Monday, July 6, 2009

Beats on Film

With all the below said, however, please don't think that I don't recognize Kerouac's talent as a writer and the value of the Beat generation as a whole. They truly represented a sort of post-WWII romanticism that brought a new voice to American poetry and literature.

Anyway, since I'm on this nostalgic Beatnik trip down memory lane, here are a couple of cool clips I found on-line. (Most videos of Kerouac seem to feature him when he's a bit, shall we say, drunk, and I haven't linked to those because I don't think he appears favorably in them.)

"Neal Cassady": a documentary exploring Neal's role in the Beat movement. Includes interviews with Carolyn Cassady (Neal's wife and author of Off the Road).

"The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg" (1 0f 3): a video featuring Allen Ginsberg and Neal Cassady discussing "extremists" and "politics." Fairly entertaining, if only because you can see a bit of the relationship between the two men, as well as Cassady's far-reaching charisma.
"Jack Kerouac on the Steve Allen Show": a clip from The Steve Allen Show that includes Kerouac's definition of "Beat" as well as his reading of an excerpt from On the Road. (I like the jazz music--it adds so much to the ambience of the piece.)

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