filmmaking journey as a broadcast journalist, which afforded him the chance to capture news events across countries. Later, he transitioned to producing for NBC before eventually establishing himself as a freelance filmmaker for BrainDagger Films. His passion for mind-bending documentaries on the mysteries of the cosmos has persisted, and he takes pride in contributing to the genre through his own unique vision.
The Importance of Strange Perceptions is episode two of a ten-part series called Knowledge is Good. The first episode was called As Organism and discusses the concept of the Universe as a single organism. Right now he’s in the middle of post-production on episode three: The Glorious Spectacle of Human Programming. This film discusses why humans are the way we are and adds insight into how to tolerate other cultures. The series’ main goal is to wipe away the layers of misinformation in the world today, and foster an understanding that we should not hate people before we meet them based on stereotypes and ignorance.
«Psychedelia can be seen as a weapon against mental stagnation, fear and apathy»
The Importance of Strange Perceptions is a psychedelic documentary that finds its expressive form through experimental editing, accompanied by numerous interviews of individuals who emotionally recount their personal experiences with these substances. The narrator takes the viewer on a psychedelic and emotional journey through words and moving images.
«Giving psychedelic overtones to the film went hand in hand with the entire premise so of course, it was an overarching theme. I tried to make the film follow the basic rules of a psychedelic experience. It starts out rather straightforward and peaks in psychedelic flow around the middle of the film then tapers off as to feel the same as taking a psychedelic break from life»
Moe Taylor emphasizes the emancipatory, conscious, and healing elements of hallucinogenic substances, which changed his life when he managed to open the doors of perception.
«My experiences with psychedelics have been the most creative periods in my life. For creating I believe they are an imperative step in any creative process. I put together my basic premises while on psychedelics and then reformulate them and hone them later when sober for a product that essentially came from two different minds, one wild and creative, one razor honed on perfection and formatting. As for watching films, you will gain a completely different viewpoint on a film if you watch it on psychedelics as opposed to watching in a “normal” state of mind»
Although mentioned only a few times in the film, the revolutionary Aldous Huxley is present in the underground of every second of the documentary.
«The psychedelia can be seen as a kind of consciousness technology, capable of expanding human perception and experience»
Huxley, who in 1932 wrote about things humans could not even imagine in his novel Brave New World, was a close friend of LSD inventor Albert Hofmann and was one of the first experimenters with the substance, convinced that it could be the key to a new revolution of Western culture. His experiences with psychedelics were recounted in The Doors of Perception (1954), the text that inspired the name of the band The Doors.
Huxley was certainly an essential figure in the making of this documentary, but Moe Taylor was inspired by various other dimensions as well.
«My cultural influences Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion, City of the Lost Children of Jean-Pierre Jeunet, the capabilities of AI Music to set tone and emotion, all of Hunter S. Thompsons’ philosophical work, Alan Watts, and Pink Floyd’s The Wall»
One of the essential features that is noticeable in The Importance of Strange Perceptions is the presence of Hunter Stockton Thompson’s gonzo journalism: a writing style that blends traditional journalism, personal insights, and narrative techniques to provide a unique perspective on events and situations.
Some of Thompson’s most famous works, such as Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Hell’s Angels, are examples of gonzo journalism. It is often associated with a countercultural ethos and is characterized by its irreverent and often humorous approach to serious topics. It is characterized by a first-person perspective, a subjective tone, and a blurring of the lines between fiction and non-fiction. In gonzo journalism, the writer often becomes a central character in the story, and their personal experiences and opinions are woven into the narrative.