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

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

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“Magic Trip: Ken Kesey’s Search for a Kool Place” was written and directed by Alex Gibney and Alison Ellwood. The documentary is based on the words and recordings of Ken Kesey and the unseen footage from the 1964 cross country trip. The voiceover is done by Stanley Tucci. “Magic Trip” was produced by Will Clarke, Mr. Gibney and Alexandra Johnes and released by Magnolia Pictures. This documentary was compiled from home videos shot by Kesey and the Pranksters, which lends itself to a sense of authenticity because there are to actors trying to portray the Pranksters.
This compilation of original footage shot by Ken Kesey and his friends, known as the Merry Pranksters, follows their cross country bus trip in 1964 from California to New York to see the World’s Fair. Besides Kesey, the most well-known Prankster was Neal Cassady, who was the inspiration for Dean Moriarty in Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” and the driver for the first leg of the journey.
The film begins with a short biography of Kesey, a writer known for his novels “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “Sometimes a Great Notion.” The Merry Pranksters are introduced by their nicknames. Stark Naked, Intrepid Traveler, Mal Function, Gretchen Fetchin, Generally Famished and Zonker, and Sometimes Missing, just to name a few. The film tells some of the stories behind the nicknames. On one of the Pranksters stops they accidentally left Babb behind. By the time they had realized he was missing Babb had hitchhiked and caught up to the bus, leading to the nickname of ‘Sometimes Missing’. ‘Generally Famished’ was given because as a pregnant woman, she was always hungry. ‘Zonker’ was named so because he always fell asleep before anything happened. The bus receives the moniker of ...


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... me a lot of background information. However, I was unfamiliar with The Merry Pranksters’ trip across country.
My reception of this film was so positive because of my knowledge, experiences and values. I have always enjoyed learning about the 1960’s and admired the political activism and change that occurred in that time period. I grew up in a very liberal home, where we were freely able to discuss controversial topics and form our own opinions.



Works Cited

"Magic Trip." Magic Trip. IMDb.com. Web. 01 Apr. 2012. .
"Magic Trip." (Official Movie Site). Magnolia Pictures. Web. 01 Apr. 2012. .
Magic Trip:Ken Kesey's Search for a Kool Place. Dir. Alison Ellwood and Alex Gibney. Prod. Will Clarke and Alexandra Johnes. Perf. Ken Kesey and Neal Cassady. Magnolia Pictures, 2011. DVD.

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