The absurdly prolific director Alex Gibney — I like to say that Gibney is to documentaries as Stephen King is to fiction; they just… can’t… stop!! — is busy once again. His film on infamous Chicago Cubs fan Steve Bartman just premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival (read my review here) but we’ve already got a trailer for another project: “Magic Trip.” This one he only co-directed. Slacker.
If you’ve ever read Tom Wolfe’s “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test” then you know the story: author Ken Kesey and his Merry Band of Pranksters on a legendary psychedelic road trip. Kesey and company shot 16mm footage of their journey but the material was never utilized or widely screened until now. Which means Gibney and co-director Alison Ellwood’s film includes all sorts of rare archival footage of counterculture luminaries like Timothy Leary, Neal Cassady, and The Grateful Dead. Here’s the trailer.
For more on the film, I recommend Anne Thompson’s excellent interview with Alex Gibney at Sundance 2011, where the director shares some interesting stories about the production, like the fact that Kesey only remembered to sync his audio recording and his film camera once in forty hours of footage (as opposed to the prescribed method of every single time you stop the camera). You can also check out “Magic Trip”‘s official site for release information: it’s available on VOD starting July 1 and opens theatrically in select cities on August 5. As for Gibney, he’s already hard at work on his next projects. Yes, projects, plural. According to his IMDb page he’s already developing two more films, one on cyclist Lance Armstrong and on one WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. And here I have trouble writing a couple of blog posts every day. Yeesh.