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Dana Venzor Says, in 1-17-2010 at 10:31:41 from     

I should like to personally thank the artist for this film

It was truly mind expanding and horizon widening for me

I imagine the messages ringing with me for quite some time

Rating: 5 / 5

Avra Rob Says, in 1-17-2010 at 12:27:30 from     

A sincere, earnest effort from Canada, utilizing multiple video techniques to give an idea of Aldous Huxley’s wide-ranging concerns, including brief segments of an interview with the writer. These however are marred by the questions being not of the best, occasionally producing a bemused smile from Huxley, but do have historic interest. The emphasis here is on those aspects of Huxley’s thought which caught the attention of the 60s generation: anti-technology, pacifism, and of course his experimentation with mind-altering drugs. As such a relatively superficial view, but worth it as an introduction, and for those wishing a deeper understanding, especially in the area of cultural criticism, read the essays.
Rating: 3 / 5

Mark Achbar Says, in 1-17-2010 at 13:38:13 from     

Oliver Hockenhull’s choices of subject never fail to intrigue. In Aldous Huxley: The Gravity of Light, the archival gems of Huxley alone are worth the price of admission. Oliver’s treatment of his subject is complex and uncompromising. Not for the faint of intellect, this.

The film demonstrates an evolving and unusual aesthetic, one which continutes, in later work, to develop with impressive technical mastery.

The world is a better place for the likes of mind-altering chemical pioneer Sasha Shulgin. If you’ve yet to encounter him, the bonus interview on this DVD is a great place to start.
Rating: 4 / 5

nonlinearize Says, in 1-17-2010 at 15:56:24 from     

“This is not,” as the film claims at its outset, “a proper documentary.” The Gravity of Light is about Huxley’s ideas, not his life, though scattered biographical details are included among the archival footage, excerpted readings, abstract graphics and post-modern tableaux that compose the film. And the documentary isn’t conventional in its presentation of Huxley’s ideas either; rather than follow the chronology of his intellectual development, the film focuses specifically on the analogies between Huxley’s work and the advent of modern technocratic society.

While the director seems to respect his subject, he has chosen to take some experimental liberties with the film, referencing his own relationship with Huxley’s work and, in one scene, suggesting that the filmmakers consulted a psychic about the nature of their work. Not all of this is unsuccessful. Unfortunately, in several scenes thick with abstract rhetoric, the film merely uses Huxley’s ideas as a launching pad for its own concepts.

That being said, the archival footage of Huxley is a pleasure to watch. And the recollections by Jean Houston and Huston Smith help convey the extraordinary and inspirational influence Huxley has had on others. Although The Gravity of Light tries to be smarter than it really is, the film certainly succeeded in renewing my interest in Huxley. And while it’s not, on the whole, a bad source of information about the late writer, it’s not the first place I’d recommend looking either. For that, pick up one of Huxley’s books.

Rating: 2 / 5

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