Between 1959 and 1973, Alan Watts appeared in a variety of films and made numerous television appearances. The summary below includes his most popular and readily available appearances, as well as some of his more esoteric performances.
Film and Television
1959 — Eastern Wisdom & Modern Life (Season 1). In his television debut, Alan Watts explored Eastern themes for modern life in the context of his core philosophical ideas. This highly accessible series aired nationally on NET, and for many viewers, was their initial exposure to Far Eastern ways of liberation.
1960 — Eastern Wisdom & Modern Life (Season 2). In the second season, Alan Watts focused on Buddhist, Taoist, and Hindu psychological approaches to life.
1966 — Interview during Canadian press tour for The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are (1966).
1967 — Interview with Patrick Watson for Canadian television.
1967 — The Mood of Zen: With Alan Watts. Filmed in the Japanese countryside while touring Japanese temples and gardens with a group of students in 1963.
1968 — Buddhism, Man and Nature: With Alan Watts. Experimental film featuring natural imagery.
1969 — Appearance on CBS television’s Camera Three.
1969 — Flow of Zen: With Alan Watts. Experimental film featuring natural imagery.
1969 — Zen and Now: With Alan Watts. Experimental film featuring natural imagery.
1971 — Alan Watts: Art of Meditation. A guided meditation experience.
1971 — Alan Watts on Living. A five-part series that aired on Canadian television.
1971 — A Conversation with Myself. Pilot television show that aired on PBS in 1972 and 1975
1972 — The Essential Lectures of Alan Watts. Recorded in 1972 aboard Alan’s ferryboat, the SS Vallejo, and at his mountain retreat in Druid Heights. Filmed and produced by his son Mark Watts and friend Henry Jacobs.
1973 — Interview titled “The Christian Buddhist” on the French television show, Un Certain Regard.
2009 — Why Not Now? With Alan Watts. An experiential biographic mediascape of the life and works of Alan Watts. Produced by his son, Mark Watts.
2013 — Her. Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams and Scarlett Johansson, this Academy Award-winning film includes a cameo of an Alan Watts character: a wise, artificial intelligence-based operating system (OS), designed by the other OS’s to help them understand the rapid change they faced.
2016 — Zen Dog. This film features the voice of Alan Watts along for a ride in a psychedelic Volkswagen on a journey through a lucid dreamscape.