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
Performed by Nat Kendrick & The Swans
Written by J, Brown
Courtesy of Henry Stone Music USA
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Kerouac on a downer
This film is a total drag. I had no idea Kerouac was such a loser. I honestly don't know what he had to complain about. Here he is, a famous writer, in bed with a gorgeous woman, surrounded by friends and the guy is miserable as hell. I have no sympathy for people like that. Plus he never stops drinking. I guess being a writer the booze is just an occupational hazard but still, I've never seen anyone drink that much! I know he died young as a result of alcoholism and that really doesn't surprise me now. Both he and Cassady had such sad endings. Perhaps there is a moral in there somewhere but I don't know what it is.
If you want to read a truly inspirational writer, who is often called the father of the beats, check out Henry Miller, who is mentioned in the film once or twice, as another writer who would up in Big Sur. Now Miller knew how to live. He never let depression beat him. The man was a force of nature. Forget about Kerouac and Burroughs, these guys had serious issues. Henry Miller is yr man. Reading his material never fails to lift my spirits. As for the film, watch it for the scenery and a semi-nude Kate Bosworth, that's about all it's good for.
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