In 1964, Ken Kesey (author of "One Flew
Over the Cuckoo's Nest") and his Merry Band of Pranksters decided to take a cross country trip from California to the
New York World's Fair. They traveled in a multi-colored bus intending
to make a documentary about their trip. They filmed hours of footage with no knowledge on how to make a documentary.
They showed the raw footage to people who came over to see it. The film was never finished.
Decades later, documentary directors Alex
Gibney and Alison Ellwood were given access to the raw footage. They carved a tale out of the footage in a very absorbing
tale about a trip that was one part road trip/ one part drug tripping experience. I do think the film does end
on a sad note as the fun they had on the trip turns to a culture where the government starts cracking down on drug users (and
demonize them through the media). Even though the documentary directors said Ken Kesey's purpose of the trip and the
graduations he held after the trip were his attempt to get people to stop taking LSD.
I enjoyed the fun trip much more than the aftermath that followed.
The audio commentary with directors
Alex Gibney and Alison Ellwood gives insights into the trip Ken Kesey and his Merry Band of Pranksters took in addition to
information on how they put together (and edited) the documentary. It is worth a listen if you want to find out
more about the trip shown in the documentary. Then there is the uncut audio recording of Ken Kesey's first trip
on LSD (the recording runs for 50 minutes).
The deleted scenes include two scenes
which show trips to Canada and Mexico.
Even though they didn't fit into the overall arc of the documentary, I think there is another documentary that could be edited
out of the footage as witnessed by the selection of deleted scenes included on this disc which are a combination of deleted
scenes and extended scenes. HDNet: A LOOK AT MAGIC TRIP is a promotional piece on the documentary.
FINAL ANALYSIS: MAGIC TRIP
is a fascinating documentary that tells about a road trip and the changing times in the 1960s in addition to what happened
after the trip.
this DVD review is (c)11-10-2011 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments