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"If the names Syd Barrett, Roger Waters, Richard Wright and Dave Mason elicit a response of "Who?" from you, chances are you should pass on this film, which, quite frankly, is for die-hard Pink Floyd fans only. If you do fall within that category, however, you will probably view "Syd Barrett's First Trip" as a chronicle of minor historical significance, as it is a brief visual documentary of the day that changed Barrett's world forever, and consequently the future of Pink Floyd. The entire film runs a total of (approximately) 15 minutes, and is presented in two segments, the first of which takes place in the late summer of 1966, at a place called Gog Magog Hills. It was (according to all accounts) the very first time Syd "tripped out" on mushrooms, and friend/film student Nigel Gordon was on hand, recording it all on silent, 8MM film. Gordon was also there in April of 1967, outside Abbey Road Studios, on the day the Floyd signed their first recording contract with EMI Records, which comprises the second segment of the film. There are glimpses of Waters, Wright and Mason, but Gordon's camera was mainly focused on Barrett, whose state of mind at the time certainly seems open to conjecture. Very soon, of course, his situation would be beyond conjecture, as even before their first album was released a steady diet of LSD would take him to a place from which he would never return. A soundtrack recorded by the Hypnotic Records group "Dilate" has been added to this film, effectively creating an appropriately ethereal atmosphere that evokes a surreal sense of timelessness as the seemingly innocent events captured here by Gordon unfold. Some may argue that, in light of the fact that this was the beginning of the end for Barrett, this film is too personal to share with the world. There's no denying it has something of a "tabloid" feel to it, and without question, the significance of it is, historically, in an entirely different context than, say, the Zapruder film. But in the final analysis, "Syd Barrett's First Trip" is neither invasive, nor is it in any way an inditement, or-- at the other end of the spectrum-- an affirmation of his life. In it's brevity, it's merely a glimpse; a quick look at a moment-- now frozen in time-- that marked the point of no return in a young man's life. Syd Barrett was an artist, who very soon after this film was made, would be unable to create anything ever again. One could say that the moment captured here was, in effect, the very instant that the music-- so alive within Syd Barrett-- died. To their credit, Waters, Wright and Mason-- Pink Floyd-- endured and, thankfully, continued on; tragically, Syd Barrett did not. And watching this film one can but reflect upon how truly fragile life is, and how quickly time moves on. After all, what you see in this film really happened; and moreover, it was only yesterday that it did."
Juan Taylor | Melville, Gauteng South Africa | 04/08/2002
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I see myself as a die-hard Pink Floyd. I have just about everything on the Floyd I have managed to collect over the years (this even includes a dsotm tattoo). So I was very excited to see this item and ordered it immediately. But I have never been this disappointed. These few amateurish minutes adds nothing to any Floyd collection. Pathetically poor filming and bad sound makes it even worse. It is obviously just an attempt to make money off loyal fans. Please don't inflict this on yourself. There's a lot of Syd stuff you can rather spend your money on. I feel cheated..."
Something from normal life
The Madcap | Connecticut | 01/27/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This video is not what most people would expect when they buy a movie. It's about 11min, long, theres no sound except for some erie music that was added in to give feeling to the movie, and its shot on a 8mm home movie camera in the 60's. But thats what makes it so good. it shows Syd and Pink Floyd as normal people getting high in the countryside and outside Abbey road studios after they signed their contract. This movie has a personal touch to it that most movies shot of Syd and Floyd dont since they are usually highly organized affairs, while this was shot by a friend just having fun with his camera, which goes to show what a short old film you shot 1 day might be worth."
What exactly is a dream...
Danger Clay | N.Y. New York | 12/10/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I know of no other video footage of an actual psychedelic session taking place. But even if there are this is more than that. This somehow actually "shows" the way it looked in an authentic shot into the world that Syd is traveling. Even though you're only getting to see it outwardly, it's paranormal. Looking at Syd and the transformation that takes place after the campfire trip when he is back in town, really shows how he was altered. When you see him in his Floyd attire later he looks, superhuman. Indeed, this movie captures the supernatural quality of what was going on there and during that time. It's almost hard to believe that someone had the presence to film it. It's a real look into the past, it's time travel, or as close as you can get and it's definitely somewhere you want to go."
Very interesting piece of art here...
albert greek | seattle, washington, usa | 03/22/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"visually, syd's first trip is stunning. the colors, composition, and camera style combined with the frame stretching (due to projection) really add strength to the film's feel, as well as fit the content. hey, maybe it doesn't represent syd for syd, but if you look with your eyes you'll see it doesn't matter. this is, for me, a new viewpoint into the 1960s. my rule of thumb is that if the end result is compelling enough to watch, then why does anything else matter? i appreciate the fact someone released this, whether or not it shines a 'bad light' on syd. this is syd, is it not? he did do these things, right? it's been filmed, it's been sold; the only thing left to do is buy."