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Alchemical Films

Dizardos

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For straight up alchemy videos go to this thread. Please do not post download or streaming links to films or videos as they never last long.

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There are many movies in existence that have an alchemical foundation even though its makers might not even be aware of it. It is thus highly unlikely that it will provide the key that will open all the doors to the alchemical mystery, but that does not mean that it is of no use. Similarities can be found as different as the stories might appear to be and those provide the basis for the unalterable truth. I am sure that together we are able to come up with an incredible amount of alchemical movies and in time we might possibly also be able to rate the quality of its alchemical symbolism.

As a side note I mention here that I have not seen all of the movies below, but I know that some have alchemical material in it and I do suspect that others likely have an alchemical foundation. I therefore list them anyway and if anyone knows that a certain movie has no alchemical basis, tell me and I will remove it from the list. The list is a work in progress so I will update it every now and then.

Alchemical movies:

Merlin and the War of the Dragons (2008)
- Purely alchemical. Made with a low budget, so yes, there are better movies out there if great special effects and acting is the requirement, but alchemically I find it a great story.

Merlin (Series of nine 45 minute parts) - Excellent in every way. It does not suffer from a limited budget as most mythological movies do. It has everything a good movie should have and should be very interesting to both practical as well as spiritual alchemists. Keep in mind that Merlin (Mer = Mare = Sea = Water) is Mercury, the spiritual part and thus has heavenly powers (represented by magic), while Arthur is Sulphur (Ar = Ra = Sun, Ur likely means Light). If you have the time to watch it, I highly recommend it (even though I have seen only a small part of it).

Excalibur (1981)

Clash of the Titans (1981)

Jason and the Argonauts (2000) / (1963)

King Arthur (2004)

The Odyssey (1997)

Oedipus Rex (1967/Italian)

Young Hercules (1998)

Troy (2004)

Mists of Avalon (2001)

Arabian Nights (2000)

The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns (1999)

Jack and the Beanstalk - The Real Story (2001)

Beowulf and Grendel (2005)


The Hercules and Xena series probably also capture some alchemical truths, but they might have started to lead too much a life of their own outside of the alchemical context.

Alchemical texts are as already said of far greater use to expand one's knowledge, but I do not think that it should be seen in that context. I simply prefer to keep even my entertainment of an alchemical nature if I do have the choice.
 

Awani

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Play_Dough

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A seriously 'alchemical' film is "The Man in the Iron Mask" (all versions and the book).

Another one (film) is "The Count of Monte Cristo" (all versions and the book).

Other's (films) are "Groundhog Day", "The King of Hearts" and "What the Bleep do we Know?" Also, (lesser) "Alice in Wonderland", "The Wizard of Oz", "The Gods Must be Crazy" (not the sequel tagged "II"), and " Koyaanisqatsi - Life Out of Balance".

.
 

horticult

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The best initialization movie I have seen is Excalibur /1981/, it is also the best from mediavel times. Highly recommended, hope it will not be censored...
 

Zephyr

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Alejandro Jodorowsky's "The Holy Mountain", is, I think, the greatest Alchemy movie I have seen. His Graphic novel series with Moebius, "the Incal" takes it to a whole new level, though... Seems like all his work is similarily structured: His art is not about alchemy so much as it IS alchemical in it's transformative structure... Brilliance.

-A-
 

Solve et Coagula

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Zeitgeist II Addendum (Full Movie) Everybody here should see!!! Please share

Zeitgeist II Addendum (Full Movie) Everybody here should see!!! Please share

 

Awani

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Laputa and Nausicaä by Miyazaki are both highly alchemical in my opinion - albeit not as blatant as perhaps Excalibur!

I'm not a Moebius fan, although I have been to an exhibition in Paris once which he shared with Miyazaki. Perhaps look into it now...

:cool:
 

WCH

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Alejandro Jodorowsky's "The Holy Mountain", is, I think, the greatest Alchemy movie I have seen. His Graphic novel series with Moebius, "the Incal" takes it to a whole new level, though... Seems like all his work is similarily structured: His art is not about alchemy so much as it IS alchemical in it's transformative structure... Brilliance.

-A-
I just saw this film and quite enjoyed it. Very good stuff... would be interested to hear comments by people more experienced with alchemy than I. I'd certainly recommend it any case.
 

Seth-Ra

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I just saw this film and quite enjoyed it. Very good stuff... would be interested to hear comments by people more experienced with alchemy than I. I'd certainly recommend it any case.

