A Major Film Festival Will Give Mass Hypnosis To Heighten Viewers’ Experience
By Mikelle Leow, 06 Jan 2022
When you’re out at the movies, you entrust your attention and time to the filmmakers, transferring a fair amount of power to them and having faith that they’ll give you a good time. But how much of this control would you be willing to let go?
At a trio of screenings this year, the Göteborg Film Festival—the largest film event in Scandinavia—will challenge attendees to break down those walls and get vulnerable as they allow themselves to be hypnotized en masse in a “mind-bending experiment” called ‘The Hypnotic Cinema’.
Prior to each showing, a hypnotist will take to the stage and contort viewers’ state of mind with cues in tandem with the overarching mood of the film. According to Variety, the titles planned for this project comprise Apichatping Weerasethakul’s Memoria, Shirin Neshat and Shoja Azari’s Land of Dreams, and Sundance newcomer Speak No Evil by Christian Tafdrup. Each film is selected for its distinct tone so audiences can have a diversely intensified experience.
The hypnotist will reverse the effects at the end of the screenings.
This experiment expands on the festival’s theme this year, ‘Disorder’, which plays with the boundaries of regulation and disorder. More on the subject will unfold when the Göteborg Festival arrives from January 28 to February 6.
“The rules and restrictions of the past year have illuminated how to maintain order in society and what really governs people’s thoughts and behaviors. Maybe we don’t make decisions as independently as we like to think?” questions the festival’s artistic director Jonas Holmberg. “With ‘The Hypnotic Cinema’ we want to raise questions about submission, transgression, and control.”
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