SXSW Preview: Dirty Pictures

No, South by Southwest will not be showing movies about actual dirty pictures — those of the nude variety. This isn’t Fantastic Fest. But they will be showing a documentary about a rogue chemist who invented a bunch of mind-altering drugs. That has to be a close second to taking nude photos of attractive people, right? As it turns out, the title of this film is derived from the molecular drawings of said rogue scientist. It all sounds pretty fascinating, if you ask me. A full synopsis and photo gallery are below.

Dirty Pictures (dir. Etienne Sauret)

Category: Documentary Competition


Dirty Pictures is a documentary about Dr. Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin, the rogue chemist who discovered the effects of MDMA (aka Ecstasy) and over 200 other mind-altering drugs. Shulgin’s alchemy has earned him the title “The Godfather of Psychedelics,” and a reputation as one of the great chemists of the 20th century.  Working from a lab in his home, and using himself and his wife Ann as test subjects, Shulgin’s discoveries have brought him into conflict with the law but made him a worldwide underground hero. The two books they co-authored, “Pihkal” and “Tihkal”, have built a foundation for cutting-edge neuroscience and medical research.  Dirty Pictures examines the impact of Dr. Shulgin’s lifelong quest to unlock the complexities of the human mind.

Neil Miller is the Founder and Publisher of Film School Rejects. For almost a decade, he has been talking movies on television, the radio, and the Internet. As of yet, no one has stopped him.

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