For the Fall 2019 semester, the Film & Video Collection at Morris Library is highlighting a selection of the titles below. Explore films and documentaries related to the Beat Generation -- poets, authors, musicians and the (counter)culture they influenced. This display has been created in celebration of the Special Collections & Museums exhibit Beat Visions and the Counterculture, viewable at the Old College Gallery from September 3, 2019 - May 15, 2020.
A true story of obsession and murder. A true story of friendship, love and murder, the film recounts the pivotal year that changed Allen Ginsberg's life forever and provided the spark for him to start his creative revolution.
This adaptation of William Burrough’s best-known work visualizes the story of part-time pest-control man and full-time drug addict Bill Lee as he seeks escape from his troubled existence in 1953 New York.
Based on the seminal Beat novel by Jack Kerouac, this tells the story of Sal Paradise, a young writer whose life is shaken and ultimately redefined by the arrival of Dean Moriarty, a free-spirited Westerner. Traveling cross-country, Sal and Dean take off on a personal quest for freedom from the conformity and conservatism engulfing them, in search of the unknown.
Starting with his Catholic boyhood, tracing his development as one of the most important modern American authors, and his self-destructive demise at the age of 49, this documentary examines Kerouac's life.
This portrait of poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti explores his role as catalyst for numerous literary careers and for the Beat movement itself. In 1953, Ferlinghetti opened City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco, which quickly evolved into an iconic institution symbolizing social change and literary freedom.
This production features a biographical look at the life of Allen Ginsberg beginning with his early childhood. Many past performances of Ginsberg reading his original work are included, as well as a number of friends and colleagues offering their take on the poet's life and work.
This film is the only documentary to be made with the full participation of William S. Burroughs. The film travels from the American Midwest to North Africa, through defining moments of Burroughs’ unconventional life, charting the development of his unique literary style. Aaron Brookner later directed a documentary entitled Uncle Howard, which is also available via the Film & Video Collection (DVD 21234).
This documentary sheds light on the life of beat poet William S. Burroughs, tracing his upbringing as a scholarly WASP who fell in with fellow writers Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac in the 1950s in New York and how he reluctantly became part of the Beat Generation.
Beat poet Bob Kaufman was founding editor of the journal Beatitude with Allen Ginsberg and others. During an eventful life, Kaufman was imprisoned, underwent electroshock therapy, suffered from drug addiction, and took a ten-year vow of silence following the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
This documentary celebrates the Beats’ convergence in Paris’s Latin Quarter in the late 50s. A cheap no-name hotel called the Beat Hotel becomes a haven for a new breed of artists and the epicenter of the Beat Generation.
Focusing on the beat poetry scene of the late Fifties, this film poem celebrates colorful poets of the era (such as Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Allen Ginsberg) as they read their work and discuss what it means to be a poet in America.
A short film adapted by Jack Kerouac from the third act of his play, Beat Generation. Based on an incident in the life of Beat icon Neal Cassady and his wife, Carolyn, the film tells the story of a railway brakeman whose wife invites a respected bishop over for dinner. However, the brakeman's bohemian friends crash the party, with comic results.
This documentary explores the lives, works and influence of four leading lights of the Beat Generation: Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs and Neal Cassady and how the Beats became the dominant counter-cultural movement of the last half of America's 20th century.
Modern jazz provided the soundtrack to the Beat Generation. This film highlights great musicians like Louis Armstrong, Thelonious Monk, Chuck Berry and Dinah Washington, captured over the course of a weekend during the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival.
The Beats incorporated spontaneous bebop stylings in their prose and poetry writing. One of the artists most associated with bebop music was musician and composer Thelonious Monk, who was famous for his unique improvisational style.
This recording of beat poetry festival readings on the University of Oregon campus and Ken Kesey's farm in 1976 and 1977 includes William Burroughs, Anne Waldman, Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky, Gregory Corso, Ken Kesey, Ed Edmo, Paul Krassner, Wavy Gravy, Mr. Spoon, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, the Flying Karamazov Brothers, Ken Babbs, Bob Kaufman and Jack Micheline.
A psychedelic movie including scenes from the "Timeroom". A room painted in day-glo designs with music, lighting and multimedia broadcasting equipment to enhance the experience for participants during the making of the movie.
Author Ken Kesey considered himself a link between the Beat Generation of the 1950s and the hippies of the 1960s. In 1964, he and his friends, known as the Merry Pranksters, set out on a cross-country bus trip from California to New York to visit the World's Fair.
This video contains original footage shot by the Merry Pranksters of the Backhouse and travels in the Further bus. Footage of Neal Cassady focuses on the camera singing, dancing and reciting poetry giving the audience insight into the "fastestmanalive."