Altered States

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Writer: Paddy Chayefsky (written for the screen by), Paddy Chayefsky (novel)
Run time: 102 min
Awards: Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 4 nominations.

Edward Jessup is a university professor of abnormal psychology who, while studying schizophrenia, begins to think that “our other states of consciousness are as real as our waking states.” Jessup begins experimenting with sensory deprivation using a flotation tank, aided by two like-minded researchers, Parrish and Rosenberg. When Edward hears of a Mexican tribe that experiences shared illusion states, he travels to Mexico to participate in one of their ceremonies. Immediately after, Edward experiences bizarre, intense imagery, and returns to the U.S. with a tincture and begins taking it orally before each session in the flotation tank where he experiences a series of increasingly drastic psychological and physical transformations.

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