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Alexander Sasha Shulgin is the scientist behind more than 200 psychedelic compounds including MDMA, more commonly known as Ecstasy. Considered to be one of the greatest chemists of the 20th century, Sasha s vast array of discoveries have had a profound impact in the field of psychedelic research, making him a subject of fascination and controversy among fellow scientists and a folk hero to recreational users of psychedelics. Dirty Pictures uncovers the lifework of Dr. Shulgin and takes viewers inside his Northern California home where he lives with his wife of 40 years and continues to carry out experiments in a makeshift laboratory. Director Étienne Sauret likewise delves into the broader world of psychedelic research where the fields of chemistry, neuroscience and philosophy intersect and investigates whether or not this particular field could aid in solving the deepest mysteries of the human mind.
Top Customer Reviews
Some of the clips were taken from other documentaries that were freely available on the Internet even before this film was released, so some of the Shulgin content in this film is actually being resold at an inflated price. Even the name `dirty pictures' is a serious let down, if anything it's misleading, and at best it's a title that was used by MGM for a film they released on DVD in 2000.
My painful honesty is pretty much lost on the Shulgins huge and loving fan base; if you don't like the Shulgins then you probably don't like people in general, but this isn't just about them, it's also about many other people which forces it's scope to be shallow, and for that the film seems to run too long; and not far enough into the lives of the amazing Shulgins.
I think the worst thing a documentary can do is to move the general public to indifference so for that the film earns one star, but because I have a deep affection for the Shulgins I'm adding on one star to the film for them actually being in it; it's my personal bias.
Typically there are several approaches a documentary filmmaker can take ranging from humorous to straight arrow serious. The content can also be either colored to suite a particular editorially view point or stick to the facts as if the movie was presenting legal testimony. In the case of the documentarian Etienne Sauret his style is a refreshing combination of previously unconsidered facts presented in a home movie style. This has the effect of seamlessly blending some technical details that brought me back to graduate studies in Organic and bio-chemistry.Read more ›
This film is one of the worst films I have ever seen.
The editing is bizarre and disorienting. The movie does not flow. The movie is basically a collection of video clips, randomly cut and mixed together with no sense of proper timing or coherence. The result is a jarring experience that is hard to watch. I felt it was giving me a headache.
Making matters worse, there was no narration or story flow. Some of the clips had no apparent connection to the subject matter.
We made it through about half the film before turning it off.
Its a shame that such fascinating subject matter was treated with such carelessness.
Seriously, this is the worst documentary ever made.
Before you judge me, please let it be known that you'd be harder pressed to find a bigger fan of the Shulgins than I. I've worn out my copy of PIHKAL -- twice. I checked the website for this movie regularly and prayed that it'd finally make it to DVD. Trust me, I was looking for any possible excuse to like it, or even like a little bit or piece of it.
The directing "style" is a art-school sophomore effort (although I could not tell if it was intentional or not) that is somewhere between the disjointed narrative of Harmony Korine's "Julien Donkey-Boy" and the final "acid montage" scene of _Easy Rider_.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I wouldn't know, I didn't buy this. Not sure why I am being asked to rate it, but it sounds interesting. Perhaps it is a memory enhancer that actually erases memories instead. Read morePublished 4 days ago by L. VanCouvering
I knew nothing of Shulgin birdwatching this' I watched the entire film. About midway through I thought it was made to have the same effect as acid or other psychedelics. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Myrna Jacobs
A documentary about one of the most important people of the 20th century AND THE most important chemist of all time!Published 10 days ago by BigMamou
I thought it was a pretty interesting film. The dirty hippies seem pretty silly, the doctors are about the same, but it's those ugly, small minded, control freaks that scurry... Read morePublished 14 days ago by E. johnson
It's entertaining enough to stay engaged for the whole video. At one point the old guy gets extremely spaced out after taking some concoction made in his backyard makeshift drug... Read morePublished 23 days ago by Shannon L. Plesh
I am surprised that I had not heard of this couple before. They are very friendly, intelligent, etc. Read morePublished 1 month ago by D. Baugher P.
This is a film for chemists, psychologists, and doctors; for those interested in the post-Leary history of psychedelic drugs and the war on drugs as it pertains to psychedelics. Read morePublished 2 months ago by MikeInOhio