I still don’t know exactly what to think about Altered States, but I will say I enjoyed pondering the film and William Hurt’s wardrobe (when he has one) in between writing about money and debt and all that jazz today at work.
I don’t watch a lot of science fiction movies, but I did like the juxtaposition of Eddie Jessup’s (William Hurt) scientific quest to explore sensory deprivation and hallucinogenic drugs against his relationship and family life with Emily (Blair Brown) presented in Altered States.
The effects were impressive for 1980 and really brought out the film’s weirdness and Jessup’s dedication to finding out if different states of consciousness can cross over into reality.
Deep down I like to think that director Ken Russel and writer Paddy Chayefsky, who also penned the novel the film is based on, really wanted the viewer to question how far the characters would go for love or their career, or both.
What would it take for a William Hurt-type in the late 1960s to realize he can be in love?