Ray Carney curated the film and video program for the Whitney Museum of American Art's Beat Culture and the New America1950-1965 show. He has written extensively about Beat film and more recent American independent work. The following material represents only an brief excerpt from his work. To obtain the complete text of the following piece or learn more about his writing about independent film, click here.
MOVEMENT ON FILM
A Comprehensive, Annotated Screening List by Ray Carney
Compiled for the Whitney Museum Beat Culture and the New America show
Click here for best printing of text
I. THE BACKBEAT: BEHIND THE BEAT MOVEMENT
THE SOCIAL AND INTELLECTUAL BACKGROUND: THE FEEL OF THE FIFTIES
Point of Order! (1964), Emile de Antonio. Film, black-and-white, sound; 97 minutes. The decade of the fifties begins with the HUAC hearings. Paranoia is rampant. A deep, thoughtful anatomy of the suppressed hysteria of the era.
The Atomic Cafe (1982), Kevin Rafferty, Jayne Loader, and Pierce Rafferty. Film, black-and-white and color, sound; 88 minutes. Comic compilation documentary of various cold war propaganda films. A satire on American optimism and mindless conformism in the face of impending nuclear destruction. Easy laughs at others' expense. An easy target is anatomized in an obvious way. No deep insights here. No understanding of the sources of the problem or of the spiritual malaise that prompted the era's insanity.
Heavy Petting (1989), Obie Benz. Film, color, sound; 75 minutes. Humorous documentary. Interviews with Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Judith Malina, and others about their loves and relationships in the fifties. Enjoyable, with occasional depths.
Before Stonewall (The Making of a Gay & Lesbian Community) (1984), Greta Schiller, Robert Rosenberg, and John Scagliotti, producers. Film, color, sound; 87 minutes. Sexual repression and the development of a Bohemian underground in New York and San Francisco.
The Beat Generation: An American Dream (1987), Janet Forman. Film, color, sound; 87 minutes. A sociological overview of the Eisenhower years. Contains archival film footage and more recent interviews with major Beat figures. The shortcoming is that it treats the era as monolithic. Sociology replaces ontology.
AMERICAN CIVILIZATION AND ITS DISCONTENTS: MIDDLE-CLASS
ANXIETIES AND FEARS:
The Bachelor Party (1957), Delbert Mann. Film, black-and-white, sound; 93 minutes. Hollywood examination of the cracks in the facade of the Organization Man. An important contemporaneous depiction of the self-doubts of the middle-class American male. (Compares with Cassavetes later Husbands.)
The Savage Eye (1959), Joseph Strick, Ben Maddow, and Sidney Meyers. Film, black-and-white, sound; 68 minutes. A relentlessly savage attack on the values of the American middle-class: its conspicuous consumption, conformity, and quest for style. Cold, self-satisfied, and sneering. Almost as bad as the targets it attacks.
The Wild One (1954), Laslo Benedek. Film, black-and-white, sound; 79 minutes. Starring Marlon Brando, the patron saint of much of the youth movement of the period. His mumbling and brow-furrowing became Beat trademarks. Fake realism at its Hollywood best.
Rebel Without a Cause (1954), Nicholas Ray. Film, color, sound; 111 minutes. The quintessential coming-of-age crisis film. A performance by James Dean that helped to shape Beat manners and mannerisms. (Nicholas Ray's son, Tony Ray, is featured in John Cassavetes' Shadows which appears later on the program.) Nicholas Ray manages to go places spiritually that most Hollywood film is oblivious of.
CREATIVITY ON THE MARGINS: THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN EXPERIENCE AND THE JAZZ LIFE
The Cry of Jazz (1958), Ed Bland. Film, black-and-white, sound; 35 minutes. An early definition of the distinctiveness of the black experience and its link to the aesthetics of jazz. Characteristically Beat in its somewhat romanticized view of the black musician.
Celebrating Bird! The Triumph of Charlie Parker (1988), Gary Giddins and Kendrick Simms. Video, black-and-white and color, sound; 59 minutes. Recent interviews and documentary footage of Parker in performance, but more biography than performance.
The World According to John Coltrane (1991), Toby Byron and Robert Palmer. Video, black-and-white and color, sound; 59 minutes. Extensive footage of Coltrane in performance on New York television in the fifties. Provides a deep insight into the fundamental spirituality of his music.
