Saturday, August 4, 2012

"Pull My Daisy" by Robert Frank, Alfred Leslie & Jack Kerouac

photograph by John Cohen

A book or object by the German publisher Steidl is always excellent. They simply do not put out bad titles or books. And for the past so-many years they are the press to go to with respect to the works of Robert Frank. "Pull My Daisy" is a film made by Frank and Alfred Leslie that is basically ground zero for the Beat Generation. Based on an un-produced play by Jack Kerouac, this 28 minute film stars poets Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, and painter Larry Rivers. With Alice Neal and David Amram. And a totally improvised voice-over by Kerouac. 

This is a work that has 'charm' all over it. In many ways a goof, but as one knows in the Beat world, a goof is sort of a heightened experience. Kerouac is a genius, and there is no bad Jack. Sometimes there is weak Jack, or Jack-can-be-better - but overall this titan of Beat can really do no wrong with me.

For around $28 you get a beautifully (and simply) designed box with two books. The 'script' with essay and another book by the great photographer John Cohen with his footage of the making of this film and other images of them just hanging out. Simply essential in a goofy way.

Photo by John Cohen, Jack Kerouac & Robert Frank

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