Jim Morrison's Favourite Film is an Unsung Classic

by Sam Kemp
(Credit: Alamy)
(Credit: Alamy)

The music of The Doors has a timeless appeal. Born in an era of technological innovation, distant conflict, charismatic cult figures, and social transformation, the band’s enigmatic frontman, Jim Morrison, tapped into the dark underbelly of the American cultural imagination, dredging a literary and cinematic heritage that has allowed them to take on enduring universal appeal. While much is made of Morrison’s musical contribution, less is known about his initial interest in cinema.

There was a time, after all, when Morrison was debating pursuing a career in filmmaking. ”Cinema returns us to anima, religion of matter, which gives each thing its special divinity and sees gods in all things and beings,” he once wrote “Cinema, heir of alchemy, last of an erotic science’.”

Morrison believed that film would offer him the necessary outlet for his poetic ambitions. So, in 1964, he decided to enroll as a film student at UCLA. Misunderstood by his fellow students and criticised by his teachers, he found his experimentalism was not recieved in the way he had expected. Indeed, the only film he managed to make at UCLA caused an uproar when it was screened in front of his senior class in May 1965.


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