During the pandemic lockdown, I began a deep dive into film because for the first time all live events were off the table. I eventually worked my way around to a self-created Beat film festival, re-watching a bunch of the various cinematic adaptations from over the years, and besides updating my Beat Movie Guide the idea struck that it would be neat to string all the Kerouac portrayals together so a person could watch each cinematic interpretation — from Gregory Corso in the Jack role in “Pull My Daisy” through Jean-Marc Barr as the lead in the 2013 “Big Sur” adaptation.

For Kerouac’s centennial at Lowell Celebrates Kerouac in 2022 we did a “Jack on Film” show with clips of every version of Jack on the big or small screen, and also had the actor who best portrayed him — Vincent Balestri in “Beat Angel” — join us via Zoom. But the live show was plagued with numerous technical problems and LCK hatched the idea to do it again but in a proper movie theater — and that’s what we did to close out the festival in October 2023.

The “Take 2” show was filmed in nice hi-def digi from the audience, and this year we were joined by the director of the most successful Kerouac adaptation, Michael Polish, who used Jack’s words to bring “Big Sur” to life.

Here are the recordings in order:

Part One — Introduction, Pull My Daisy and Robert Frank’s Third Avenue street footage

Part Two — The Subterraneans, Route 66, Charles Kuralt, John Belushi as Jack on Saturday Night Live

Part Three — Heart Beat, Naked Lunch, The Last Time I Committed Suicide, Quantum Leap

Part Four — Neal Cassady, Magic Trip, Howl, Beat Angel

Part Five — On The Road, Kill Your Darlings, Big Sur

https://youtu.be/AWsfeHsIqFg?si=k09xJI_iUK8DOKTW (Sorry. This video will not embed for some reason.)

Part Six — a conversation via Zoom with Big Sur director Michael Polish

Or here’s the playlist for the entire 6-part show —

You can see a list of films about the Beats here.