Take a Little Trip

Leary "lights up" the screen

Twenty days before his death in 1996, Timothy Leary taped a farewell message disclosing his thoughts on morality. At that point, 30-odd years after his attempts—along with author Ken Kesey and their band of psychedelic sidekicks, the Merry Pranksters—to initiate revolution through the potentially mind-expanding powers of LSD, no one really cared. Which is sad, of course, but also a testament to the failures of the revolution.

Timothy Leary's Last Trip, a documentary written and narrated by O.B. Babbs (son of Prankster Ken Babbs) and A.J. Catoline, appears to have been intended as an historic homage to Leary and the Prankster scene, but instead ends up as a sort of unintentional documentation of its ultimate shortcomings. The kooky behavior of the Prankster types, seen through vintage footage, was once an inspiring manifestation of true idealist belief in counter-culture; now it's merely annoying. Similarly, the celebration of the individual—expressed in the '60s through sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, now just seems self-centered. More than anything, Leary's Last Trip is a turn-off, not a turn-on. But that's not a bad thing. Much like Nick Broomfield's Kurt and Courtney, Leary's Last Trip turns out to be a sad, and important, record of the reasons why things fell apart, a departure from the original goal of its creators, and all the better for it. See for yourself 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday at the Rock 'n' Reel screening of the doc at the AllGood Café, 2934 Main St. $5 donations benefit the Video Association of Dallas. Call 214-742-5362 or visit allgoodcafe.com.
Wed., May 30, 8:30 p.m.

 
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