LONG STRANGE TRIP (Amir Bar-Lev, U.S.). 240 minutes. Rating: NNNN For the uninitiated, the prospect of a four-hour Grateful Dead documentary probably.
LONG STRANGE TRIP (Amir Bar-Lev, U.S.). 240 minutes. Rating: NNNN
For the uninitiated, the prospect of a four-hour Grateful Dead documentary probably sounds a lot like their music: a meandering endurance test of hippie rambling and psychedelic nonsense.
Born out of Ken Kesey‘s legendary 60s acid tests, the band strove for freedom by creating a kind of music where “the situation is in charge,” where songs are flowing and dynamic and never the same twice, where the listener is as important as the performer. But Jerry Garcia could never escape being seen a prophet figure, to the point where, it’s surmised, his fans literally loved him to death.
While Long Strange Trip has plenty for the Deadheads, it also plays as an intriguing self-contained meditation on Big Themes: fun, fame, obsession, the birth of modern touring, the birth of LSD, the dark side of the American Dream, Cherry Garcia ice cream.
Whether you’re a fan or not, it earns its length.