Tag Archives: jack kerouac

On the Road by Walter Salles (2012)

Adaptation of the cult book by Jack Kerouac. Many argued it was one of those books almost impossible to convey onto the big screen. The strongest two comparisons that overshadow the appreciation of the screening are obviously the famous novel and a recent biopic on Allen Ginsberg – Howl.

The film does carry the magic of the novel. The 137 min version I had the opportunity to watch pulls the audience in and as a result leaving the cinema feels like getting back from a very distant journey in time.

What I am never a fan of – especially  in case of book adaptations – is the voiceover intruding into the narrative. Films should not be told but shown as the old rule goes. However, this attempt at the impossible is breathtaking in its realism, in the effort of set design, number of locations, richness of costumes, music and in how the relatively young actors cope with re-enacting characters of a certain baggage.

All in all – a great piece of cinema – surely not an educational tool as how to party for the teenagers but definitely a great shot at portraying the Beatniks.

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Filed under 2012 cinema releases

Howl by Rob Epstein & Jeffrey Friedman

The life of writer-poet Allen Ginsberg is presented through magic, impeccable filmic tools.

What strikes a very personal chord are the mockumentary fragments when Allen Ginsberg talks about the life of a writer; how he could write whatever he wished because he knew it would never be published. He never wanted his father to read whatever Ginsberg had to write. He wrote for the drawer only.

The film is short and intertwines the jumps through time back and forth, where the main action takes place in the courtroom where several literary men are asked to establish whether Ginsberg’s HOWL has any literary merit. It is being compared toWalt Whitman’s LEAVES OF GRASS.

It should be a must watch for English Literature students, writers, poets, aesthetes, cinema geeks, poetry geeks, 1950’s and 1960’s enthusiasts, Mad Men fanatics, bohemians, artists, indie cinema lovers… and their friends.

A masterpiece, slightly too short perhaps…

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Filed under 2011 cinema releases, Catching Up, film reviews