The Nightshirt Sightings, Portents, Forebodings, Suspicions

Category “Movies”

The Nightshirt Guide to the Twin Peaks Rebirth

Tuesday, 27 June, 2017

“We live in a world of opposites, of extreme evil and violence opposed to goodness and peace. It’s that way here for a reason but we have a hard time grasping what the reason is. In struggling to understand the reason, we learn about balance and there’s a mysterious door right at that balance point. […]

Zen, Signs, and the Arrival of Meaning

Monday, 2 January, 2017

Even though they were widely panned when they came out and have now been mostly forgotten, I have a soft spot for M. Night Shyamalan’s films from the early 2000s—Unbreakable, Signs, and The Village. Signs, especially, I thought was a satisfying, intimate-scale sci-fi film about alien invasion, but it lost many of its viewers by […]

Altered States of Reading #6: Stories of Your (Future, Past) Life

Sunday, 27 November, 2016

Few films could better illustrate the workings of precognition than Denis Villeneuve’s excellent new film Arrival, based on a 1999 story “The Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang. If you’ve seen the trailers, it will give nothing away that it is about a first-contact situation, and the attempt of a linguist, played by Amy […]

Altered States of Reading (Part 3): A Private Part of Time’s Anatomy

Tuesday, 6 October, 2015

A couple weeks ago, Twitter etc. went wild when a new book revealed allegations that UK Prime Minister David Cameron had, during an initiation ritual while at Oxford, inserted “a private part of his anatomy” in the mouth of a dead pig. To an entire nation, it was a hilariously obvious permutation of Charlie Brooker’s […]

The Vicinity of the Real (Tarkovsky’s Stalker)

Sunday, 2 August, 2015

The Zone in Andrei Tarkovsky’s late sci-fi masterpiece Stalker is one of my favorite places, real or imagined. It is a landscape of overgrown ruins, where spacetime itself is uncertain and only the experienced can guide you through. It is not that the guide (the “Stalker” of the title) knows the way—because the way is […]

What Lies Under the Skin?—Psi and the Physics of Indeterminacy

Tuesday, 28 July, 2015

I have suggested in previous posts that psi may operate not directly on actual reality, but on the unactualized quantum potential of superposed states prior to physical observation, or what for convenience I call the “Not Yet.” I don’t know if this is a widely held interpretation, although quantum mechanics is felt by many theorists […]

Prophecies, Time Loops, and Bubble Realities: La Jetée and The Sacrifice

Wednesday, 22 April, 2015

If precognition is real, then we have to take account of the range of sci-fi effects it would produce, effects that go beyond the strictly ‘prophetic.’ Because we fail to see how our consciousness is receptive to the future and how our actions contribute to, and only in a minority of cases confirm, that future, […]

Don’t Look Now: Witches, Weird Sisters, and the Eroticism of ESP

Saturday, 18 April, 2015

Nicolas Roeg’s 1973 paranormal thriller Don’t Look Now, based on a Daphne du Maurier short story (and now finally released on the Criterion Collection), is one of my desert-island top 10 (probably top 5) favorite films, and it is hands down the greatest Fortean film ever made. Short of UFOs, it has everything you could […]

The Solaris Mind: Hypnagogia, Meditation, and Insight

Sunday, 8 March, 2015

A classic motif in science fiction is that humanity ventures to the farthest reaches of space only to find, impossibly, something of our own that we had forgotten. Stanislaw Lem’s 1961 novel Solaris, about a planet covered by a viscous ocean that manufactures simulacra from its observers’ unconscious, is probably the purest expression of this […]

Consciousness Inside-Out: Wormhole UFOs, the Hill Abduction, and Interstellar

Sunday, 30 November, 2014

Jacques Vallee has been saying for years that our materialistic fetishism for the nuts-and-bolts secrets of UFO propulsion is a block on our imagination and a hindrance to scientific understanding of the phenomenon; there are countless other possibilities besides ‘alien spaceships propelled by antigravity.’ Thinking differently about how our visual system interprets anomalous phenomena can […]