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Big Sur (2013)

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A recounting of Jack Kerouac's three sojourns to the cabin in Big Sur owned by his friend, poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

Director:

Michael Polish

Writers:

Michael Polish (screenplay), Jack Kerouac (novel)
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean-Marc Barr ... Jack Kerouac
Kate Bosworth ... Billie
Josh Lucas ... Neal Cassady
Radha Mitchell ... Carolyn Cassady
Anthony Edwards ... Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Balthazar Getty ... Michael McClure
Patrick Fischler ... Lew Welch
Stana Katic ... Lenora
Henry Thomas ... Philip Whalen
John Robinson ... Paul Smith
Jasper Polish ... Vulture Girl
Vanessa Ross ... Lady Dining
Richard Conti ... Cabbie
Natasha Goss ... Party Girl
Jeffrey T Ferguson ... Bar Patron
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Storyline

Sudden fame and a self-destructive lifestyle were taking a toll on Jack Kerouac's mind and body following the unparalleled success of the groundbreaking novel, On The Road. Once the handsome literary maverick and hero of the Beat Generation, Kerouac now sees only a vestige of his former self, ravaged by alcohol and drugs, aged beyond his years and tormented by self-doubt. Questioning his talent, his faith, and his mortality, Kerouac leaves New York for California, on a quest for redemption at an isolated, fog-banked cabin in the primitive landscape of the Big Sur woods. What ensues in those fateful 3 weeks of August, 1960, is both terrifying and revelatory. While Kerouac is able to find beauty and elation in his surroundings, the dichotomy of his psyche renders him unable to face his demons alone. He sets off on a visceral collision course of paranoia, sex, delirium tremens, misery and madness. His desperation culminates in an intense, hallucinatory breakdown, but the duality of his ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Some souls never stop searching.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexuality, nudity and language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 November 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Művésztelep See more »

Filming Locations:

Big Sur, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,835, 3 November 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$33,621, 15 November 2013
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Jack is travelling in the car talking about alcohol you can see modern vehicles instead of 1950's cars. See more »

Quotes

Jack Kerouac: A man needs truth like a machine needs oil.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Chelsea Lately: Episode #7.75 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Tiger Rag
Performed by Charlie Parker
Written by Nick LaRocca, Edwin B. Edwards, Henry Ragas, Tony Sbarbaro, and Larry Shields (aka The Original Dixieland Jazz Band)
Courtesy of ESP-Disk', Ltd
By Arrangement with Fine Gold Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Exhibit A on why not to be a drunkard
20 June 2015 | by WuchakSee all my reviews

"Big Sur" (2013), based on the 1962 book by the enigmatic Jack Kerouac, details the author's three retreats to a friend's cabin in the magnificent eponymous location a hundred miles south of San Francisco. Sometimes he's alone and sometimes he's with friends. Kerouac can't handle his fame and success as the leader of the beatniks and so descends into the darkness of alcohol addiction.

While this is a well-made artsy film featuring narrations from the author himself throughout, it's done in by its subject. At least with 1991's "The Doors," which chronicled Jim Morrison's downward spiral, we got great music, entertaining concert footage and colorful characters. "Big Sur," by contrast, only has Kerouac's stream-of-consciousness verbiage (i.e. "interior monologue") and the beautiful cinematography of Big Sur. Yes, it's professionally made with a quality cast and it kept my interest for the first 45-50 minutes, but then it just drones on to the bitter end. I hate seeing people waste their talents, especially by their own foolish addictions. Of course this is the only way the story COULD end since it's based on real life. Jack was dead at 47. Despite my criticisms, "Big Sur" is worthwhile if the topic interests you and the film's obviously a must for Kerouac fans; it will leave most everyone else bored or depressed.

Interestingly, it was 1957's "On the Road" that propelled Jack to beatnik stardom, but he later confessed it "was really a story about two Catholic buddies roaming the country in search of God. And we found him." Too bad his revelation didn't help him out with his increasing substance abuse.

The film runs a mere 81 minutes and was shot in Big Sur and San Francisco.

GRADE: C


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