Flicker (film)

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Directed byNik Sheehan
Produced by
Written byNik Sheehan
Based onChapel of Extreme Experience
by John G. Geiger
Music byEdmund Eagan
CinematographyHarald Bachmann
Edited by
  • Caroline Christie
  • Miume Jan Eramo
Release date
  • 23 April 2008 (2008-04-23) (Hotdocs Film Festival)
Running time
75 minutes

FLicKeR is a Canadian documentary film written and directed by Nik Sheehan, produced by Maureen Judge and Silva Basmajian (NFB). The film is based on the book Chapel of Extreme Experience[1] by John G. Geiger about the work of artist Brion Gysin and his Dreamachine.

Gysin's Dreamachine used a 100-watt light bulb, a motor, and a rotating cylinder with cutouts. Its users would sit in front of it, close their eyes, and experience visions as a result of the flashes of light. Gysin believed that by offering the world a drugless high the invention could revolutionize human consciousness.[1]

The documentary features interviews with many prominent figures from the beat movement who had experimented with Gysin's invention and discuss his life and ideas in the film. Notable figures include Marianne Faithfull, DJ Spooky, The Stooges, Iggy Pop, Lee Ranaldo, Genesis P-Orridge, John Giorno, Floria Sigismondi, and Kenneth Anger.[2]

The film premiered in Toronto in 2008 at the international documentary film festival Hot Docs and received the festival's Special Jury Prize for the best Canadian Feature Length Documentary.[3] It then went on to win in the Best Film on International Art category at the 2009 Era New Horizons Film Festival in Poland,[4] and was also nominated for a 2009 Gemini Award in the category of Best Performing Arts Program or Series or Arts Documentary Program or Series, and best original score by composer Edmund Eagan.[5] Nik Sheehan was also nominated for a Canadian screenwriting award by the Writers Guild of Canada.[6]


  1. ^ a b "John Geiger's webpage".
  2. ^ "FLicKeR website".
  3. ^ "HotDocs 2008 Awards".
  4. ^ "Era New Horizons Film Festival 2009 competition results".
  5. ^ "Nominees by Category, the 24th Annual Gemini Awards".
  6. ^ http://www.cbc.ca/arts/media/story/2009/02/26/screenwriting-awards.html

External links[edit]