Jazz on a Summer's Day (1960), Bert Stern. Film, color, sound; 85 minutes. Documentation of the 1959 Newport Jazz Festival. Performers include: Anita O'Day, Dinah Washington, Gerry Mulligan, Jack Teagarden, and Louis Armstrong. A major documentary of the period, but slanted toward Dixieland and "hot" jazz and away from "cooler" or bebop work that was more important to the Beats. The bright side of the moon: joy, love, community.
RELIGION WITHOUT GOD–THE QUEST FOR A NEW RELATION TO THE UNIVERSE:
Essential Alan Watts: Man in Nature, Work as Play (1973), David Grieve and Henry Jacobs. Video, color, sound; 58 minutes. Visual records of Watts' radio broadcasts and public lectures from the fifties and sixties are not available. This video contains two a series of filmed talks from the early seventies. Connections with the Beat aesthetic and the work of many West Coast Beat artists in particular are evident.
Zuigan's Permanent Principle, (1994), Nita Freidman and Abbott John Daido Loori. Video, color, sound; 54 minutes. A lecture by Abbott John Daido Loori on change, permanence, time, and redeeming the everyday work of life. Not contemporary with the Beats, but captures the real meaning of Buddhism much better than Watts pop psychology.
II. THE DOCUMENTARY RECORD
PORTRAITS OF THE ARTISTS
Kerouac (1984), John Antonelli. Video, color, sound; 90 minutes. Interviews with Ginsberg, Ferlinghetti, Burroughs, and others; music by Ellington, Mingus, Sims. An upbeat, affirmative depiction of Kerouac's early years with a salutary emphasis on the young Kerouac, before he was "Kerouac."
What Happened to Kerouac? (1985), Lewis MacAdams and Richard Lerner. Film, color, sound; 96 minutes. Interviews with Corso, Ginsberg, and others. Focuses on the adult Kerouac. Includes a scene of an older, conservative, alcoholic, beaten Kerouac arguing with Ed Sanders and William Buckley on Firing Line. The end of the Beat line. Kerouac's appearance on television on The Steve Allen Plymouth Show is also included.
Jack Kerouac's Road–A Franco-American Odyssey (1987), Herménégilde Chiasson. Film, color, sound; 55 minutes. An unusual view of Kerouac entirely from the perspective of his French-Catholic background. An interesting corrective to the view of Kerouac as being rootless and culturally ungrounded. His spiritualism was not unrelated to that of an altar boy. Kerouac speaks French (with English subtitles).
A Moveable Feast: Profiles of Contemporary American Authors–Allen Ginsberg (1991), Bruce Berger. Video, color, sound; 30 minutes. Interviews with and readings by Ginsberg, and an account of his early years in New York and friendship with Kerouac.
The Life & Times of Allen Ginsberg (1993), Jerry Aronson. Film, black-and-white and color, sound; 82 minutes. Both a biography of Ginsberg and a comprehensive portrait of the period. A wealth of archival footage and photographs that nicely contextualizes Ginsberg's life and work.
Burroughs: The Movie (1983), Howard Brookner. Film, black-and-white and color, sound; 87 minutes. Rare footage of Burrough's appearance on Saturday Night Live, interviews with Burroughs and others who speak about him.
William Burroughs: Commissioner of Sewers (1986), Klaus Maeck. Film, black-and-white and color, sound; 60 minutes. Interviews with Burroughs by Jurgen Ploog during Burroughs' 1986 tour of Germany. Pretentious and thin.
"Playboy's Penthouse" (the Beat episode) (1959). Video, black-and-white, sound; 56 minutes. Features Hugh Heffner, Lenny Bruce, Cy Coleman, Charlie Coleman, and others. Bruce conducts an extended (and hilarious) extempore conversation with Heffner.
Lenny Bruce Performance Film (1968), John Magnuson, producer. Video, black-and-white, sound; 59 minutes. The only surviving visual record of a Bruce performance on stage. Bruce improvises a jazz-like "riff" based on the transcript on of his trial. His intellectual brilliance and agility come through not-withstanding the static camera set-up.
ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTS FROM THE PERIOD
Wholly Communion (1966), Peter Whitehead. Film, black-and-white, sound; 33 minutes. Ginsberg, Corso, Ferlinghetti, and others reading at the Royal Albert Hall in 1965.
