quick review of big sur feature film

Big_Sur_2013

Big Sur may be my least favorite Jack Kerouac novel. While On the Road and The Subterraneans captured youth and restlessness, Big Sur relates the aged, alcoholic Kerouac. And perhaps that is why I don’t enjoy the book. Kerouac’s persona is one of such a broken down writer unable to cope with fame and personal relationships. Kerouac’s obsession with death and the chaos of meeting up with Neal Cassady once again drive the energy of the book.

Michael Polish’s new adaptation is an independent film and therefore nowhere near my Midwest town and so I had to stream from Amazon to my television. Perhaps this is the future of watching smaller budgeted films. The film is so well shot though and gives so many beautiful views of the locale in recreating Lawrence Ferlinghetti‘s cabin near the beach where Kerouac would’ve stayed. The photography is so gorgeous I regret not being able to watch on the big screen.

I most admired the director’s decision to narrate the film with an abundance of Kerouac’s words. The words give the film an energy that matches the book–perhaps more so than Walter Salles’ recent On the Road adaptation.

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On_the_Road_FilmPosterSpent time this afternoon with Gerald Nicosia‘s Huffington Post article about his experiences working with the film makers of the On the Road film adaptation. I’m interested in his opinion because I enjoyed his book Memory Babe so much. Here he writes candidly about setting up a Beat boot camp for the actors and also becoming a bit starstruck. And I have to agree the Jose Rivera script had quite a bit missing in terms of Kerouac’s mad spirituality. I was sad not to see the Old Walking Saint character and the “Go moan for man” scenes or any stream of consciousness style scenes with voice-over narration. I have to say now that I’ve seen the film I’m more excited to see the Searching for On the Road documentary shot alongside Salles’ film. Also I wonder if Ann Charters has seen the film.

gerald nicosia article: on the road, the movie?

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one fast move or i’m gone: kerouac’s big sur documentary

Had some time to watch this documentary by Kerouac Films and directed by Curt Worden. I was most taken by the cinematography capturing Big Sur and San Francisco. I was also taken with the candid interviews of Carolyn Cassady and Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

one fast move or i’m gone: kerouac’s big sur documentary

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This Thanksgiving break I’ve finally made my way through Kerouac’s On the Road The Original Scroll. I’ve read excerpts and specific portions to compare to the novel/fiction version but never the entire book. I was most struck at the editor’s note in Book 4 that reveals a dog ate the last few feet of the work.

kerouac’s original scroll

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New trailer came out today for the Walter Salles adaptation of Kerouac’s famous novel. The book that means so much to me from my younger moco days. I’m happy to see the film has an R rating. I’m happy to see the January 2013 opening date for wide release will soon be here.

new on the road movie trailer