Those Beat movies just keep on coming. Last week, we mentioned the film adaptation of The Beat Hotel. This week the hot news is that Kerouac’s Big Sur is being adapted as a movie. Not that it hasn’t already been. Curt Worden’s 2008 documentary, One Fast Move or I’m Gone covers pretty much the same territory. Joseph Jon Lanthier’s review of that movie, for Slant magazine, can be found here. But this is adaptation, not documentation, so we’re talking On The Road 2 here! Jean-Marc Barr has been cast as Kerouac (Jack Duluoz); Josh Lucas, Cody Pomeray/Neil Cassady – the obvious question, who’s gonna play Irwin Garden (a.k.a. Allen)? Right now, the actor Anthony Edwards (who’s certainly in the cast) is whispered to be taking that part – but, no, he’ll be playing Lorenzo Monsanto (Lawrence Ferlinghetti), it turns out – and Balthazar Getty plays Michael McClure. Actor, Patrick Fischler is the latest to now be rumored to have the part (but) no confirmation at the time of writing, – [2013 – update – Patrick Fischler gets to play Lew Welch in the movie,there is no part for Allen Ginsberg/Irwin Garden]
Allen encounters? We’ll continue to be featuring them. This one by Sam Hamod, a lively account for Contemporary World Poetry, of an Iowa pig roast (yes, you heard that right!) makes for occasionally excruciating reading. As does, in a different way, Ed Ward’s account of William Burroughs Jr (specifically about him and only tangentially about Allen, but well-written, and worthy, we think, to be included here – 2017 update – this link has, regrettably,become unavailable).Two other interesting (well-researched) accounts of so-called “marginal Beat figures” – Al Filreis in the new Jacket2 writes about Elise Cowan – and Keith Seward tracks down/uncovers the curious story of Jacques Stern (Stewart Mayer’s memoir, in the same forum, is also well worth consulting, alongside poems by Stern, an introduction by William Burroughs and the complete text of Stern’s novel, The Fluke).
More Kerouac news – Jack Kerouac and Lowell. We remember, several years back, the fight that several local residents had in convincing the city fathers to honor its native son. That was then, this is now. Lowell Celebrates Kerouac!, the 24th (sic!) annual Kerouac Festival is scheduled for October 2011. Meantime, there’s this, the “Kerouac audio project“:”The idea is to use Kerouac – and his worldwide fame – as an entry point into the cultural and social history of Lowell at mid-century. The voices in the interviews (in this broad proposed oral history) will tell the stories, making concrete abstract topics like class, labor, race, gender, sexuality, immigration, cultural hybridity, and “the American dream”. The Kerouac audio project is part of a larger plan to further develop Lowell’s creative economy, in part around Kerouac. We want to continue to develop the city’s rich Kerouac materials and connections, using Jack as a portal into all sorts of other parts of the twentieth-century history of Lowell – one of the most interesting cities in all the United States of America”.
Last week, we asked what you might be up to for June 3rd, (Allen’s 85th birthday); well, plenty of New Yorkers know exactly what they‘ll be up to. The East Village’s annual Howl! Festival is scheduled to coincide this year with that date. Preparations are already being made. Poet, C.A.Conrad, has launched a special Allen Ginsberg edition of his video-blog, Jupiter 88 – “Poets are invited to share the importance of Ginsberg’s poetics and activism that continues to CHANGE THE WORLD!’. Many more voices to come, but, first up, Maryland-based poet, and director of the Rose O’Neill Literary House, Mark Novak :
“..Allen really taught me that poetry is a great device for political protest..and I think in this age and this era of what we see happening in Wisconsin, what we see happening to working people in Ohio, with labor educators in Michigan, and public sector workers all around the country, that the message of Ginsberg and the message of poets to be political and speak out, is probably more important than ever”.