One Fast Move Or I'm Gone.
October 12, 2009 10:23 AM   Subscribe

One Fast Move or I'm Gone : a documentary of Kerouac's Big Sur features a soundtrack by Ben Gibbard & Jay Farrar.
posted by grapefruitmoon (8 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

God I love that song.
posted by kingbenny at 10:35 AM on October 12, 2009

"The story unfolds in several synchronous ways: through the narrative arc of Kerouac’s prose, told in voice-over by actor and Kerouac interpreter, John Ventimiglia (of HBO’s The Sopranos); through first-hand accounts and recollections of Kerouac’s contemporaries, whom many of the characters in the book are based on such as Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Carolyn Cassady, Joyce Johnson and Michael McClure; by the interpretations and reflections of writers, poets, actors and musicians who have been deeply influenced by Kerouac’s unique gifts like Tom Waits, Sam Shepard, Robert Hunter, Patti Smith, Aram Saroyan, Donal Logue and S.E. Hinton; and by stunning, High Definition visual imagery set to original music composed and performed by recording artist, Jay Farrar of Son Volt, with additional performance by Benjamin Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie"

okay, I'll put this on my must-see list.
posted by sweetmarie at 10:41 AM on October 12, 2009

Oh, I remember reading this a few years ago while going through some drunken chaos of my own. Interesting times. Looking forward to watching the video!
posted by xorry at 11:03 AM on October 12, 2009

Long-lost Beat poet Lew Welch features largely in Big Sur. In Kerouac's charmingly nineteenth-century fashion, he is given a psuedonym, like everyone else. Welch became "Dave Wain."

Welch, along with another poet, Philip Whalen, was a roomate of rather better-known—& still among the quick—poet Gary Snyder, "Japhy Ryder" in Kerouac's The Dharma Bums. Welch was a few years younger than Kerouac & was rather struck by Kerouac's persona. He went on to work with the art 'n' anarchy collective The Diggers, & became a figure in the early days of hippie Haight-Ashbury. He is said to have been, while working at an ad agency in an earlier incarnation, the man who came up with "Raid kills bugs dead." He was also the adoptive step-father of rocker Huey Lewis.

If I may, here are three poems by Lew Welch, from his collected works, Ring Of Bone:


Few things that grow here poison us.
Most of the animals are small.
Those big enough to kill us do it in a way
Easy to understand, easy to defend against.
The air, here, is just what the blood needs.
We don't use helmets or special suits.

The Star, here, doesn't burn you if you
Stay outside as much as you should.
The worst of our winters is bearable.
Water, both salt and sweet, is everywhere.
The things that live in it are easily gathered.
Mostly, you can eat them raw with safety and pleasure.

Yesterday my wife and I brought back
Shells, driftwood, stones, and other curiosities
Found on the beach of the immense
Fresh-water sea we live by.
She was all excited by a slender white stone which:
"Exactly fits the hand!"

I couldn't share her wonder:
Here, almost everything does.


We are the grit in the
clam of this nation naturally

It tries to slime us



I saw myself
a ring of bone
in the clear stream
of all of it

and vowed,
always to be open to it
that all of it
might flow through

and then heard
"ring of bone" where
ring is what a

bell does


If you really want to know what "hippie" was and would be, if it could, check out Lew Welch.

Lew left the home of Gary Snyder, where he had been staying, in May of 1971, walking off into the deepest Sierra Nevada. He left a note, and took a revolver. He has not been seen in the flesh since.
posted by Forrest Greene at 12:29 PM on October 12, 2009 [5 favorites]

'Scuse me: "pseudonym," "roommate."
posted by Forrest Greene at 2:46 PM on October 12, 2009

I read "Big Sur" years ago because I had read and liked (not loved) "On The Road", and too many people I knew were dissing Kerouac as a writer. "Big Sur" proved them wrong in my estimation, and "Dharma Bums" even more so.
Thanks for the heads-up on the movie.
posted by rocket88 at 8:22 AM on October 13, 2009

I've been looking forward to this one for a couple years. I thought the DVD/CD combo page included the actual documentary itself, but it's only the Behind the scenes, outtakes, director's interview and such. Still have to wait for a DVD of the movie itself.
posted by planetkyoto at 5:57 AM on October 14, 2009

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