West Coast Beat and Beyond

West Coast Beat & Beyond.   [Regrettably, this film is no longer available on line, our February 2012 post is, nonetheless retained]

Of all the films coming out of the 1982 Naropa “On The Road” 25th Anniversary Celebrations (notably Costanzo Allione’s Fried Shoes and Cooked Diamonds, and Robert Frank’s freewheeling documentary footage, This Song For Jack (1983)), Chris Felver’s West Coast Beat and Beyond (1984), (filmed also in the Bay Area too, as its title might suggest), may be the most passed-over, most unfairly neglected. Rare footage, not just of Ginsberg-Corso-Ferlinghetti et al, but also, Philip Lamantia, Howard Hart, Harold Norse, Bob Kaufman, Jack Michelene, Jan Kerouac, Joanne Kyger, Bobbie-Louise Hawkins, Ken Kesey.. (the sight of (a) country ‘n western Kesey on guitar, with Allen, shaking the tambourine, backing him up, is indeed a sight to behold!) The narration is by Kerouac biographer, Gerald Nicosia (who, incidentally, and not unrelatedly, has a new book (on Lu Anne Henderson) just out)

Chris Felver is, of course, the noted filmmaker and photographer, (and author of the book-length photo-collection, The Late Great Allen Ginsberg). Other notable collections include a similar book of portraits of Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the 1986 collection, The Poet Exposed, 1996’s Angels, Anarchists and Gods, and, more recently, 2007, Beat.

Mention should also be made of his 2009 full-length feature film, Ferlinghetti – the trailer for which can be seen here.

West Coast Beat And Beyond begins with the always-intelligent Bobbie Louise Hawkins

“Beat Era Writers Are Lively Survivors” – Diana Ketcham’s review for the Oakland Tribune may be accessed here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *