Magic Trip: Ken Kesey's Search For A Kool Place Review

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Assembled from real footage of the trip, this is an account of Ken Kesey's cross-country, LSD-fueled road trip with his counter-culture crew, the Merry Pranksters.


“When the legend becomes fact, print the legend,” goes a line in John Ford’s The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Fans of Ken Kesey, Jack Kerouac et al would do well to remember that, because the deeper this documentary delves into the Merry Band Of Pranksters’ legendary acid-fuelled road trip of 1964 — featuring much restored (and, for the first time in nearly 40 years, partially sound-synced) colour 16mm footage — the less it looks like radical counter-cultural envelope-pushing and more like a remake of Summer Holiday on LSD. Lovingly pieced together (by the director and editor of Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room) and fascinating — and as ramshackle as the ramblings of an acid freak.

Not the razor-sharp narrative that Gibney's Enron doc offered, but then you'd hardlyt expect that with a beatnik cast and enough acid to turn blue litmus paper to therapy. It's all bathed in a hazy fug of day-glo nostalgia.