I looked it up and just watched it... im not quite sure what to say about it really... it had a lot of meaning and points... part of me liked it, part didnt. Around the end it brought things that i have seen in recent dreams, which needless to say freaked me the hell out. :D

I like the ending... it causes the beginning (alot of the symbolism used) to make sense, rising above the "fallen flesh" as it were, and all to reach reality and begin anew. Truly an ouroboros in the truest sense.

Ill also say, i picked a good/bad time to watch it, as it got late, quickly, and is almost morning so i kinda "faded in an out", though i didnt miss anything, the good part of that being that the state of half conscious, half unconscious allows for the inner-self to speak on it also... which happened, and i became more connected to it...
Perhaps its my Gemini nature, but i must give it a 50/50, which due to canceling each other out would be a 0, and thus infinite possibilities, so i guess overall its subjective according to viewer. Yes i suck at rating stuff. lol

Oh yeah, just remembered one of my fav. parts is the Academy place at the mountain where they talk like "normal" philosopher's and scientists... that was hilarious and so true... :D

~Seth-Ra
 

S0LiPS1ST

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What about π ??
 

MarkostheGnostic

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The Last Air Bender

I slept today, and not being able to sleep, I watched this film from NetFlix. It had shades of The Never-Ending Story, with a white hairy buffalo-looking flying creature, reminiscent of the Luck Dragon. There were Northern and Southern cities, reminiscent of the Northern and Southern Oracles, and of course, a fight of Good against Evil.

But, interestingly enough, its Tolkien-like warlords denoted an alchemical theme. The tribal societies of Air, Water, Earth and Fire, once in balance by the presence of a reincarnated Avatar (kind of like Atrayu in The Never-Ending Story), who vanished one day. During the 100 years of his absence, while suspended in ice, the lords of the Fire element, the Fire-Benders, declared fire-bending in all the other elements to be illegal while they dominated the other elements. The young Avatar, who had been trapped in ice before he could learn to bend the other elements with Kung-Fu-like movements which evoked them, was alone able to command and balance all the elements. He embodied the Quintessential 5th element.

The film is still playing as I type this, so I'll sign off to watch the ending.
 
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Nibiru

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The Fountain is a very good film with 3 separate story lines that are intertwined and all of the stories have alchemical connections. One is the search for the tree of life, another is about the universal medicine, and the last is concerning the universe..

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_fountain/
 

Seth-Ra

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I slept today, and not being able to sleep, I watched this film from NetFlix. It had shades of The Never-Ending Story, with a white hairy buffalo-looking flying creature, reminiscent of the Luck Dragon. There were Northern and Southern cities, reminiscent of the Northern and Southern Oracles, and of course, a fight of Good against Evil.

But, interestingly enough, its Tolkien-like warlords denoted an alchemical theme. The tribal societies of Air, Water, Earth and Fire, once in balance by the presence of a reincarnated Avatar (kind of like Atrayu in The Never-Ending Story), who vanished one day. During the 100 years of his absence, while suspended in ice, the lords of the Fire element, the Fire-Benders, declared fire-bending in all the other elements to be illegal while they dominated the other elements. The young Avatar, who had been trapped in ice before he could learn to bend the other elements with Kung-Fu-like movements which evoked them, was alone able to command and balance all the elements. He embodied the Quintessential 5th element.

The film is still playing as I type this, so I'll sign off to watch the ending.


The animé of that was better than the movie. Infact, the movie sucked in comparison, but the special effects were ok.
Because the animé is where the story came from, its more indepth and covers quite a bit more than the movie could hope to. When he (the avatar) has to learn fire... well, its really interesting - i mean each element was interesting, but the fire element especially. Far more allegory and symbolism in the animé show. ;)

If you like the movie, you'll love the show - i recommend it. :)



~Seth-Ra
 

MarkostheGnostic

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Thanks for the response, and I agree that it sucked but the effects were cool. Probably not gonna watch the animé any time soon.
 

zoas23

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Jodorowsky was mentioned... I would say that all his films are alchemical films (my own favorite is "Santa Sangre" and "Holy Mountain" comed second).

Kenneth Anger should be mentioned too, even if you don''t like Thelema (in my own case, I don't specially like or have any kind of interest in Thelema, but I can't deny he is a genius).

Derek Jarman's "The Angelic Conversation" was mostly planned following nine alchemical steps, so it's worth watching (it is also quite an experimental "queer movie", so some people may not enjoy it, I have no idea.. in my own case, I do love it and I'm not even gay myself).

