COASTAL AWAKENINGS: Beat Generation Film Series

 Presented by the Shanbrom Family Foundation

The Coastal Awakening is the cultural movement that has been continually evolving on the Central Coast for nearly a century. It is best described as the art, music and literature that celebrate the interplay of our magical landscape with the liberation/ personal growth/human potential movement. From the Dunites through the Big Sur Beats, Esalen seekers, writers, artists, surfers and hippies, it continues to manifest in the unique and diverse lifestyles, arts and avocations of the people of the Central Coast.

The first two films will be introduced by George Catkin, Professor Emeritus in History from Cal Poly, and author of many books including Existential America and Feast of Excess: A Cultural History of the New Sensibility.

Pull My Daisy (1959) (screens with Howl)
Based on an incident in the life of Beat icon Neal Cassady and his artist wife, 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. Directed by Robert Frank and Alfred Leslie, the screenplay was adapted by Jack Kerouac from the third act of his play, Beat Generation. Kerouac narrates and it stars poets Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky and Gregory Corso. Comedy. 26 min. USA.

Howl (2010) (screens with Pull My Daisy)
It’s San Francisco in 1957, and an American masterpiece is put on trial. Using three interwoven threads: the tumultuous life events that led a young Allen Ginsberg to find his true voice as an artist, society’s reaction (the obscenity trial), and animation that echoes the poem’s surreal style, all three coalesce in a hybrid that dramatizes the birth of a counterculture. Premiered at Sundance in 2010 and stars James Franco as Allen Ginsberg. Biography/Drama. 84 min. USA.

The Source will be introduced by Robert Inchausti, Professor Emeritus in English from Cal Poly, author of Subversive Orthodoxy and editor of Hard to Be a Saint in the City: The Spiritual Vision of the Beats.

The Source: The Story of the Beats and the Beat Generation (1999)
This comprehensive documentary by Chuck Workman traces the “Beats” from Ginsberg and Kerouac’s initial meeting, to the deaths of Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs. Three actors (young Johnny Depp, Dennis Hopper, and John Turturro) provide dramatic interpretations of the work of these three writers, and the film chronicles their friendships, travels, and their connection with bebop, abstract expressionism, and living theater. Great interviews with Ginsberg, Burroughs, Kesey, Ferlinghetti, Jerry Garcia, and others. Documentary. 88 min.

Bucket of Blood will be introduced by Bob Whiteford, former Take Two radio host (with Palm Theatre owner Jim Dee,) former owner of Insomniac Video and a brilliant movie mind!

Bucket of Blood (1959)
A dimwitted, impressionable young busboy at a Bohemian café is acclaimed as a brilliant sculptor when he accidentally kills his landlady’s cat and covers its body in clay to hide the evidence. When the boy is pressured to create similar work, he becomes murderous. Directed by Roger Corman. Comedy/Horror. 66 min. USA.

Wednesday, March 14
Palm Theatre, SLO
$15 General / $12 Students (each screening requires a separate ticket)
All Festival Passes