With nothing else to write about and to accompany a trailer I hadn’t paid any attention to until a Donna Daniels p.r. person alerted me, I’m posting for the third time my three basic observations about Alex Gibney and Alison Ellwood‘s Magic Trip (Magnolia, VOD 7.1, theatrical 8.5). They were originally posted on 5.10.

One, Magic Trip is basically about new footage of the 1964 Merry Pranksters bus trip — that and very little else that illuminates.

Two, there’s no mention whatsoever of Tom Wolfe or his book that almost single-handedly sculpted the Kesey/magic bus legend, “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.” How do you make a doc about the bus without at least mentioning Wolfe’s book, a definitive account in the same way that John Reed‘s “Ten Days That Shook The World” told the story of the 1917 Russian revolution?

And three, there’s only one mention of the word ‘enlightenment’ in the whole film and no down-deep discussion at all of what LSD did to and for people during the early to late ’60s. The latter strikes me as borderline surreal. How could Gibney not explore to at least some degree the currents churned up by LSD, which was indisputably the biggest influence upon artist-youth-spiritual seeker culture of the ’60s in a thousand different ways and wound up influencing damn near everything?

Imagine some magical circumstance by which images of Jesus of Nazareth and his disciples had been visually captured or rendered in some verite, first-hand way and then preserved and assembled for a documentary, and then the filmmaker decided to more or less ignore the fact that what these thirteen men did and said just over 2000 years ago in Judea resulted in a minor little thing called Christianity.