We have named the travel section of blook “On the Road” as a tribute to the Bay Area’s beat-era roots and our Berkeley heritage.
“Jack Kerouac recognized ‘leader’ of the beat generation. Among his published novels are: On the Road, Dr. Sax, The Subterraneans, Dharma Bums, Mary Cassidy, The Town and the City. Pull My Daisy is a free improvisation on a scene from an unproduced play by Jack Kerouac. Made by Robert Frank. It is their first film—but what a film. It was shot without script. It is a tragi-comedy or a tragi-documentary about an evening at the place of a young villager, a “railway worker” who is being visited by some poet friends abd by a young “Bishop” of some unidentifiable church. They talk, drink beer, discuss God, play the trumpet, talk again. Nothing much happens… The camera harshly and pitilessly reveals the bedroom, the sink, the table, the cockroaches….
Pull My Daisy, approached logically, is meaningless and absurd. It is not a film of action or logical statements: it is, rather, a portrait of the inner condition of an entire generation. It could even be called a “beat-film”—and the only truly “beat” film if there is one—in the sense that beat is an expression of the new generation’s unconscious and spontaneous rejection of the middle-class way, the business-man’s way. And it is a thoroughly serious film despite its robe of nonsense—as a matter of fact, the most serious American film in my memory.”
—Excerpted from Pull My Daisy Press Kit, 1958, read more on CineFiles
Pull My Daisy has screened several times at the PFA Theater, most recently in November 2006 as part of Beat-era Cinema, a film series in conjunction with the exhibition Semina Culture. View the 2006 Film Note.
Catch this film again tomorrow night, February 9, 2010, as part of Alfred Leslie: Cool Man in a Golden Age