REELpoetry/HoustonTX is supported in part by a City's Initiative Grant from the City of Houston through the the Houston Arts Alliance

Home About Cinepoetry Beat Poets Sonia Sanchez News 2019 Schedule

The Beats' Cinepoetry

The Beat flicks will be short films Pull My Daisy, directed by Alfred Leslie and Robert Frank with narration by Jack Kerouac, and This Song for Jack, directed by Robert Frank as an homage to Kerouac.

Pull My Daisy

Pull My Daisy (1959, directed by Alfred Leslie and Robert Frank) has been recognized by the National Film Registry as a culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant film. This short flick was based on the third act of Jack Kerouac's play, Beat Generation, and titled after the collaborative poem "Pull My Daisy," which was written by Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and Neal Cassady. To further indicate the interconnected nature of the film, the third act of Kerouac's play was based on an incident in the life of Neal and Carolyn Cassady.

Filmed in Alfred Leslie's loft in Manhattan, the action centers around a railway brakeman who invites a bishop to dinner, only to have his offbeat Beat friends invade the event. With a brilliant improvised narration by Kerouac, the antics of the cast also seem to be improvised and spontaneous.

The film features Kerouac's fellow poets Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky and Gregory Corso, along with artist/musician Larry Rivers, artist Alice Neel, musician/composer David Amram, art dealer Richard Bellamy, dancer Sally Gross, Robert Frank's son Pablo Frank, and feminist actress and film director Delphine Seyrig. A jazz composition by Amram which opens the film uses part of the original poem as a lyric.

This Song for Jack

This Song for Jack (1983, directed by Robert Frank) is a loving and honest picture and remembrance of Jack Kerouac, who had died in 1969, as seen by many of the members of the Beat poets, including Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, John Clellon Holmes, Gregory Corso and Peter Orlovsky.

It was shot in late July during a conference at the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado, commemorating the 25th anniversary of the publication of Kerouac's On the Road. David Amram, the jazz composer/conductor/musician who had created the opening music for Pull My Daisy, was the cameraman. He had collaborated with Kerouac multiple times.