Film Review: Magic Trip

Posted in Film, Reviews
By Sam Bathe on 18 Nov 2011

Narrated by Stanley Tucci, Alison Ellwood and Alex Gibney charts the legendary, and previously unseen, road trip across America by Ken Keasey and the Merry Pranksters.

The lauded writer of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’s LSD-fueled band of friends were making the journey to the New York World’s Fair and was actually filmed at the time, intending to make a documentary about the trip, only the film was never finished, and the footage unseen, so with directorial duo Ellwood and Gibney restoring the hours of video and audiotape, piecing together bits of the trip, it makes for an enlightening and extraordinary insight into one of the most infamous events of the time.

While Magic Trip won’t prove edge of your seat viewing for all, and an interest in Keasey, the movement or the 1960s is certainly advised before delving  into the documentary, it’s a thorough and very well made film, although not exploring the Merry Pranksters wider cultural influence and historical significance is a great misstep.


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