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Magic Trip Review


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At the height of his success as a novelist, Ken Kesey picked up a film camera and set out to make a road movie. But the 30 hours of footage and unsynchronised sound were never edited down until now. And this invaluable documentary, subtitled "Ken Kesey's Search for a Kool Place", compiles takes us along for the ride.

Inspired by Jack Kerouac's On the Road, Kesey and the Merry Pranksters decided to drive a colourfully painted schoolbus, christened Further, from California to the New York 1964 World's Fair to get a feel for what was happening in America. They made it there after two weeks of free-wheeling craziness with amusing small adventures every step of the way. But they also get so lost in dropping acid that everything starts getting rather chaotic, sending their relationships into soap-opera territory. Which makes the drive back home a bit surreal.

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Magic Trip Trailer


Back in 1964, Author of classic novel 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest', Ken Kesey, set off on a famous road trip across the USA to the New York World's Fair. He was accompanied by what came to be known as 'The Merry Band of Pranksters', a rebellious group of truth-seekers, one of which was Neal Cassady, an icon celebrated in Kerouac's 'On the Road', and the man in charge of decorating and driving their transport - the Magic Bus.

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Malick's Tree Is Planted In Cannes


Cannes Film Festival Brad Pitt Grant Hill Ken Kesey No Doubt Sean Penn The Grateful Dead

Terrence Malick's long-awaited Tree of Life was finally unspooled at the Cannes Film Festival today (Monday), receiving polite applause mixed with scattered boos from an overflow crowd of reporters attending a morning screening. Most, however, were No Doubt left mystified by Malick's laudable attempt to portray the mundane life of a nuclear family of the 1950s against the nucleus of the living world itself. A lengthy section of the film amounts to a visual poem about the paradox of creation and destruction, the sort of cosmic montage that used to screen behind The Grateful Dead at a Ken Kesey Acid Test at the Longshoreman's Hall in San Francisco in the '60s. What's it all about? Malick himself did not come to Cannes to explain. Producer Grant Hill, who did, justified Malick's absence at a news conference by remarking, "He puts the film out there and expects people to make what they want to make of it." Brad Pitt, the star of the film -- he plays what he described as "an oppressive father" -- told reporters that movies may be the only art form where the artist is expected to act as his own salesman, a role Malick shies away from. Also a no-show Sean Penn, who plays the grown-up version of one of the three boys in Pitt's family. His role is barely more than a cameo -- and he was not even mentioned at today's news conference.

Continue reading: Malick's Tree Is Planted In Cannes

Kesey's Bus Set To Hit The Road Again


Ken Kesey Tom Wolfe Willie Nelson

The psychedelic bus that became a huge part of the hippie movement in America is to be restored for a planned documentary road trip.
The vehicle, owned by writer Ken Kesey, featured at many peace and love gatherings throughout the late 1960s and 1970s and housed Kesey and hippie culture icons THE MERRY PRANKSTERS.
The bus was made famous when it featured in Tom Wolfe's 1968 book THE ELECTRIC KOOL-AID ACID TEST.
Kesey's son ZANE and his wife STEPHANIE are searching for a film deal and financial help to restore the broken down bus. Country star and environmentalist Willie Nelson has already offered to install a biodiesel engine in the vehicle, which has spent the past 15 years slowly sinking into a swamp in northern California.
Kesey bought the school bus in the late 1930s with the money he made from his novel ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST and toured the country with his Merry Prankster friends.

English Patient And Clockwork Orange Among Top Adaptations


The English Patient A Clockwork Orange Brokeback Mountain Steven Spielberg Empire of the Sun Schindler's List Jaws Peter Benchley Michael Ondaatje Ken Kesey One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Pride And Prejudice Get Shorty Doctor Zhivago Fight Club

Desert romance The English Patient, A Clockwork Orange and gay cowboy epic Brokeback Mountain have been included in a shortlist of the best 50 books to make it to the big screen. The list, compiled by Britain's Book Marketing Society, honours literary classics turned into movie masterpieces and will be voted on by readers online and at UK bookshops. Among the works cited, director Steven Spielberg is responsible for three: JG BALLARD's Empire of the Sun, THOMAS KENEALLY's Holocaust drama SCHINDLER'S ARK (filmed as Schindler's List), and Jaws, written by Peter Benchley. Meanwhile, movie re-workings of Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient, ANTHONY BURGESS' A Clockwork Orange, and Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest have garnered 14 Oscars and another 11 Academy Award nominations. GOODFELLAS, Pride And Prejudice, Get Shorty, Doctor Zhivago and Fight Club also make the shortlist.

Go Further Review


OK
Noted environmentalist/vegetarian Woody Harrelson takes a road trip with his unabashed hippie friends in Go Further, a crude documentary that follows his crew from Oregon (via bikes and a bio-diesel bus) to southern California, proselytizing all the while.

Nothing wrong with that, but the film is so riddled with cliches and old information that it's hard to muster much interest in the cause or, by extension, enthusiasm for the "film."

Continue reading: Go Further Review

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