The Beats: An Existential Comedy, Philomene Long. Video, sound; 58 minutes. A comic compilation of television and film clips on the Beats, focusing on the West Coast Beats.
The Anatomy of Cindy Fink (1966), Richard Leacock, Patricia Jaffe, and Paul Leaf. Film, color, sound; 12 minutes. Rarely seen documentary about the life of a Greenwich Village dancer.
THE BEAT GOES ON (AFTER-EFFECTS, CONTINUATIONS, REFLECTIONS)
Fried Shoes, Cooked Diamonds: The Beats at Naropa (1978), Costanzo Allione. Video, color, sound; 55 minutes. Burroughs, Ginsberg, Corso, Anne Waldman, Diane DiPrima and others at Naropa in the early 1970s.
This Song for Jack (1983), Robert Frank. Film, black-and-white, sound; 30 minutes. Documents the 1982 "On the Road, Jack Kerouac Conference" in Boulder, Colorado. Frank creates a deliberate companion piece to his earlier Pull My Daisy. This is, in effect, the same film twenty years later. See the note on the earlier piece.
West Coast, Beat and Beyond (1984), Chris Felver. Video, color, sound; 59 minutes. Readings by Ginsberg, Kerouac, Ken Kesey, Laurence Ferlinghetti, and others, on San Francisco's North Beach. Narrated by Gerald Nicosia. Chris Felver is the great photographic historian of the movement.
Gang of Souls (1989), Maria Beatty. Video, color, sound; 58 minutes. Recent footage of Ginsberg, Burroughs, DiPrima, and others, and tributes to them from a generation of contemporary artists.
Love Lion: Performance with Words and Music by Michael McClure and Ray Manzarek (1991), Sheldon Rochlin and Maxine Harris. Video, color, sound; 70 minutes. On stage reading that documents the Beat attempt to combine music and poetry in one performance.
Allan 'n' Allen's Complaint (1982), Nam June Paik and Shigeko Kubota. Video, color, sound; 30 minutes. Featuring Allen Ginsberg and Allen Kaprow.
Living with the Living Theater (1989), Nam June Paik with Betsy Connors and Paul Garrin. Video, color, sound; 28 1/2 minutes. Ginsberg reflecting on the Beat movement.
Gregory Corso Reads from the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights (1992), James Rasin and Jerry Poynton. Film, color, sound; 18 minutes. A work in progress. Corso delivers an improvised "riff" somewhat rough and flat in places, on American history.
Huncke and Louis (1995), Laki Vazakis. Video, color, sound; 10 minutes. A work in progress. A wonderful and disturbing portrait of Herbert Huncke and his companion Louis Cartwright. Cuts beneath the primping and preening of the movement to document the human cost, as Huncke's work itself does. Usefully compared with The Connection, and superior to it, as a study of self-destruction through drugs and life-style.
New Orleans, 1938 (1995), Jerry Poynton. Video, color, sound; 12 minutes. Actor Edgar Oliver reads Herbert Huncke's story, "New Orleans 1938."
THE HAPPENING: TAKING ART OFF THE WALLS AND BRINGING IT TO LIFE:
Happenings: One (1962), Raymond Saroff. Film, black-and-white, silent; 21 minutes. Claes Oldenburg, Pat Oldenburg, Lucas Samaras, and others at the Ray Gun Theater.
Happenings: Two (1962), Raymond Saroff. Film, black-and-white, silent; 22 1/2 minutes.
The White Rose (1967), Bruce Connor. Film, black-and-white, sound; 7 minutes. The removal of Jay DeFeo's massive sculptural piece from her apartment in 1965. A very subtle, deep exploration of art's place in the world, or lack of a place, by the greatest cinematic artist of the period.
III. THE BEAT SENSIBILITY IN FILM
The End (1953). Film, color, sound; 35 minutes. Set in San Francisco, a series of surreal episodes deal with suicide and death and the atomic age. All of the vices of the Beat movement, imperfectly understood.
Beat (1958). Film, color, sound; 6 minutes. A boy and girl dance through the streets of a city. Reveals MacLaine's fundamentally choreographic sensibility.
Desistfilm (1954). Film, black-and-white, sound; 7 minutes. Parker Tyler called it the first authentically beat film (though the award might actually go to Mac Laine's The End). Sexual combat and social anxiety among a group of young people.
Anticipation of the Night (1958). Film, black-and-white, silent; 40 minutes. The quest for an innocent eye and a form of film that can capture the complexity of lived experience before it has been simplified by the understanding.
