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Lowell Blues: The Words of Jack Kerouac (2000)

Short | 30 min | Documentary, Short

Lowell Blues remembers the place Jack Kerouac could not forget. By fusing visual history, language and jazz into a 30-minute film poem, Lowell Blues illuminates Kerouac's childhood holy land. Excerpts from Kerouac's novel, Dr. Sax, are ...See moreLowell Blues remembers the place Jack Kerouac could not forget. By fusing visual history, language and jazz into a 30-minute film poem, Lowell Blues illuminates Kerouac's childhood holy land. Excerpts from Kerouac's novel, Dr. Sax, are read by: Gregory Corso, Johnny Depp, Carolyn Cassady, David Amram, Robert Creeley, and Joyce Johnson. Ferrini paints an illuminated landscape rich in mystery and possibility. Lowell Blues is a canvas in motion. A canvas made even more vivid by a haunting soundtrack by alto saxophonist Lee Konitz, drummer Jim Doherty and Boston's own "godfather of punk" Willie Alexander. The film interprets how place activates the writer's imagination, and how the writer's art reshapes his city with reverence and respect. Between the frames we recollect the life of a young writer exploring his origins - education, the Catholic church, birth and death. Kerouac's text speaks to the 1930s in which he grew up. By using both archival and contemporary footage, Lowell Blues melds modern experiences together with Kerouac's childhood to create a timeless sense of place. Lowell Blues, like Kerouac's writing, swirls word and image, music and movement into ethereal images of America's abundant, ever morphing, character. Lowell Blues remembers the city on the river where "memory and dream are intermixed in this mad universe." Written by Henry Ferrini See less
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Updated Oct 6, 2000

Release date
Oct 6, 2000 (United States)

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Ratings Breakdown

8.2 / 10 | 18 votes