DAVID BIANCULLI

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NOEL HOLSTON

 
 
 
 
 
MY PSYCHEDELIC LOVE STORY
November 29, 2020  | By David Bianculli

Showtime, 9:00 p.m. ET

 
DOCUMENTARY PREMIERE: Errol Morris directed his first documentary, about a California pet cemetery, in 1978. It was called Gates of Heaven, and I remember watching it at the time, amazed at the uniqueness of both the subject matter and the cinematic approach. Morris has marched to his own, very different drummer ever since, and broke into the big leagues a decade later with 1988’s A Thin Blue Line, which argued that a man had been wrongly convicted of murder – and argued so successfully that the man was freed. Since then, he’s profiled Stephen Hawking in 1991’s A Brief History of Time, Robert S. McNamara in 2003’s The Fog of War, and written A Wilderness of Error, a book that was the basis of a documentary series earlier this year about convicted murderer Jeffrey MacDonald. Including this new documentary, which interviews Swiss author Joanna Harcourt-Smith – and only her, in this very subjective study – about her 1970s romance with counterculture icon Timothy Leary. Remember the lyric from the Hair song “Manchester, England”? One verse goes, “Now that I’ve dropped out / why is life dreary dreary? / Answer my weary query, / Timothy Leary, dearie.” I do. And My Psychedelic Love Story, a tale laced with lots of drugs and paranoia and odd detours (was Leary’s lover a CIA plant?), is exactly the kind of story to attract someone like Morris. And he got to it just in time: his subject, Harcourt-Smith, was interviewed anew by Morris at length for My Psychedelic Love Story, then died last month at age 74. For a full review, see David Hinckley's All Along the Watchtower
 
 
 
 
 
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