Lost, Lost, Lost (1949-1963/1976). Film, black-and-white and color, sound; 178 minutes. An exploration of terminal marginality, lostness, searching, longing. The first, chronologically, of Mekas' diary films, which capture the movements of time, space, and mind on film.
Guns of the Trees (1962). Film, black-and-white, sound; 75 minutes. Two couples–one white, one black–living on the margins. Ties in with Beat anxieties about the A-bomb and the point of work in American society. Narration by Allen Ginsberg. Not nearly as interesting or complex as Lost, Lost, Lost film, but more obviously Beat. Features Ben Carruthers, who also stars in Cassavetes' Shadows.
Motion Picture (1956). Film, color, sound; 4 minutes. Accidentally re-discovered after forty years of obscurity by the author. The energy and freedom of traveling down the road in an automobile was one of the central Beat metaphors. Paine's mastery of space and time is usefully contrasted with Clarke's in her short films. While Paine lunges through space and eats it up, Clarke balletically dances around it.
Bridges Go Round (1958). Film, color, sound; 4 minutes.
Skyscraper (1959). Film, black-and-white and color, sound; 20 minutes.
A bebop sensibility. Clarke animates the city and its objects and makes them dance to her tunes.
The Connection (1961). Film, black-and-white, sound; 103 minutes. From the Jack Gelber play, acted by The Living Theater. Waiting for Godot as a drug-pusher story. Because of some of its language, it as legally ruled obscene and only released after a court battle. Dated and weak as a work of art; interesting chiefly as a historical documentation of a work that strangely captivated the audience.
Portrait of Jason (1967). Film, black-and-white, sound; 105 minutes. Jason is the archetypal hipster of the period, the psychopath Norman Mailer's essay "The White Negro" describes, condemned to swing forever. A great and profound investigation of performance and identity.
Shades and Drumbeats (1964). Film, color, silent; 25 minutes. Ann all-nighter of drugs and sex with a group of young people. Contrast with Shadows as an evocation of the milieu.
Shadows (1957-1959). Film, black-and-white, sound; 87 minutes. Mixed races, questions of identity. Charlie Mingus and Shafi Hadi (a.k.a. Curtis Porter) perform on the soundtrack. A half-loving, half-critical analysis of the Beat stance, from a position half-inside, half-outside the movement. Brilliant and insightful. Notwithstanding the final statement, most of the scenes were completely scripted.
Too Late Blues (1961). Film, black-and-white, sound; 103 minutes. Jazz milieu. A hero with a Peter Pan complex. Cassavetes tells the story of an artist too idealistic to function in contemporary capitalistic society. Is the problem society or him?
Pull My Daisy (1959), Robert Frank and Alfred Leslie. Film, black-and-white, sound; 28 minutes. One of the best-known Beat films. Although for many years mistakenly believed to be improvised, the film was carefully scripted, laboriously rehearsed, and meticulously edited. Though it was treated as a paen to freedom and spontaneitiy, the film is in fact self-indulgent, smug, and sexist in its attitude towards women. More evidence of what went wrong with the Beat movement than what was right about it. The opposite of Shadows, Pull My Daisy is taken in by the Beat ethos, unable to see its limitations, and unwilling to subject it to scrutiny.
Me and My Brother (1965-1968). Film, black-and-white and color, sound; 91 minutes. Peter and Jules Orlovsky, Christopher Walken, Joe Chaikin, Allen Ginsberg. Raises questions about the boundaries between art and life by forcing the viewer to wonder about what in the film is acted and what is not. Tedious, slack, and self-satisfied.
The Flower Thief (1960). Film, black-and-white, sound; 75 minutes. Taylor Mead clowns and improvises his version of Chaplin in City Lights.
The Queen of Sheba Meets the Atom Man (1963). Film, black-and-white, sound; 109 minutes. Taylor Mead and Winifred Bryan, who has the most emotionally powerful passage–a ferry ride out into New York harbor.
Lemon Hearts (1960). Film, black-and-white, sound; 26 minutes. Taylor Mead house-hunting (and house-haunting) in San Francisco.
Blonde Cobra (1959-63) Film, black-and-white and color, sound with live radio; 30 minutes. Jack Smith camping it up in a work that hovers between the comic and the tragic. Where does role-playing end and reality begin?
