Big Sur ★★★★

I’m a sucker for the Beats, Jack Keroauc, Neal cassady, Bill Burroughs, and Allen Ginsberg. Their books meant the most to me at a time when things meant the most to me. I carry a nostalgia for them that has not swayed in my eternal hunt across every new film about them, from Beat, to The Last Time I Committed Suicide, to Howl, to Naked Lunch to last year’s nervously awaited On The Road and even things like Drug Store Cowboy and all the accompanying documentaries.

This new movie has a flinch-y flavour to it that really illuminates the darkness of Kerouac’s story. As a stand alone piece, separate from it’s source material, I’d call it a success. Hairpiece aside, Jean-Marc Barr tells whole stories with just his eyes, often twinkling with regret, remorse, and sadness. The story itself is doesn’t have a lot to say, as Kerouac says himself in the movie – he spins language, he’s not an idea man. This is an emotive piece, devastatingly so, and so much of the experience depends on voice-on and the score, which is fantastic. This is also a glorious film to look at, and the cinematographer should be recognized. Director/writer Michael Polish has crafted a movie that can stand with the best of the beats’ transference to film. Take that as you may.