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Syd Barrett's First Trip (1966)

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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 118 users  
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This experimental silent short is very rare (filmed in 8mm) and only lasts 11 minutes. Nigel Gordon, film student, filmed Syd Barrett while he tripped on mushrooms. This film is made up of ... See full summary »


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Title: Syd Barrett's First Trip (1966)

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Cast overview:
Syd Barrett ...
Nick Mason ...
Richard Wright ...


This experimental silent short is very rare (filmed in 8mm) and only lasts 11 minutes. Nigel Gordon, film student, filmed Syd Barrett while he tripped on mushrooms. This film is made up of two parts. Part 1: Syd tripping at Gog Magog Hills. Part 2: April '67, Pink Floyd right after they signed their first recording contract, with EMI Records at Abbey Road Studios. Written by wwe3

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Documentary | Short




Release Date:

6 March 2001 (USA)  »

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A Moment In Time
20 February 2002 | by (Salem, Oregon) – See all my reviews

If the names Syd Barrett, Roger Waters, Richard Wright and Dave Mason elicit a response of `Who?' from you, chances are you should pass on this film, which, quite frankly, is for die-hard Pink Floyd fans only. If you do fall within that category, however, you will probably view `Syd Barrett's First Trip' as a chronicle of minor historical significance, as it is a brief visual documentary of the day that changed Barrett's world forever, and consequently the future of Pink Floyd.

The entire film runs a total of (approximately) 15 minutes, and is presented in two segments, the first of which takes place in the late summer of 1966, at a place called Gog Magog Hills. It was (according to all accounts) the very first time Syd `tripped out' on mushrooms, and friend/film student Nigel Gordon was on hand, recording it all on silent, 8MM film. Gordon was also there in April of 1967, outside Abbey Road Studios, on the day the Floyd signed their first recording contract with EMI Records, which comprises the second segment of the film. There are glimpses of Waters, Wright and Mason, but Gordon's camera was mainly focused on Barrett, whose state of mind at the time certainly seems open to conjecture. Very soon, of course, his situation would be beyond conjecture, as even before their first album was released a steady diet of LSD would take him to a place from which he would never return.

A soundtrack recorded by the Hypnotic Records group `Dilate' has been added to this film, effectively creating an appropriately ethereal atmosphere that evokes a surreal sense of timelessness as the seemingly innocent events captured here by Gordon unfold.

Some may argue that, in light of the fact that this was the beginning of the end for Barrett, this film is too personal to share with the world. There's no denying it has something of a `tabloid' feel to it, and without question, the significance of it is, historically, in an entirely different context than, say, the Zapruder film. But in the final analysis, `Syd Barrett's First Trip' is neither invasive, nor is it in any way an inditement, or-- at the other end of the spectrum-- an affirmation of his life. In it's brevity, it's merely a glimpse; a quick look at a moment-- now frozen in time-- that marked the point of no return in a young man's life. Syd Barrett was an artist, who very soon after this film was made, would be unable to create anything ever again. One could say that the moment captured here was, in effect, the very instant that the music-- so alive within Syd Barrett-- died. To their credit, Waters, Wright and Mason-- Pink Floyd-- endured and, thankfully, continued on; tragically, Syd Barrett did not. And watching this film one can but reflect upon how truly fragile life is, and how quickly time moves on. After all, what you see in this film really happened; and moreover, it was only yesterday that it did. Cinematically, I rate this one 1/10 (It is, after all, a very poor home movie), but for the significance of the content, I rate this one 10/10.

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