Little Stabs at Happiness (1959-63. Film, color, sound; 15 minutes. The dark side of the Beat sensibility. Kerouac regarded "goofing"–clowning around–as "holy," but Jacobs wanted to restore its blasphemous potential, and does so in this film.
Flaming Creatures (1963). Film, black-and-white, sound; 45 minutes. A Sternbergian view of life as a form of theater. Relates to the Beat interest in costume and carnival, and the attempt to treat personal identity as a work of art.
COMING TO GRIPS WITH THE TRASH-HEAP OF CULTURE: FOUND FOOTAGE AND FOUND-OBJECT FILMS:
A Movie (1958). Film, black-and-white, sound; 12 minutes.
Cosmic Ray (1961). Film, black-and-white, sound; 4 minutes.
Report (1963-67). Film, black-and-white, sound; 13 minutes.
Marilyn Times Five (1968-73). Film, black-and-white, sound; 13 minutes.
Conner recycles the culture of advertising, Hollywood, and the media to adapt it to his anti-establishment purposes.
Wheels No. 1 (1958). Film, black-and-white, sound; 5 minutes.
Wheels No. 2 (1959). Film, black-and-white, sound; 4 minutes.
Science Friction (1959). Film, color, sound; 9 minutes.
Breathdeath (1964). Film, black-and-white, sound; 15 minutes.
Explorations of the American passion for fashion, the lust for motion, and the Faustian push into space–documented and satirized though found footage.
Go, Go, Go (1962-64). Film, color, silent; 11 1/2 minutes. Making space amid the hecticness and crush for privacy, consciousness, interiority.
WILLIAM BURROUGHS PROGRAM: CAPTURING THE SHOCK SENSIBILITY ON FILM:
Towers Open Fire, The Cut-Ups, Bill and Tony, William Buys a Parrot (1962-72). Antony Balch. Film, black-and-white and color, sound; 35 minutes. Written and narrated by William Burroughs. Inspired by Brion Gysin. An attempt capture Burroughs' cut-up methods in the medium of film. Not entirely successful.
Naked Lunch (1991), David Cronenberg. Film, color, sound; 115 minutes. An attempt to do in commercial film what Burroughs does on the page. This film can be compared to Balch's Towers Open Fire as evidence of the problems that arise in attempting to translate the Beat sensibility into a mainstream form of expression.
A CLASH OF SENSIBILITIES: BEAT COOL MEETS WARHOL COLD
Tarzan and Jane Regained, Sort of . . . (1963). Film, black-and-white and color, sound; 81 minutes. Wallace Berman and his son appear in the film.
Couch (1964). Film, black-and-white, silent; 54 minutes. Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and Gregory Corso appear.
ANIMATION: EAST COAST AND WEST
Early Abstractions, Nos. 1-5, 7 and 10 (1939-57) Film, color, sound; 23 minutes. The creation of a transcendental visual style.
Heaven and Earth Magic Feature (1959-66). Film, black-and-white, sound; 66 minutes.
Recreations (1956). Film, color, sound; 1 1/2 minutes.
Eyewash (1959). Film, color, silent; 3 minutes.
Breathing (1963). Film, black-and-white, sound; 5 minutes.
Fist Flight (1964). Film, color, sound; 9 minutes.
An attempt to engage the viewer in a playful pursuit of ever-elusive meanings.
IV. VISIONARY PURIFICATIONS AND WEST COAST INFLECTIONS
Yantra (1950-55). Film, color, sound; 7 minutes.
Lapis (1963-66). Film, color, sound; 10 minutes.
Meditative states translated into the medium of film.
Caravan (1952). Film, color, sound; 4 minutes.
Mandala (1953). Film, color, sound; 3 minutes.
Séance (1953). Film, color, sound; 4 minutes.
Allures (1961). Film, color, sound; 8 minutes.
Re-Entry (1964). Film, color, sound; 6 minutes.
Triptych in Four Parts (1958). Film, color, sound; 12 minutes.
Visions of a City (1957/1979). Film, black-and-white tinted sepia; 8 minutes.
Mr. Hayashi (1961). Film, black-and-white, sound; 3 minutes. Compare with Korty's Crazy Quilt for an insight into the West Coast sensibility. Bucolic, warm, and meditative.
Have You Thought of Talking to the Director? (1962). Film, black-and-white, sound; 15 minutes.