A very interesting movie is "The Dark Crystal"... which is actually a movie for little kids... and yet it is incredibly related to alchemy in quite an explicit way.
 

solomon levi

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A very interesting movie is "The Dark Crystal"... which is actually a movie for little kids... and yet it is incredibly related to alchemy in quite an explicit way.

In the vein of kid's films, also "the never-ending story" and "labyrinth" I found very enlightening.
Especially striking in "Labyrinth" was when she takes a bite of the fruit and forgets and she
returns to a dream-state version of her home/house and a "demon" is trying to keep her
comfortable and from remembering by giving her all the "toys" and distractions she was fond of.
Such is the state of man, forgetting the "one most important thing" we came here to do: to wake up,
to "escape from prison".
 
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Andro

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Such is the state of man, forgetting the "one most important thing" we came here to do: to wake up, to "escape from prison".

Re-quoting Captain Picard from a different thread:

"The first duty of the prisoner is to escape."

I myself am feeling increasingly uncomfortable in this 'prison' of flesh and physical matter in general.

On the other hand - I am neither escapist nor suicidal... Hmm... Quite a dilemma :)

There sure are ways to escape this 'prison' up to a point, as much as it is possible within the design.

SO, IMO, there is no FULL escape from this PARTICULAR prison while still physically incarnated... But I would surely like to be proven wrong :)
 

solomon levi

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Re-quoting Captain Picard from a different thread:



I myself am feeling increasingly uncomfortable in this 'prison' of flesh and physical matter in general.

On the other hand - I am neither escapist nor suicidal... Hmm... Quite a dilemma :)

There sure are ways to escape this 'prison' up to a point, as much as it is possible within the design.

SO, IMO, there is no FULL escape from this PARTICULAR prison while still physically incarnated... But I would surely like to be proven wrong :)


Yeah, I'm wouldn't consider myself escapist or suicidal either - I've contemplated suicide, but never to the point
where I could see myself actually do it or try it. I guess that's escapist in a way, to contemplate suicide as an option.
I mean to say I do not agree with escapism - of course I have struggled with it. Every moment we are not fully
alive and present we are escapists a la Krishnamurti.
Another interesting line in the "Waking Life" was something to the effect of time being the result of saying 'no'
to God's invitation to unify with it. :)

For me the body and flesh are not (yet?) the problem. I'm desiring mental and psychological freedom. I still
agree with my observations of thought being the only problem - things aren't problems until we think about them.
There's nothing lacking in THIS until we think. I guess I'm still holding on to some ideal state of Castaneda's
controlled folly where everything would be fun and a game. Most probably, this is my mistaken definition,
just as people have mistakenly identified enlightenment as eternal happiness. To me, enlightenment is the
absence of the false ego centered view which would interpret something as happy or unhappy. The actual situation
may be one of pain or somethng crappy we've experienced a hundred times before, but due to the missing experiencer,
it is not perceived as pain or crappy.

I recently realised that my personal understanding which I have called 'relative objectivity' is synonymous with
controlled folly. Folly is subjectivity, or relativity - nothing objectively real - and control is the objective measure
we apply to the relative and subjective. That is, there is the appearance of control/objectivity as long as we hold one
consistent aim.
I developed my understanding of 'relative objectivity' so as not to argue with the quantum view that everything is
subjective - our observation necessarily alters what we observe, therefore there is no objectivity. Ok, fine. But there
are 'frames' which are relatively more objective/impersonal than other frames - hence relative objectivity.
Relative objectivity is "the bigger picture", the more-encompassing awareness. Of course, as long as it is a frame,
it is not the whole, the One, the true Subject, so in that view who cares if one frame is more objective than another -
it's all relative. But in general, the bigger picture, or relative objectivity, has been my guide towards truth, even though
I know truth is not a picture. So am I wasting my time? No matter how much we control our folly, it is still folly.
The sorcerers' description, while providing relative freedom from the average man's description, is still a description.

So does my bigger picture just lead to inertia, to 'what the hell', to 'why bother?'.
Castaneda compensated for that by saying we must strive to comprehend the mystery without ever hoping to fully do so.
I don't know. There's not much 'strive' in me lately. :)
 

Ghislain

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I myself am feeling increasingly uncomfortable in this 'prison' of flesh and physical matter in general.

Is this not just like an aqualung and wet suit for diving into the mysteries of the deep?
Perhaps if the flesh and physical matter is removed your movement here will be restricted.

There's not much 'strive' in me lately
Multi vitamins and some early nights Sol ;)

Ghislain
 

MarkostheGnostic

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I ran the trailer. Gonna check it out, thanks for the suggestion!