Under the Radar DVD of the Week: 'What Happened to Jack Kerouac?' (Deluxe Edition)
This week, the oddest DVD to appear on release lists is:
“What Happened to Jack Kerouac?” (Deluxe Edition)
With director Walter Salles’ highly anticipated film adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” set for a Dec. 21st release, it’s an apt time to revisit this iconic bad boy of the Beat generation in a new Deluxe Edition of the 1986 documentary “What Happened to Jack Kerouac?” (due out Tuesday on DVD).
Directed by Richard Lerner and Lewis MacAdams, this wide-ranging documentary is filled with surprising insights into the life and work of the blue-collar, French Canadian drifter who hit the road in the raucous ’50s and helped define the literary counterculture of the era. With the breakout success of his stream-of-consciousness novel “On the Road,” the restless and often surly writer found unwanted fame and eventually retreated into the alcoholism that ultimately killed him.
The film trots out a who’s who of the 1950’s literary scene for close-up interviews. The roster includes such Beat paragons as Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Michael McClure and Gary Snyder. And the more effusive among them – excluding a very wacky Corso – compare Kerouac’s raw, spontaneous prose to the works of Joyce, Whitman and Baudelaire.
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