Film Art and Cinematography : LSD, Hays Code, and Hollywood

LSD, Hays Code, and Hollywood

Notice in the mid-60s, things started to change on screen. I never saw "The Trip" (I will one day), but the cinematography and music changed, as well as the content. In 1966, the Hays Code was abolished, and all of a suddenly you saw a completely nude female. The movie "Seconds" features a hairy pussy for….. Rock Hudson!

It reminds me when the parents leave you alone for the first weekend. Its nice to have freedom, but it would also be nice to have taste, and not exploit. When I was a kid, I remember the big hullabaloo was "Basic Instinct".. "You get to see Sharon Stone's pussy!" - for 1.2 seconds (I timed it). Style over substance. Violence and nudity.

Years later, the stories became more ersatz, unoriginal. The writing was done on the cheap, and after "Jaws" they sought to make blockbusters, as opposed to taking chances with each studio making hundreds of movies.

Nowadays, its the non-stop superhero movies. They know a 6-yr old can't go to a theater alone, so the industry knows "Hey, we can make up to 300%" since their parents will have to buy a ticket. Enjoy Star Wars Part 38! Nothing worse than hearing the term "movie franchise". Its like a soap opera. If you've seen the first 9 movies, you'll probably see the 10th, but they are interested in money only. Even the "old man studio heads" took chances, took financial losses, but the main thing is although they were businessmen, they also loved movies.

Back to LSD, I remember Cary Grant taking this for therapeutic reasons, and came upon Sophia Loren and an article

Re: LSD, Hays Code, and Hollywood

I think the change had more to do with the French New Wave than LSD. The French directors didn't lean on drugs to make their films and acid doesn't actually make you creative. It is somewhat like melatonin. If you have a sleep disorder and cannot dream properly then under the influence of melatonin you experience dreams that seem unusually vivid and strange, but normal people always experience vivid and strange dreams. Under the influence of LSD uncreative people may start seeing connections between ideas they usually cannot see, but which normal people can. And anyway when the LSD wears off they see that the ideas they came up with under the influence are all worthless garbage.

I thought The Trip and other hippie exploitation movies were amusing because of the strange period and the actors who went on to greater things but as movies they were lacking.

Re: LSD, Hays Code, and Hollywood

I posted something on the many "New Waves" which took place in the early 60s, with the exception of a few like "400 Blows" in 1959. I always wonder if directors think "New decade, time for new stuff?

Re: LSD, Hays Code, and Hollywood

Wow this is a fascinating discussion. I've never had the opportunity to study film history before. I didn't know so many directors in the industry experimented with drugs in hope to become more creative.

I've always just relied on my own natural imagination. I don't find any use in drug experimentation. I've heard that LSD can make you go crazy.

Re: LSD, Hays Code, and Hollywood

I think movies evolve naturally, reflecting the changes in society, but rarely lead the trends. It is a business that requires millions in investments, so they don't take many risks. In the 60s as the counterculture was taking hold, there was more of a market for fresh ideas. Nowadays culture has become more about style over substance, so movies have gone down that same path. It isn't Hollywood's fault. If the more artful movies of the past still worked, then they would make them.