Saturday, February 15, 2014
"Big Sur": a fluffy follow-up on "On the Road", and Jack Kerouac is more down-to-earth than me
“Big Sur”, by Michael Polish, might be conceived of as an “On the Road II” (April 7, 2013), but it is a film based on a meta-book by Jack Kerouac (Jean-Marc Barr), in which he makes trips to a cabin in the woods on the California coast owned by Lawrence Ferlinghetti (Anthony Edwards) in August 1960, and writes a book about the process of writing a book. I’ve done that myself (some of my “Do Ask, Do Tell” book chapters do this, as did Thomas Carlye's notorious "Sartor Resartus"). This was in an era of typewritters, wood fireplaces (even in Summer) and cigarettes.
Jack has to deal with his own addictions to substances, something that doesn’t peak my own interest. He gravitates to a relationship with the mistress Billie (Kase Bosworth) of his best friend Neal Cassidy (Josh Lucas). Balthazar Getty (from “Lost Highway”) appears as Michael McClure.
The film has a lot of other worldly shots of the Milky Way and coastline, and a couple of shots of the Golden Gate Bridge that remind one of a similar scene in “Vertigo”.
There’s also an outdoor hot tub scene that reminds me of “Old Joy” and even “Ice Men”.
The film played at the West End Cinema in Washington in November 2013 and is on DVD (from Ketchup) now.
Wikipedia attribution link for Bixby Bridge picture.