Kerouac documentary at the Arclight tonight


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Jack Kerouac’s 1960 visit to Big Sur was not a happy one; although he set out to find some peace in the wilderness of the California coast, instead he reckoned with his own disquiet. He did, however, manage to write about his experience in the 1962 book ‘Big Sur’ -- and the trip is now brought to life in the new documentary ‘One Fast Move or I’m Gone: Kerouac’s Big Sur.’

The film screens tonight at L.A.’s Arclight Cinema. Director Curt Worden and producer Gloria Bailen will be there.


In the movie, musicians, writers and poets who have been influenced by Kerouac read his text and narrate the circumstances of his ill-fated trip. It’s ‘a chronicle of a man being eaten by ants,’ Tom Waits says in the movie. ‘Like a snail crawling across a straight razor.’

Music from the film -- by Benjamin Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie and Jay Farrar of Uncle Tupelo -- is being released today. The two hadn’t met before they came together around Kerouac. His work continues to resonate, with the likes of Sam Shepard, Patti Smith, Aram Saroyan, Robert Hunter, S.E. Hinton and Lenny Kaye appearing in the documentary.

NPR did a piece on the film this morning. And for those of you who can’t make it to one of tonight’s Los Angeles screenings, the trailer is after the jump.

-- Carolyn Kellogg