Jean Beaudin, the acclaimed Canadian director and screenwriter, has 20 films to his name since breaking through in 1969. In that same year, cutting his teeth as an experimental young creative, Beaudin released his vague but compelling short Vertige.
This film, a long crescendo building picture, presents itself as a psychological representation of the tactics of escapism used by the decade’s youth who are seemingly struggling to deal with the war and extreme violence.
With a strong sense of symbolic elements driving into the world of the unconscious, Vertige follows the young disillusioned youngsters who are seeking refuge in the form of hedonism and the desire of sexual liberation. Arguably one of the finest representations of 1960s psychedelic cinema, Beaudin’s short is visually and sonically one of the most powerfully irresistible pieces of work to represent the era.
At a time that signified an artistic and creative revolution, a certain band from Liverpool going by the name of The Beatles were attempting to pave the way in rock and roll. Two years prior to the release of Vertige, The Beatles had released their song ‘I Am The Walrus’, the first studio recording made by the Beatles after the death of their manager and close friend Brian Epstein.
“Magical Mystery Tour is one of my favourite albums because it was so weird,” John Lennon once said of the music. “‘I Am The Walrus’ is also one of my favourite tracks—because I did it, of course, but also because it’s one of those that has enough little bitties going to keep you interested even a hundred years later,” he added.
It is because of that weirdness, that surrealist edge, that filmmaker Marc Campbell decided to combine the eye-popping psychedelic visuals of Vertige with the iconic Beatles song, slowing the track down by 800%, to create a trip like never before.