This short film’s full title is Yelp (With Apologies to Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl”). Directed by Tiffany Shlain and narrated by Peter Coyote, it is a brief essay (really a rant) about technology and how we need to–as Peter Coyote shouts to the world–“unplug, unplug, unplug and revisit the present tense.”
There is no epic trip that quite compares with the one that Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters took across America in 1964. Chronicled by Tom Wolfe in his seminal book, The Electric Acid Kool-Aid Test, the cross-country, bacchanalian bus ride is now the subject of Magic Trip, a vibrant and spirited documentary directed by Alison Ellwood and Alex Gibney (Mountainfilm 2008, Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson and the Academy Award-winning Taxi to the Dark Side). Filmmakers Ellwood and Gibney tell this wild story by mixing footage that Kesey and his fellow travelers filmed in varying degrees of sobriety with re-creations using actors. As the bus—brilliantly named “Further”—gets rolling with beat poet Neal Cassady behind the wheel, so does the film as it takes us on a road trip for the ages.