[Marxism] Beat These Films! » CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names
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Fri Nov 1 07:15:16 MDT 2013
Hollywood Does the Beat Generation
Beat These Films!
by LOUIS PROYECT
Over the past three years there have been no less than four narrative
films about the beat generation, starting with “Howl” in September 2010.
Walter Salles’s “On the Road” followed in 2012, and then just a month
ago “Kill Your Darlings”, about Ginsberg and Kerouac at Columbia
University, arrived. And now there is “Big Sur” that opens on November
first at the Cinema Village in New York. All of these films reflect
continued interest in the lives and work of Kerouac, Ginsberg,
Burroughs, et al, motivated in large part by a new generation of
“hipsters” needing to understand what Ginsberg called “the Nightmare of
Moloch”. This article will assess the four films as well as a BBC
documentary featuring Russell Brand that traces Kerouac’s itinerary in
“On the Road”, a film that says more about Brand than it does about
Kerouac. It will conclude with some thoughts about the connections
between the beats and the radical movement, something that deserves a
book of its own.
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