Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Olive Films - THE TRIP on Blu-ray ""

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Olive Films - THE TRIP on Blu-ray

THE TRIP(1967; Roger Corman)
For the most part, a lot of movies from the 1960s can be pretty dated. For me, it can play as the most dated decade in cinema. More so than the 30s, 40s or 50s by far. A good part of that has to do with the portrayal of the hippie culture from that period. Accurate or not, it just pulls me out of films a lot of the time. The self-righteous "enlightenment" that can come across via those characters is obnoxious to the point of disgust to me when I see it. Anyway, there are some movies that seem to be more palatable than others in terms of this kinda thing and THE TRIP is one of them. Peter Fonda plays an about-to-be-divorced TV commercial director who wants to take his first acid trip. His hope is that it will help him discover some things about himself. He brings a more experienced buddy (Bruce Dern) along with him as a guide and goes to this interesting little pad run by a drug guru of sorts (Dennis Hopper).
Apparently Corman really tripped on acid himself to prepare for the film. He also enlisted the help of Jack Nicholson to write the script for it. Nicholson would presumably have some idea of what this kind of thing might be like. It is supposed to be a movie that both simulates an acid trip and perhaps could be something to watch whole viewers of the time were in acid themselves. The latter I'm not sure about, but the former seems like it could be a legit simulation of such a drug experience. Never having done it myself, I can't be sure, but it's a suitable simulation for sure. It also captures 1967 in a unique and interesting way in terms of character and low-budget production design. I often feel that low budget movies from a period can more accurately display the fashion, furniture and general ambience of the time better than big budget studio films. This is of course because films with money constraints may often have to use what is already available - be it locations or clothing or hairstyles - to keep things economical.
Corman chose some interesting and perhaps experimental sequences of color and kaleidoscopic visuals to attempt to re-create the tripping sensations. It kind of makes the movie a little bit like a ride that you go on when you sit down to view it. He combines this with quick cuts to random locations (some beach caves, a bedroom etc) that are transportative  and give the movie a dreamlike feeling. Light is projected onto cheaters and various optical techniques are used to divide and splinter the screen. Corman also uses sound to create and maintain odd an atmosphere from disjointed scene to scene. Some of it seems a little cliche now, but I believe that this is the film that a lot of other movies draw on when trying to portray psychedelic going a on. Corman even takes an early stab at the "dwarf to represent a dream" setup, which we've seen countless time since. It's probably the most experimental movie he ever made and it is rather fascinating as curio of the 60s and the type of zeitgeist exploration that Corman was trying to cash in on.

I found this interview with Corman where he talks about taking LSD and how they came up with ideas for THE TRIP:



Corman Talks about working with Dennis Hopper on THE TRIP:



THE TRIP can be purchased from Amazon here:

http://amzn.to/1WDeNwb

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