Big Sur

Just got through watching Big Sur. (you can watch it online here). No comments like 'it was good' or 'i didnt like it' because its not one of them things you can just yes or no to like that. I enjoyed sitting through it most of all for my interest in Kerouac & the Beats, whether its a good film to the uninterested eye, probably not.

I read Big Sur 5 years ago & I don't recall it too well. All's I remember is the colour of death that gets thicker & thicker as the book goes on. This is Kerouac at the end of his days, sick of it all, grown old (in mind) and just a general wearyness that suffocates everything. They got that feeling in the film & it's very true.

Big Sur is like the bookend to On The Road. What began in youthful excitement & freshness & was alive, grew old, got drunk  bloated (because what else was there to do?) & ready to die.

What I love with Kerouac is his ability to repose his statements, actions, from a later more thoughtful position, and to do this honestly, to look at the root of it (& to find the humanity embedded in each wrong action, right action, misaction, any action etc).

It's interesting that cinema (& culture) are turning towards the beats. When On The Road came out I was really skeptical, worried they'd kill it by making it this grandiose, Happy Meal Toy & teenage hoody-wearing thing. Making everyone know but know one really know if you get what I mean. However, now i'm looking at it out of pure intrigue. When contemporary culture reaches back into the past, after something specific, there's a reason for that reaching. You get this clever amalgamation of past & present. Like with Apocalypse Now, why did Coppola choose to reappropriate Konrad's Heart of Darkness in the Vietnam setting? What was he saying about his contemporary surroundings in doing so? 'The Horror, the Horror'..

I see the same now with James Bond. Compare it to the films further down the line & we get this sequential step through modern history. How they shoot the cameras, how they pace the shots, how the unravel the plot. All these metathings are the imprint of our time.

& that's the same with these directors working from Kerouac's novels. They are interpretations, expressions of our time. Big Sur is full of very arty, wandering shots, looking at birds in the sky, the sun through the trees, but all in that contemporary gaize, like it coulda been lifted straight off Vimeo.

I'd like to see the whole Duoloz legend spelled out. Each one taken up by a different director, different actors, a lottery of appearances, each actor, each film a different perspective on the same man. Because eventually, we'll see between them all, the blurry vague truth of his character(much like anybody's), all the shades & succincticity.

Life Update

Sorry for the witless title; it's 2:42 & my heads buzzing from listening to the whirr of the computer & the sly-blinding of the pixel for the last 4 hours. So if this reads a little off-the-mark, that's why.

Havent posted on here about what i've been up to in ages, & thought it might be nice to have a recap.


The magazines going really well, from strength to strength really. It's getting better with each issue, more formed, more sculpted to what we want. Getting better also because we came into it as amateurs, & naturally made mistakes. Slowly the errors are getting ironed out & the ideas are blooming.

One thing I like about doing the mag is that it brings a natural flow to my life; you have this wave that builds - you gather the content together, get the interviews done, go about selling the advertising space - it builds & builds for a month. As it reaches the peak you're all flustered & driven to get it done, then the final week comes, no doubt, I find myself there till the last minute, doing the design, getting it all in order. Then finally it's done, sent to print - wave comes crashing down, the feet go up & the day is spent breathing calmly.

Infact this wave was a problem before - that's why we switched to doing the mag bi-monthly. The problem was, you'd get it printed, but then straight away be onto the next one - no time to bounce back.

But that is nice, now, it has a natural flow - the wave that builds, then you have a month where it's easy-swimming, & youre all ready for the next one by the time it comes around.

This 'natural flow' suits me quite well. One thing i'm really working on with myself is tuning myself from being a 'reactive' person (Shit! This needs doing! Quick! Panic!) to being proactive. Proactive makes sense, is logically correct, however I read Notes From The Underground recently & Dostoevsky seemed to sum up the proactive life accurately for me.. 'The life of twice two's four is not life atall...'

Yes it is. Stop procrastinating you bum. Get your work done.

I really enjoy the mag in general. Quite simply, what do I love to do? Talk to people about things that interest me/things that they know deeply about. Doing the mag I get to brush shoulders with some really interesting people, & get educated folk* to spill the beans on interesting subjects like climate change, University fees, homelessness, travelling etc.

*educated folk - as in, folk who know much about there given subject. Not necessarily people who are scholared in it.

It's also been an avenue into unexpected areas, we're getting alot of support off people we werent expecting or weren't aware of.


I haven't posted about this atall yet, but i'm currently working away at something which is  really exciting for me. For the past couple of months I've been going down to Falmouth each week. I'm working with the students there in a mentor/director role to make a tribute to the Beatles film Yellow Submarine. I'm really pleased to have the opportunity for several reasons:
1) to help pass on whatever knowledge I can, I like helping people, really like it. Hopefully my knowledge ain't too scatter brain'd & inane, ey?
2) Work on a tribute to the Beatles! As if, ha.
3) Be back in beatufiul Falmouth. Literally love Falmouth. Aaaahhh.
4) Get a bunch of skills. I still, & hopefully for a long time will, firmly believe that life is all about experience. This is a great chance to get so much experience. I'm learning alot about how to try to motivate people, how to manage people, & to do it all with conviction & assurance, regardless of the sometimes open-endedness that the work entails. (film making is alot of decision making)
5) Great to be back around young & prosporous folk. I spose you find this in any university town, it's one thing I hold dear from my time in uni. Everybody goin' about in a state of prosperity, getting better at something. Whatever it is; be it their course of study, their practice, or perhaps just life. Everybody is active. Thinking about something. When I first got back on campus I had a little chuckle to myself seeing all the folk walkin round with there little scrunched up faces, no doubt thinking about some deep down thought for their dissertation (or perhaps how much change they had handy for the laundrette). It's great.

Anywho, in a nut shell, loving it. Really thankful to have the opportunity.

It's fun working in the Yellow Submarine style too. It's much simpler than how I typically tend to draw, very appealing to look at, very colourful & fun. It's not too hard & very playfully creative, drawing lots of swirling plants & curved lines.

It gives me a good appreciation of the style too. When I first watched the film I saw the style as strictly amateur. Although I did realise it was ignorant to see it in this light, I still didn't appreciate the artistic quality of it. Drawing in the style really makes you appreciate it.. the welcoming aesthetics (curvyness of everything), the interlaced pop-iconography & Britishness, the use of colour, and the intended naivety & simplicity of it - that which I originally wrote off as amateur!
Here's a bit of concept work:


Besides all that, i've started getting back into reading more & just living. Am really enjoying being in Torquay at the mo, feels great feeling we're doing something positive for the town (the magazin) & I think it's going to be a great summer.

Ciao for now.

PS dyed my hair blonde. Haha.