To Parsifal (1963). Film, black-and-white, sound; 16 minutes.
Mass for the Dakota Sioux (1963-64). Film, black-and-white, sound; 20 1/2 minutes.
Quixote (1964-65). Film, black-and-white and color, sound; 45 minutes.
A religious sensibility. Oriental terseness, love of nature, interest in purity and innocence, and distrust of science, technology, and modern civilization define Baillie's work.
Scorpio Rising (1963). Film, color, sound; 29 minutes.
Kustom Kar Kommandos (1956). Film, color, sound; 3 1/2 minutes.
A Los Angeles sensibility: there is no escape from the relentless cultural processing of experience. Culture has become the new nature.
The Brink (1961). Film, black-and-white, sound; 40 minutes. Stan Brakhage called The Brink one of the most important San Francisco films of the period. A playful love story about two lonely people. Photographed by Paul Beattie, the painter.
The Crazy Quilt (1966); Film, black-and-white, sound; 72 minutes. One of the American indy movement's forgotten masterworks. Indebted to Citizen Kane in its plot and some of its effects, but the opposite of it in its sensibility: replaces Welles' Faustian impulses, his love of power, glamour, and stardom, with a tender, self-effacing love of nature and human nature.
Funnyman (1967). Film, color, sound; 98 minutes. Along with Riverrun, another of Korty's forgotten masterworks.
Independent features from the San Francisco North Beach area. A celebration of extravagance, personal eccentricity, and the transforming power of the individual imagination. Beat transmuting into hippie in the late sixties.
Adventures of Jimmy (1950). Film, black-and-white, sound; 11 minutes. Mama's boy looks for a match.
V. THE BOUTIQUING OF BEATNESS: HOLLYWOOD GOES BEAT
The Beat Generation (1959), Charles Haas. Film, black-and-white, sound; 95 minutes. Louis Armstrong makes an appearance. A rapist masquerades as a beatnik.
The Subterraneans (1960), Ranald MacDougall. Film, color, sound; 89 minutes. Music by Gerry Mulligan, Carmen McRae, and Shelley Manne. A gentrification of Kerouac's novel of the same title, with a race change (from black to white) of the female lead.
Bucket of Blood (1959), Roger Corman. Film, black-and-white, sound; 66 minutes. Follows the mass media in treating Beats as deviants, weirdos, psychopaths. A waiter in a coffeehouse murders people and passes himself off as a Beat sculptor. The plot says it all.
Greenwich Village Story (1961), Jack O'Connell. Film, black-and-white, sound; 95 minutes. The best of the Hollywood adaptations, which is not saying that much. A love story about a struggling writer and his girlfriend, set in a Beat milieu.
Heart Beat (1980), John Byrum. Film, color, sound; 105 minutes. Hollywood portraits of Cassady, Kerouac, Ginsberg, and others. Adaptation of Carolyn Cassady's memoir of the period. Soap opera on the big screen.
VI. TRANSATLANTIC TRANSFORMATIONS: ANGRY YOUNG MEN (AND WOMEN) IN THE UK
The Rebel Set (a.k.a. Beatsville) (1959), Gene Fowler, Jr. Film, black-and-white, sound; 72 minutes. Rebellious youths get involved in a robbery plot. Silly.
Beat Girl (a.k.a. Wild for Kicks) (1962), Edmond T. Greville. Film, black-and-white, sound; 92 minutes. A teenage girl rebels against her father by becoming a beatnik and a criminal. Trite.
Saturday Night, Sunday Morning (1960), Karel Reisz. Film, black-and-white, sound; 90 minutes. Starring Albert Finney. One of the best of the "angry young men" films, about a Nottingham factory worker rebelling against his working-class background and surroundings.
Look Back in Anger (1989), David Jones. Video, color, sound; 114 minutes. Starring Kenneth Branaugh. The most faithful and dramatically powerful film version of Osborne's play and therefore preferable to the film of the same title made during the period. Arguably the most sympathetic portrait of the British "angry young man" on film.
Ray Carney curated the film and video program for the Whitney Museum of American Art's Beat Culture and the New America1950-1965 show. He has written extensively about Beat film and more recent American independent work. The preceding material represents only an brief excerpt from his work. To obtain the complete text of the preceding piece or learn more about his writing about independent film, click here.
To read more about the Beat movement in film, Ray Carney recommends the Berkeley web site. Click here and here.