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The Trips Festival [DVD] [2007]

Release Date:05/06/2008
Eric Christensen's documentary on a ground-breaking psychedelic happening held in San Francisco in early 1966 gets a simple presentation in this DVD edition. The Trips Festival Movie has been transferred to disc in its original full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1; most of the new footage has been sourced from digital video and looks colorful and sharp, while the vintage newsreel material and images of the festival itself look very good given their vintage. The audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Stereo and the quality is good without being particularly outstanding. The interviews and narration are in English, with no subtitles or multiple language options included. And as a bonus, the disc includes a panel discussion following an early screening of the film including several the participants in the Trips Festival, including Bob Weir, Carolyn Garcia (aka Mountain Girl), Stewart Brand, Ben Van Meter, Ramon Sender, Roland Jacopetti and more; the group discussion was shot with a single camera, and given that few of the speakers say much that they didn't cover in the film, it's good fun but not especially illuminating. More historically valuable is an experimental film Van Meter shot during the festival itself, using multiple exposures and varying shooting speeds to capture the kinetic energy of the performances. Van Meter's film is fascinating, but for some reason the audio mastering has isolated the soundtrack to the left channel only, lessening its impact. The Trips Festival Movie is an intriguing bit of cultural anthropology, but the DVD doesn't add much to its effectiveness beyond a good quality presentation of the film itself.

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    Special Features

    • Ben Van Meter's original trips festival film plus panel discussion with Bob Weir, Stewart Brand, Carolyn "Mountain Girl" Garcia, Ramon Sender, Roland Jacopetti, Ben Van Meter and Eric Christensen


    The Trips Festival
    The Summer of Love was still eighteen months away when a collective of San Francisco-based filmmakers, musicians, performance artists, entrepreneurs, and futurists planted the seed of the counterculture movement, and that seed was called the Trips Festival. For three full days, attendees at the Trips Festival were treated to a non-stop multimedia rock show comprised of guerilla theater, psychedelic light shows, and Grateful Dead music. Of course the LSD-spiked ice cream didn't hurt in creating a transformative vibe that would resonate throughout the culture in the coming months. In addition to highlighting how the Trips Festival would ultimately become the blueprint for Burning Man, director Eric Christensen and narrator Peter Coyote trace the careers of festival presenter Bill Graham (who forever altered music history by booking the very first rock show at the Fillmore Auditorium), and festival producer Stewart Brand (who not only created the Whole Earth Catalog, but also pioneered the online community the Well). ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Peter Coyote
      Peter Coyote - Narrator

    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.