The Third Mind

The Third Mind - Michael McClure & Ray ManzarekThe Third Mind, directed by William Tyler Smith, is a documentary focusing on the collaboration of Michael McClure and Ray Manzarek.

This is the third mind between the psychedelic and beat sensibilities of Manzarek and McClure (who was a poetry mentor to Jim Morrison). This DVD features live performances interlaced with commentary on the nexus between spoken word and music. With appearances by Alan Ginsberg, Jim Carroll, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Diane di Prima, Ed Sanders, Lee Ranaldo,and Ann Waldman, “The Third Mind” DVD is a compelling primer on the impact of music on the Beat Generation.

The film, narrated by Peter Coyote and screened to critical acclaim at the 1996 Venice International Film Festival, was also shown at other film festivals and on the Sundance channel.

From Kevin Thomas’ review in The Los Angeles Times:
“William Tyler Smith’s The Third Mind, an incisive and engaging exploration of McClure and Manzarek’s collaboration. Smith has struck a deft balance between the concert film and the documentary in which we can both enjoy McClure and Manzarek in performance and get to know how they feel about their collaboration. There are plenty of insights from other Beat era figures, including the late Allen Ginsberg, who sees their working together as ‘ripening of good karma.’

Diane Di Prima, quoting William Burroughs, remarks that a good collaboration results in a ‘third mind.’ Lawrence Ferlinghetti describes McClure’s poetry as ‘a beautiful cry of the beast,’ and McClure’s soaring poems celebrate the human spirit and express a fervent concern for the preservation of the environment. Of his widely varied accompaniment, Manzarek says that he combines ‘a little collision’ — i.e., occasional counterpoint — with ‘making love to the words.’ The Third Mind has lots of energy and style, with its many participants sharp in their commentaries, and it is an altogether stimulating work. Ferlinghetti salutes McClure’s sense of commitment, observing that ‘We can no longer afford art for art’s sake.'”

Read John Aiello’s review in the San Francisco Chronicle:
A Marriage of Rock and Poetry: Michael McClure, Ray Manzarek collaborate on film

The Third Mind
Released by: Oglio
Year: 2006
UPC: 790058400494 (DVD)
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The Third Mind
Released by: Mystic Fire Video
Year: 2000
UPC: 715098764498 (VHS)