This feature length documentary, narrated by Peter Coyote, reminds us that Kerouac wasn't just a handsome beatnik drifter who hung out with Burroughs and Ginsberg, and travelled across America striking moody poses. He was also a formidably talented writer. (One pundit, his biographer Ann Charters, rates him alongside Hemingway, Wolfe and Whitman.) The story is dispiriting - five unpublished novels before On the Road catapulted him on to the chat show circuit, then decline to a premature, drunken death at age 49. Antonelli has assembled a gallery of old rogues (Burroughs, Ferlinghettim Corso) to reminisce about their pal Jack. He's also dug up archive footage of Neal Cassady, 'the flaming comet from the west' who inspired much of Kerouac's best work. Almost inevitably, the dramatic reconstructions of the writer's life seem dreary by comparison.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||John Tytell, Frank Cervarich|