Dying to Know: Ram Dass & Timothy Leary (2014) torrent download

Dying to Know: Ram Dass & Timothy Leary

2014

Action / Biography / Documentary / History

7.5

Synopsis

Dying to Know is an intimate portrait celebrating two very complex controversial characters in an epic friendship that shaped a generation. In the early 1960s Harvard psychology professors Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert began probing the edges of consciousness through their experiments with psychedelics. Leary became the LSD guru, asking us to think for ourselves, igniting a global counter-cultural movement and landing in prison after Nixon called him 'the most dangerous man in America'. Alpert journeyed to the East becoming Ram Dass, a spiritual teacher for an entire generation who continues in his 80s teaching service through compassion. With interviews spanning 50 years the film invites us into the future encouraging us to ponder questions about life, drugs & the biggest mystery of all: death. —Anonymous

Director

Gay Dillingham

Cast

Ram Dass
as Himself

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bettycjung 4 /10

50 years later - Same Old Same Old

10/29/17. I thought this doc would be interesting to watch since I am a baby boomer. Sadly, I just found their conversations to be a bit out in left field, a couple of old hippies nostalgic about better days. Well, maybe their younger days rather than better days. The goals of the 60s were good ones - self-awareness, achieving a higher level of consciousness, love for fellow man, regardless of race or religion. Unfortunately, these lofty goals were mired by drugs and unprotected sex. Today, midway through the '10s, we are no closer to the goals of the '60s. People still use drugs to escape to only die from overdoses, and unprotected sex has resulted in a growing list of untreatable STDs. Maybe the better times are only those that exist in our minds.

Reviewed by JoshuaDysart 7 /10

Two men - one the heart, one the mind - of their times, and ours.

What starts off as a bit of a light trip, adorned in the most superficial of psychedelic and new- age imagery, ends up being a beautiful deep dig into the philosophy and psychology of death, as well as a fantastic history lesson that reminds us of just how simenal the work, minds and hearts of Timothy Leary and Ram Dass, both together and after they diverged, really were (or IS in the case of Ram Dass, who is still with us).

I discovered Ram Dass' "Be Here Now" on my mom's bookshelf when I was, I don't know, twelve or thirteen years old. I was a latchkey single-chid, a product of Reaganomics, I had a single parent who had to work her ass off to support us, so I was home alone a lot. That's when Ram Dass first came in to my life. "Be Here Now" was pictographic and I was already a huge fan of comic books. It was easy to understand but far from simple. It blew the top of my head open.

Eventually that started me down the path of discovering other "like-minded" minds. Alan Watts, Terrence McKinnon, Buckminster Fuller, Marshall McLuhan (whose "The Medium is the Message" was another pictographic work that rocked my brain) Anton Wilson, of course Timothy Leary, and on and on and on. All bricks in a road leading me to where I am today. A forty-five year old man who writes comic books for a living.

And in my life, ever since those early days of discovery, I've realized that I have been most happy in the moments when I remembered to embrace the mind of Leary, but the heart of Ram Dass. This movie did that for me. Reminded me. And so it seems impossible to review this film without getting personal, which is a victory of any work of art.

Right now I am so busy with my life. It's a good life, filled with authenticity, but I hate being this busy. When I'm too busy I forget all the things that make me who I am. I forget to meditate, stop exploring with psychotropics, do more "work" but feel less creative, etc. But then this morning this movie came along randomly. I saw it on a whim at a 10 am showing in Santa Monic, and was surprised to find Tim Leary's son, Zac, in attendance and willing to speak for a bit after. Finding it was a wonderful gift and a reminder of the kind of personalities I gravitated toward when I was just starting to try and figure things out.

I am a huge fan of the film "Fierce Grace". I feel it to be a masterpiece. Every time I watch it, it emotionally destroys me and rebuilds me. "Dying to Know" isn't that, but this movie is a genuine delivery mechanism for true emotion and deep contemplation, and it brought me to tears more than once (I cry easily). There's not really more that you can expect a movie to do.

So thanks to all who brought this project to my nieghborhood on a Sunday morning. I didn't even know how much I needed it.

Love.

Reviewed by gayd 10 /10

A Complex and Entertaining Reassesment of 1960's Icon REichard Alpert (Ram Dass) and Timothy Leary

Dying to Know is a complex film that explores a constellation of the issues centering on consciousness, life and death. At first, since the film falls into the classification of documentary, I assumed that it would chronicle the lives of these two seminal leaders of alternative, exploratory culture.

Because of the subjects, their particular voices and consistency in their individual philosophy and approach to life and to death, the film mirrors the overt intellectual ideas they each embody while seducing the viewer to feel and intuit the substance of each man and the freedom and openness in their capacity to embrace life and death simultaneously. The thread running through the film is truly about having an open-hearted love for each other and for life. It is a film that does a balancing act of simultaneous objectivity or theoretical exploration while concurrently conveying and honoring the intuitive. So one moment the viewer is asked to contemplate existence through a particular theoretical lens while sensing the profundity of being. The "Be Here Now" mantra we associate with Ram Dass dances with the mind's desire to know and make sense of the world.

There are myths surrounding both of these men and those myths function to hold their personalities in check in a particular moment in history. The sixties have been appropriated to serve fashion, art, popular culture in all forms and so to be able to create a film with such substance serves to undermine these myths and show the progression and transformation that each experienced over time. We tend to hold our perceptions and constructions of icons like these two in a static place. This film makes them the flawed, remarkable, transformative individuals that they are together and explores that over time.

The aesthetics of Dying to Know initially prompt one to think, oh no, I am going to be asked to go on a pretend acid trip. Then, paying attention to the vocabulary that is used to express complicated psychological states of mind or representations of drug induced consciousness and dreams, one finds the range from hand drawn images to highly sophisticated animation serves to make the journey delightfully varied and unexpected. And, when you think about the complexity of the subject, the varied approaches to expressing these states of mind using differing visual strategies lends a supporting framework to the overall conceptual complexity of the film's questions and ideas. It is a collage of ideas and a collage of images and so whatever assumption one might bring to what they will see evaporates into a joy ride. The historic footage is interspersed with colorful images, balancing black and while, old grainy surfaces and high def detail all serving the collage. It is wild and serves the joyous sense of freedom of the period.

I laughed in places where few others in the audience did and I heard others laugh in places that I did not. On occasion humor reaches everyone. I also cried and I think that emotional response was to the genuine way in which the film re-stimulates each of us to think about our own losses and our own mortality. Death is embraced with the embrace and curiosity that life has been and with humor and grace. In that regard, the film offers a gift to others that might be suffering from terminal illness as it opens the journey with openhearted inquiry and curiosity rather than reinforcing our culture's notion of "the End".

In this way, the film covers a lot of ground. The gradual debunking of stereotype, the truth of human change through aging and transformation that comes from being at peace and disciplined in thought on the matter of dying. The seriousness taken with the subject and activity of drugs for the purpose of exploration, in contrast to the purpose of getting wasted is one of the crucial myth busters. That dichotomy has been in place for a very long time and this film honors the depth of seriousness that at least part of the sixties culture understood and were inspired by. Once out in the world on college campuses, there were those who wanted to explore drugs for experimental, mind and reality exploring purposes but popular culture has long re-framed that time as one of debauchery for the sake of debauchery. The film places the subject rightfully on the platform it belongs on and does so respectfully.

Jan Brooks

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