Altered States of Consciousness in the Movies

Portrayals of Hypnosis, Brainwashing, Spirit Possession, Dreams and Visions Since the 1940s

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About the Book

“Because cinema has always depended on agreed-upon concepts of reality, the altered states of consciousness whose depiction in films is the subject of John C. Stephens’ thorough and well-considered investigation deserve a place, not at the margins of the study of film, but in the center of our understanding of what movies are and the effects they have on us and on our society. We may be a little more like the dreamers and visionaries who populate this volume than we like to think.”—​Bernard Welt, professor emeritus, Corcoran School of the Arts and Design, The George Washington University

Bibliographic Details

John C. Stephens
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages:
Bibliographic Info: ca. 55 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2024
pISBN: 978-1-4766-9504-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5433-1
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

• “Because cinema has always depended on agreed-upon concepts of reality, the altered states of consciousness whose depiction in films is the subject of John C. Stephens’ thorough and well-considered investigation deserve a place, not at the margins of the study of film, but in the center of our understanding of what movies are and the effects they have on us and on our society. We may be a little more like the dreamers and visionaries who populate this volume than we like to think.”—​Bernard Welt, professor emeritus, Corcoran School of the Arts and Design, The George Washington University

• “John Stephens has constructed a comprehensive survey of the varying ways in which altered states of consciousness are depicted on screen. These range from hypnosis to brainwashing; religious visions to clairvoyance. The genres include religious films, horror, and everything in between. Stephens also examines the role of popular culture in disseminating perceptions around these altered states, and how cinematic shorthand can differ from reality, yet still become the prevalent cultural understanding.”—Kimberley McMahon-Coleman, Charles Sturt University