New York State Writers Institute - Classic Film Series


March 20, 2003 (Thursday) at 7:00 p.m.
Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue
(Free and Open to the Public)
Followed by Q&A with Director Henry Ferrini

(American, 1958, 30 minutes, b&w, video)
Directed by Alfred Leslie & Robert Frank

This largely spontaneous and uproarious short film features Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso and other BEat figures acting out part of an unfinished stage play by Jack Kerouac, "The Beat Generation," based on an incident in the life of Neal and Carolyn Cassady. Kerouac himself provides the narration.

(American, 1964, 39 minutes, b&w, video)
Directed by Alfred Leslie

This experimental short presents three identical takes of an interracial couple riding in a car while the woman speaks in an unknown tongue. Each take is subtitled with a different stream of consciousness narration by poet Frank O'Hara. Writer Gilbert Sorrentino said O'Hara's work "moves in a world of wry elegance, of gesture, a world made up of a certain kind of strictly New York jole de vivre."

(American, 2000, 27 minutes, color and b&w, video)
Directed by Henry Ferrini

LOWELL BLUES is a rich visual tour of Jack Kerouac's hometown of Lowell, Massachusetts. This poetically structured documentary takes its narration from Kerouac's novel, Dr. Sax, with readings by Beat poets Gregory Corso, David Amram, Carolyn Cassady, Joyce Johnson, and Robert Creeley as well as moving actor Johnny Depp. Cool jazz pioneer Lee Konitz helps supply the soundtrack.

Henry Ferrini, director of LOWELL BLUES, will present film commentary and answer questions immediately following the screening. Ferrini is the director of a number of acclaimed and prize winning documentaries, many of them about historic Massachusetts communities. His film, WITCH CITY (1996), co-directed with Joe Cultrera, examines Salem's modern-day relationship with its historic witch trials, featuring interviews with Wiccans, Christians and playwright Arthur Miller.

"The absolute standard for all films on Jack Kerouac." - David Amram, Composer

"Elegant in its simplicity." - Mike Milliard, Boston Phoenix