2011 Sundance Docs in Focus: MAGIC TRIP

Best Documentary Oscar winner Alex Gibney, together with Co-Director/Editor Alison Elwood close out the Documentary Premieres section with MAGIC TRIP, a hallucinatory look at Ken Kesey’s LSD-charged 1964 crosscountry road trip.

Sundance Program Description:

Ever wonder what it’s like to drop acid? Look no further. In 1964, Ken Kesey, celebrated author of ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST, took a mythic excursion across America from the West to the East Coast. Fueled by massive doses of LSD, Kesey and his band of Merry Pranksters embarked on the ultimate road trip. Their destination: Tomorrowland at the New York World’s Fair. Steered by Jack Kerouac’s infamous companion, Neal Cassady, Kesey and company rigged their psychedelic bus with cameras and a sound system and set out to chronicle a journey that took them through space, time, and the boundless landscape of the imagination.

Forty-plus years later, Academy Award–winning filmmaker Alex Gibney (TAXI TO THE DARK SIDE) and codirector Alison Ellwood unearthed Kesey’s footage, audio recordings, and photographs and created a fully immersive cinematic experience. This MAGIC TRIP is guaranteed to blow your mind.

Some Background:
The prolific Gibney has previously screened ENRON: THE SMARTEST GUYS IN THE ROOM (2005), GONZO: THE LIFE AND WORK OF DR HUNTER S THOMPSON (2008), and CASINO JACK AND THE UNITED STATES OF MONEY (2010) at Sundance. Last year, his films MY TRIP TO AL-QAEDA, a work-in-progress of CLIENT 9: THE RISE AND FALL OF ELIOT SPITZER, and FREAKONOMICS all screened at Tribeca. Ellwood has previously worked with Gibney on many of his films as a producer and editor, as well as directing such TV series as the Emmy Award-winning AMERICAN HIGH.

Why You Should Watch:
Even the most straight-laced, drug-free viewer has got to be curious about what such an epic trip would look like. Combine that with figures like Ken Kesey and Neal Cassady and it’s a must-see record of a counter-cultural moment stretched out from coast to coast.

Screening Info:
For screening dates and times at Sundance, click the link in the first paragraph above.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Recommendations, Sundance

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