Magic Trip: Ken Kesey’s Search for a Kool Place

Magic Trip: Ken Kesey’s Search for a Kool Place

Magic Trip: Ken Kesey’s Search for a Kool Place

Following the success of his book One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest author Ken Kesey bought a bus, assembled a "merry band of pranksters" and went road tripping across America with the idea of making a film.

However the bus wasn't the only thing tripping and although they shot reels of film Kesey's film never materialised. This doco, compiled by Oscar winning modern documentary great Alex Gibney (Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room, Taxi to the Dark Side), sees the realisation of Kesey's original vision and documents the beginnings of the 60s LSD influenced counter culture.

2011Rating: M, contains offensive language, sexual references, drug references & nudity107 minsUSA
Documentary
Director:
Alex Gibney ('Taxi to the Dark Side', 'Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room', 'Guys in the Room (2005) Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson', 'Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer')Alison Ellwood (feature debut)
Writer:
Alex GibneyAlison Ellwood
Cast:
Ken KeseyKen BabbsNeal CassadyGretchen FetchenAllen GinsbergStark Naked

Reviews & comments

Variety

Variety

press

Fans of the subject matter, especially students of the Beat era, will find this revisionist reconstruction indispensible; others will share the same tedium claimed by some of the principals on the bus.

Total Film

Total Film

press

It places the viewer right in the middle of these counter-cultural hijinks, but is less lucid about the legacy of the Pranksters’ psychedelic adventures.

3.0
The New York Times

The New York Times

press

The cinematic equivalent of a yellowed scrapbook whose pictures are accompanied by sketchy captions created after the fact.

The Guardian

The Guardian

press

A hilarious, instructive and invaluable time capsule of that touching, idealistic and more than slightly ridiculous period.

The Guardian

The Guardian

press

The prehistory of psychedelia gets an interesting, if minor footnote with this documentary co-directed by Alex Gibney - who made Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.

3.0
Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

press

Gibney and Ellwood struggle to create context for or make much sense of the vibrant hodge-podge of material that they excavated from the archives of Kesey, who died in 2001.

Little White Lies

Little White Lies

press

Regularly fascinating, but often somewhat inaccessible in its lack of historical context for the uninitiated.

Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

The backstory behind the film is as compelling as the events it depicts.

Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

Not the razor-sharp narrative that Gibney's Enron doc offered, but then you'd hardly expect that with a beatnik cast and enough acid to turn blue litmus paper to therapy.

3.0
A.V. Club

A.V. Club

press

Magic Trip is about as fun as being the only sober person at a party.

Variety

Variety

press

Fans of the subject matter, especially students of the Beat era, will find this revisionist reconstruction indispensible; others will share the same tedium claimed by some of the principals on the bus.

Total Film

Total Film

press

It places the viewer right in the middle of these counter-cultural hijinks, but is less lucid about the legacy of the Pranksters’ psychedelic adventures.

3.0
The New York Times

The New York Times

press

The cinematic equivalent of a yellowed scrapbook whose pictures are accompanied by sketchy captions created after the fact.

The Guardian

The Guardian

press

A hilarious, instructive and invaluable time capsule of that touching, idealistic and more than slightly ridiculous period.

The Guardian

The Guardian

press

The prehistory of psychedelia gets an interesting, if minor footnote with this documentary co-directed by Alex Gibney - who made Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.

3.0
Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

press

Gibney and Ellwood struggle to create context for or make much sense of the vibrant hodge-podge of material that they excavated from the archives of Kesey, who died in 2001.

Little White Lies

Little White Lies

press

Regularly fascinating, but often somewhat inaccessible in its lack of historical context for the uninitiated.

Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

The backstory behind the film is as compelling as the events it depicts.

Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

Not the razor-sharp narrative that Gibney's Enron doc offered, but then you'd hardly expect that with a beatnik cast and enough acid to turn blue litmus paper to therapy.

3.0
A.V. Club

A.V. Club

press

Magic Trip is about as fun as being the only sober person at a party.

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