The Trip Back: The Original San Francisco Psychedelic Freakout - Thurs. Sep. 8th - 8PM

Oddball Films presents The Trip Back: The Original San Francisco Psychedelic Freakout, an evening of 16mm short films shot in San Francisco in the late 1960s drenched in hippies and hallucinogens. This one of a kind program of rare experimental documents of the Summer of Love and beyond includes appearances by Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Jefferson Airplane, Diggers, banana skin smokers and more! The homegrown hallucinations include Be-In (1967) artistically documenting the human be-in in Golden Gate Park with Allen Ginsberg, Timothy Leary and Lawrence Ferlinghetti in attendance and the groovy, acid-soaked S.F. Trips Festival: An Opening (1967) featuring stroboscopic visuals and wild electric light shows. Sit in on the steps of our own city hall with the anarchistic Diggers in Nowsreal (1968), then watch them smoke up, freak out and deliver free breakfast to poverty-stricken San Franciscans. Decades before Burning Man, artist Fredric Hobbs created his grotesque sculptural art car The Trojan Horse (1967); watch as he constructs the automotive monster and drives it around the city. Plus, an experimental home movie of Jefferson Airplane in Golden Gate Park (1969) and get mellow yellow with the Banana Skin Freaks (1960s). Plus, local animator Vince Collins' mind-blowing metamorphic surrealist short Fantasy (1976). It's a night of San Francisco's most hallucinatory history - thousands of tabs of acid in the making! Everything screened on 16mm film from our stock footage archive.

Date: Thursday, September 8th, 2016 at 8:00pm
Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street San Francisco
Admission: $10.00 Limited Seating RSVP to or (415) 558-8117


Be-In (Dir. Jerry Abrams, Color, 1967) 
An impressionistic document of the January 14, 1967 San Francisco Human Be-In, held in Golden Gate Park, that solidified the psychedelic movement. Captured in the moment are Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure Lenore Kandel and Timothy Leary, with glimpses of the Grateful Dead and 10,000 peace and lovemaking freaks. Music by psych-blues heavies Blue Cheer (named after a particularly heavy batch of LSD).

S.F. Trips Festival: An Opening 
(Ben Van Meter, Color 1967)

Experimental multi-exposure freak out documents the 1966 Trips Festival, an acid-drenched “Happening” staged in San Francisco at the Longshoremen’s Hall (400 North Point) in January of 1966.

Banana Skin Freaks (B+W, 1960s) 
Hippies in Golden Gate Park freak-out with banana skins (Remember the Donovan song “Mellow Yellow”?) you know the fruit skins that supposedly made you high...what else?

Trojan Horse (Prod. Ronald Bostwick/Robert Blasdell, Color, 1967)  
Documents the creation of the amazing rolling sculpture designed by outsider artist Fredric Hobbs, unleashed on San Francisco during the Summer of Love.  Clad in an orange jump suit, Hobbs drives his creation all over our beautiful city from Haight Ashbury to North Beach, Lincoln Park to downtown, culminating in a final, ignominious act: the issuance of a parking ticket by one of San Francisco’s finest.

Arriving in San Francisco in the late 1950’s after studying in Madrid, artist Fredric Hobbs Goya-inspired paintings “were populated with demons performing sacrifices and contemporary witches’ Sabbaths… his grotesque figures gradually became translated into sculpture.  In the early 1960’s- inspired by the folk idols used in pagan rituals and primitive religious processions- Hobbs began adding wheels to his mutilated Everyman and deformed Earth Mothers and rolling them about the streets.  His most ambitious “parade sculpture” was The Trojan Horse, a horrendous tableau of mythological monsters that rose from Procrustean slags of plexiglass attached to a stripped-down auto chassis.  Wearing an orange jump suit, Hobbs drove the creation to Los Angeles, where it exhibited at several locations”.  (Thomas Albright- Art in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1945-1980).  
Hobbs went on to make several insanely bizarre, Bay Area-based cult films in the early 1970’s, including Roseland, Alabama’s Ghost, and Godmonster of Indian Flats.

Nowsreal (Color, 1968) 
A beautiful print of this super rarity filmed in and around San Francisco in the Spring of 1968, documenting in abstract fashion the “end” of the Digger movement- the loose collective of artists, radicals and free thinkers who were closely associated with and shared a number of members with a guerilla theater group the San Francisco Mime Troupe. They envisioned a society free from private property, and all forms of buying and selling (actor Peter Coyote was a founding member of the Diggers).
We moved the Diggers onto the City Hall steps and occupied them for three months, giving out food to city employees, washing our hair in the fountain, reading poetry on the steps. We made a film about that titled Nowsreal. We made a decision that the Diggers would end when the event ended on the summer solstice. On the last day, we put “San Francisco is Entering Into Eternity” on a theatre marquee. We held events in five different parts of the city, watched the sun go down, and asked each other: “What are we going to do now? - co-producer Peter Berg in conversation with Ron Chepesiuk from the book “Sixties Radicals, Then and Now”

Jefferson Airplane/Golden Gate Park (B+W, 1969)
Unique, unknown silent amateur footage of the Jefferson Airplane performing and some appropriately trippy Golden Gate Park experimentation!

Fantasy (Color, 1976) 

A hallucinatory handmade film from San Francisco animation legend Vince Collins evokes his particular brand of surrealist psychedelia.

For the Early Birds:

A Boy Creates (Dir. Bert Van Bork, Color, 1971)
Sweet kids film made by the masterful, prolific educational filmmaker Bert Van Bork of a boy who admires the clowns and other figures (including Laughing Sal) at SF’s Playland at the Beach (closed and leveled in 1972), then collects junk and builds figures along the Emeryville mudflats (where the famous scene takes place in Harold and Maude and still visible today as you drive along Highway 80).

Curator’s Biography
Kat Shuchter is a graduate of UC Berkeley in Film Studies. She is a filmmaker, artist and esoteric film hoarder. She has helped program shows at the PFA, The Nuart and Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theater and was crowned “Found Footage Queen” of Los Angeles, 2009. She has programmed over 250 shows at Oddball on everything from puberty primers to experimental animation.
About Oddball Films
Oddball Films is a stock footage company providing offbeat and unusual film footage for feature films like The Nice Guys and Milk, documentaries like The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, Silicon Valley, Kurt Cobain: The Montage of Heck, television programs like Transparent and Mythbusters, clips for Boing Boing and web projects around the world.

Our screenings are almost exclusively drawn from our collection of over 50,000 16mm prints of animation, commercials, educational films, feature films, movie trailers, medical, industrial military, news out-takes and every genre in between. We’re actively working to present rarely screened genres of cinema as well as avant-garde and ethno-cultural documentaries, which expand the boundaries of cinema. Oddball Films is the largest film archive in Northern California and one of the most unusual private collections in the US. We invite you to join us in our weekly offerings of offbeat cinema.