Following the 50th anniversary in 2007 of Jack Kerouac’s world renowned novel On the Road, interest in the beat generation went on the rise with the film industry quick to pick up on the trend. In 2010 Howl was released which focused on the the 1957 obscenity trial against beat poet Allen Ginsberg’s poem Howl. Later this year On the Road, a Francis Ford Coppola production, is to be released. Now, Kerouac’s novel, Big Sur, is to be made into a film.
Whilst On the Road depicted a wild benzedrine paced road trip, Big Sur is way out on the other spectrum depicting a difficult time in Kerouac’s life and alcoholic breakdown.
Big Sur is an isolated place and had a ‘back to nature’ bohemian attraction for many poets and writers, a place to find yourself. Kerouac went there to stay at Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s cabin in the remote Bixby Canyon. What initially seemed like a good move soon turned to internal chaos and resulted in one of the most terrifying nights of his life. At it’s heart, it is a soul-baring story of a nervous breakdown yet it also featured some of his most beautiful prose: writing down the sound of the waves…as he put it: carrying on where James Joyce left off.
He left before the end of his third week fleeing back to the city. Failure to hitch a lift back meant he had to walk miles on bloodied feet to catch a bus, an experience that left him feeling dis-enchanted with a changing America, he vowed to never hitch-hike again. Like On the Road, Big Sur was written on a long scroll of teletype paper which allowed Kerouac to practice his spontaneous prose without interruption.
If I can’t think of the proper word I just go blublublublu…
Big Sur was written in ten days with the aid of benzedrine.
Michael Polish is directing Big Sur, his previous work includes Twin Falls (1999) and the surreal and visual Northfork (2003). Kerouac is to be played by Jean-Marc Barr (The Big Blue, 1988 / Dogville, 2003). The film will be released in 2012.
Video Montage: The Polish Brothers
A Recent Discovery: The Beats in India
Source: http://asiasociety.org/video/arts-culture/the-beats-india big nod to: http://www.dharmabeat.com