Editor’s note : a big thank you to Olive Films for the promotional copy of this Blu-Ray release of this cult classic.
The Trip (Roger Corman, 1967)
Paul Groves (Peter Fonda), a television commercial director, is in the midst of a personality crisis. His wife Sally (Susan Strasberg) has left him and he seeks the help of his friend John (Bruce Dern), a self-styled guru who's an advocate of LSD. Paul asks John to be the guide on his first "trip".
Often cited as the worst film of all time, The Trip is a gem that reflects the spirit of its time. This experiment, cause filming those kaleidoscope drug trips permitted to lead to Dennis Hopper’s Easy Rider also starring Peter Fonda and Jack Nicholson who wrote The Trip. Fonda’s performance is interesting and well nuanced in this extravagant film that has a look of the 1960’s of Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blowup with the depiction of free sexuality and rock music.
Second paragraph and no word on the director? Michaël sure isn’t feeling well you say. Well, Roger Corman, the mentor of the New Hollywood, or one of the most important figures of this second Golden Age of Hollywood. His imput was what put Nicholson, Fonda, Hopper, Coppola, Cameron, and even Martin Scorsese on the map with Boxcar Bertha. Corman is an important figure of the Cinema and not just his underground with his Independent B-Movies, but he was a producer and a risk taker that made him a mentor and an advocate of young and raw talents.
The screenplay of The Trip is not that rich and it is a drug infused with some sex scenes and references to the œuvre of Tolkien. But, Corman used Jack Nicholson’s script and the latter would have a great career.
The musical aspect of The Trip might be the most interesting with the way the performers are shot and how it sounds really good. Sure it’s a trippy film and there is nothing really going on. The quest of Paul never really is important or riveting and the blurs of colors and funny montage might get you dizzy more than high on the film. Nonetheless, the er ais well represented here and the search for Paul inner him announced the future of the hippie generation that emancipate the Western World.