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Martin Scorsese's film foundation helped fund the repair of the damaged Kesey footage by technicians from UCLA, who labored for over a year. Synching up the film to its separate snippets of audio track proved so daunting that director Alison Ellwood resorted to hiring a lip reader to determine what words people were mouthing. See more »
I only had 2 issues with the film as presented - 1) the film moves at a breakneck pace trying to cram what was likely hundreds of hours of film into 90 minutes; I wanted many scenes to last longer - 2) I would've liked a 'where are they now' sort of bookend for more of the pranksters (only Kesey's and Cassady's post-prankster lives are detailed).
I thought the footage was gorgeous - the film must've been well taken care of over the years. It was really fascinating to see America circa 1964 in full color (most footage from that era is black & white).
I want to re-read The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test after buying this DVD and refer back and forth. It really does breathe new life into Tom Wolfe's book; although, the film stands on its own.
One of the most fascinating segments of the film was early on when they delved into how Kesey was turned onto LSD. They describe the whole experience and provide audio recordings taken as Kesey was under the influence in a hospital where LSD experiments were being conducted.
I understand many will take issue with the pro-drug message, but whether you like it or not, the subject of the film and the footage itself is a big part of history. There is something to learn and appreciate no matter where you stand.
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