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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

 

Timothy Leary's Dead
Directed by Paul Davids
Not Rated 03/03 DVD/VHS Documentary
R - drug content, nudity, language, some disturbing images

Timothy Leary's Dead is an unusual documentary about the counterculture guru who coined the phrase, "Turn on, tune in, drop out." Director Paul Davids charts the life of this Harvard professor (1920-1996) whose consciousness was transformed through LSD. After leaving the halls of academia, Leary founded a community of like-minded individuals and set himself up as a hippie philosopher. He claimed that it was his influence that led the Beatles to experiment with drugs and come up with the psychedelic "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." Davids uses TV and newsreel footage to capture this prankster's experiences as a prisoner, an underground fugitive, a pop icon, and a devotee of the Internet. Perhaps the most controversial aspect of this documentary is Leary's cryogenic experiment of trying to deny death by keeping his brain alive for future adventures. Then again, this fits right in with his other far-out ideas.

 

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Reviews and database copyright 1970 2012
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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