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THE TRIP A Lovely Sort of Death by Roger Corman

The Trip, is one of the films released in 1967, by American International Pictures and with starts like Peter Fonda, Susan Strasberg and Bruce Dern. This film shows us how the 1960’s is known for the DRUG CULTURE used mostly for the hippies. Just to keep in mind this movie is in color (pathecolor) and was made around the times of many movements like the Vietnam War, where we the civilians end up so much in the disillusion of the government, because it fails us. Especially in the political sense where many positive leaders were killed, the ones that created a positive and honest believe in the people, such as Martin Luther King, JFK, FRK and others. To my interpretation the connection in the history to the movie connects in the movement of the deception. Paul being cheated and failing in the drugs because that’s what makes him feel good and who knows, maybe makes him forget about the reality.

Plot:  Paul Groves Peter Fonda takes his first dose of LSD while experiencing the heartbreak and ambivalence of divorce from his beautiful but adulterous  wife Susan Strasberg, in the movie is Sally. He starts his trip with a “tourist guide,” John, Bruce Dern

Scene analyzed shot by shot: we have a establishing shot, then a point of view from Paul, looking everywhere so, we see everyone, dancing with all this luminous lights in the night club. The movement of the camera is panning left. Then we see a medium close up of Paul in the table smiling and looking everything around him; with this energetic Jazz and electric guitar.

This shot shows medium close ups of dress breast, joy moment, blurry faces, going sideways up and down. Then it becomes close ups and lights all over the place with more dress breast. Oblique shots of guys playing musical instruments. Then we see women on stage dancing naked with weird forms of paintings in their body, strong and expressive make-up.

Another shot is a guy in the nightclub smoking pot and passing to share a little bit, how nice…the distortion is carried away with extreme close ups and blurriness. The people moves faster and faster and the camera pans left, back to Paul’s table. Here Paul is in the mode “high look.” Then a shot point of view again from Paul, we see more about the dancers with close eyes and feeling the rhythms. More close ups in the dancers and the expression of their faces show a relax momentum.

As the end of the clip approaches, it becomes very interesting because it becomes a mess when he leaves the nightclub we have a very long shot from him running away; we get to see Paul in the stage of hallucination and desperation. The images are too fast, too close, too lost, all over the place and it moves from one thing to another and then goes back to it. Like the sign that is hard to get what it says. Is the object and then him simultaneously. Clearly the shot reverse shot appears in a great amount. The pace of the music goes faster, the only thing that can be read is “the book worm”, twisting camera and poof out of the sudden a day time scene of a huge crow of young people in what it seems to be a park. Then is night time, so we see a progression of different places at the same time. It almost looks like Paul is running behind them, but he is not.  A lot of objects appear and show meaning like: love, breast, flag and breast again, play boy rabbit and the music is picking up the pace. It shows like he is there, but at the same time he is not.

It becomes blurry and then we have a type of comic image, moving in fast motion and there is a lot of him appearing and disappearing.

In conclusion this is a scene that is very extreme and it gives a great insight of how the effects of drugs especially LSD feels. And this is what the director wants to show, how drugs were used, like an everyday normal habit. But most importantly, he delivers what he is a master at in trash cinema, there is a lot of improvise jazz and rock blues. A lot of blurriness and instability in each piece study. Distortion is form between the running scenes and he watching a big crowd in the daytime, when he was actually running at night time. So we see how the pleasure of the drugs takes him to a passionate ecstasy and what seems to be a wild illusion.

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December 9th, 2010 at 5:43 pm

  1. 1
      jbmedst144 says:

    This was a great clip that to me really captures what I think the 60’s was like. Its almost chaotic with the bright flashing lights and camera movement and it definitely makes you feel like your on something while watching this.

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      itorres102 says:


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      jeffonboard says:

    Wild stuff indeed, I’m really digging this psychedelic mood. Great analysis, you dissected the scene shot by shot with in-depth evaluations. Also, the video is accompanied by great music.

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      Amy Herzog says:

    I’m so happy you selected such a wonderful film to analyze! I think you really nailed the intended impact of the scene–to make us FEEL what the protagonist feels through the use of image, rhythm and sound.