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.
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.