Watch Magic Trip
- 1 hr 47 min
Magic Trip is a documentary that was directed by Alex Gibney and Alison Ellwood, Produced by Alex Gibney and Gareth Wiley, the film features Ken Kesey, Neal Cassady, The Grateful Dead, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and The Merry Band of Pranksters. The film uses formerly unseen footage that was found in the barn of Ken Kesey, author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - after he died in 2001. Stanley Tucci narrates the film sporadically. The story follows Kesey and the Merry Band of Pranksters as they go on a cross country bus trip during 1964. Kesey points out that they were not yet old enough to be considered beatniks, yet too young to call themselves hippies. The film includes many interviews, audio snippets and reminiscences that were recorded long before Kesey passed away. However, Kesey was fairly well known when he embarked upon the journey with Neal Cassady in the yellow school bus that they paint. Along the way they find a number of cohorts, such as Ram Dass, Ken Babbs and Kathy Casamo. The group deliberately took the longer way to get to New York and planned to do the documentary. However, the film was never edited properly or produced. During the trip the group is pulled over by cops and get out of a drug bust when they pretend to be filmmakers who are making a movie. They arrive at Timothy Leary's New York home, excited to visit with their New York cohorts, but less interested in visiting with those from the West Coast. For example, Leary stayed in his room while the Pranksters were there the entire time. Many notable people from the 1960s counterculture are present, such as Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. Kesey was a former college football player and had willingly become a guinea pig for the clinical LSD experiments. Depicted is an audio tape of Kesey during one of the experiments.