PAUSE IT: What do you see? In the opening shot from from Roger Corman’s The Trip (1967) two lovers appear to walk on water in the center of the frame. It is a surreal image to say the least. Immediately, it commands the viewer’s attention as we suspend our disbelief. An open shot of a film, like the opening line of a novel, can play an important role in establishing the central themes and questions of a work of cinema. Pay close attention the next time you watch the opening of your favorite movie. What information does it relay? A cult classic about the search for spirituality and the use of the mind-altering substance LSD, the religious undertones are clear. The Trip from its outset establishes that it will convey its narrative thusly in the logic, imagery, and sounds of a fantastical dreamscape–There will be no limitations!

The Trip (1967)
Director: Roger Corman
Director of Photography: Archie R. Dalzell
Written by Jack Nicholson
Cast: Peter Fonda, Bruce Dern, Susan Strasberg, Dennis Hopper
Available From Olive Films on DVD and Blu-ray.

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