Director: Alex Gibney & Alison Ellwood | USA 2011 | 90 min
Too young to be beat, to old to be hippies! With the newly invented LSD-25 as a mental compass, the countercultural author Ken Kesey dragged a group of likeminded people on a psychedelic crusade in 1964. A school bus is transformed into a flagship of the revolution, and in the aftermath of Kerouac they burn their way through a sleepy USA on a kaleidoscopic road trip. With the stated intention of setting fire to the American mind from coast to coast, this bus trip is justifiably feted as the dress rehearsal for the psychedelic revolution and the beginning of "the love generation". The trip has today gained the status of a modern myth, but in spite of the fact that the group eagerly documented the tour on 16mm film, which still today looks razor sharp with beautiful saturated images, the rare and explosive material has until now been reserved for a closed circle. But now the doors of consciousness are being opened wide to let us look at the chaotic and seductive acid project! The American documentary heavyweights Alex Gibney and Alison Ellwood have created a colourful trip through a sensual celluloid haze, taken from over 100 hours of original footage. En route, the bus collides with people such as Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, The Grateful Dead and the high priest of psycho-chemistry Timothy Leary, and we are shown a dizzying map of a nation that is a few inches away from stepping over the cosmic threshold. Take a sip from "The Electric Kool-Aid" and sit at the front of the bus!
The Magic Trip (USA, 2011, 90 min.)
Director: Alex Gibney & Alison Ellwood. Producer: Will Clarke, Alex Gibney, Alexandra Johnes. Production: A&E IndieFilms.