Pull My Daisy (1959) by Robert Frank and Alfred Leslie

Thursday, January 26, 1984, 8:00 pm

The Beat Era – Program 2

“Things Are More Like They Are Now Than They Ever Were Before"


800 Chestnut Street

San Francisco, CA, 94133

The ‘50s was a time of H-bombs, witch-hunts and the Cold War. It also provided the fertile ground for an explosion in American art. While Kerouac was leading the Beat writers to a rejection of America’s white Protestant underpinnings, the new cinema was struggling to assert itself. Middle-class complacency was answered by anger and a Bohemian life of freedom and romance. Today, in the face of rearmament and Reagan’s Big Stick philosophy, these films of the Beat Era and the early ‘60s have an immediacy that has been brought into focus by our disturbing entry into 1984.

Pull My Daisy, Robert Frank and Alfred Leslie, 1959, 26 min.; based on the third act of Kerouac’s play The Beat Generation, this comic rendering of the ‘50s subculture features Ginsberg, Corso, Orlovsky, and Larry Rivers, with Kerouac narrating.

Senseless, Ron Rice, 1962, 28 min.; “A poetic stream of razor-sharp images, the overt content of Senseless portrays ecstatic travelers going to pot over the fantasies and pleasures of a trip to Mexico.” (David Brooks)

Lemon Hearts, Vernon Zimmerman, 1960, 26 min.; starring Taylor Mead in eleven roles. Filmed in the now-demolished houses in San Francisco’s Western Addition Redevelopment area.

Reflections on Black, Stan Brakhage, 1955, 12 min.; a series of terrifying dramas of male-female relationships offset against the background of a New York tenement.