Jack Kerouac is a difficult author to transfer to the big screen, but Big Sur is a title that imbues the silver screen with the inimitable Kerouac style. The title benefits from accurate scenery, language, and overall zeitgeist captured during the feature. Big Sur focuses on Kerouac’s life in the months immediately following the success of On the Road. Rather than bask in his success, Kerouac attempts to retreat to a more sedate life. Finding it hard to resume anything resembling a normal life, Kerouac gradually gets further and further strung out on his vices. Big Sur is successful based on the sheer amount of star power that dots the film. Jean-Marc Barr (Dogville, Breaking the Waves), Kate Bosworth (Superman Returns, Blue Crush), and Balthazar Getty (Brothers & Sisters, Alias) work together to provide viewers with an intimate look into Kerouac’s life. For those that have actually delved into Big Sur, director Michael Polish (Jackpot, For Lovers Only) sticks tight and close with the source material. Linking the book to the vibrant live-action film format, Polish is able to provide an entirely new generation of viewers with a tragic character with which to identify.
Big Sur is available at both online and physical stores; looking around the online retailers, one may be able to have a copy of the title shipped to them for a hair under $15. Big Sur is an intense look into the life of a modern writer in the same fashion as Where The Buffalo Roam or Crumb, and could easily be adopted for use in a high school or early undergraduate course.