4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
An excellent introduction to a vital literary movement.
Cellguy from Midwest
28 February 2001
The documentary Beat Generation: An American Dream provides an
excellent introduction to an extremely vital and influential 20th century
literary movement. Most of the key players are featured either through
interviews or archival footage. News reels, propaganda, and pop culture
film footage from the 40s and 50s (rife with the superficiality peculiar
that era) provide stark contrast to the free spirited ideals set forth by
the key Beat exponents.
Some of the most compelling moments of the film were the segments
featuring the writers reading from their works. It doesn't get any better
than Jack Kerouac expressively reading from _On The Road_ while Steve
effortlessly accompanies him on piano. Just as moving was the excerpt of
Allan Ginsberg's furious reading of _Howl_ and his sad and poignant
recollection of his beloved mother.
Of course there is no better way to learn about the Beat writers
to actually read their works. But, if it's a film introduction you want,
this is the one to watch.
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