The Last Time I Committed Suicide

The credits of this likeable, but lightweight feature, describe it as 'based on a letter from Neal Cassady' and boasts Carolyn Cassady as consultant: indeed, it comes across as a bebop-influenced, free-form mood piece, spun off this source, delineating the life of the guy who was later to prove beat 'genius' Jack Kerouac's major inspiration. The time is 1946, a period of hard readjustment, and fresh out of Leavenworth, hipster Cassady (Jane) is dreaming of kids and picket fences with suicidal girlfriend Joan (Forlani), but spending what spare time is left over from the graveyard shift at the tyre company shooting pool with dissolute Harry (Reeves). It's a film of bits and pieces, with the evidently talented first-time director going for atmospheric flourishes, cutting in slo-mo sequences and jagged hand-held shots, seemingly modelled on jeans ads, alongside back lighting and superimpositions. As a portrait of a 'cool dude', it's a mite self-conscious - and sidesteps Cassady's bisexuality - but it exudes energy and sympathy, and the performances are winning.

Release details

Duration: 93 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Stephen Kay
Screenwriter: Stephen Kay
Cast: Keanu Reeves
Thomas Jane
Claire Forlani
Gretchen Mol
Adrien Brody
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