Pull My Daisy

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This article is about the short film. For the poem of the same name, see Pull My Daisy (poem).

Pull My Daisy (1959) is a short film directed by Robert Frank and Alfred Leslie, and adapted by Jack Kerouac from the third act of his play, Beat Generation. Kerouac also provided improvised narration. It starred poets Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky and Gregory Corso, artists Larry Rivers and Alice Neel, musician David Amram, art dealer Richard Bellamy, Delphine Seyrig, dancer[1] Sally Gross, and Pablo Frank, Robert Frank's son.

Based on an incident in the life of Beat icon Neal Cassady and his wife, the painter Carolyn, the film tells the story of a railway brakeman whose wife invites a respected bishop over for dinner. However, the brakeman's bohemian friends crash the party, with comic results.

Originally intended to be called The Beat Generation, the title Pull My Daisy was taken from the poem of the same name written by Kerouac, Ginsberg, and Cassady in the late 1940s. Part of the original poem was used as a lyric in Amram's jazz composition that opens the film.

The Beat philosophy emphasized spontaneity, and the film conveyed the quality of having been thrown together or even improvised. Pull My Daisy was accordingly praised for years as an improvisational masterpiece, until Leslie revealed in a November 28, 1968 article in The Village Voice that the film was actually carefully planned, rehearsed, and directed by him and Frank, who shot the film on a professionally lit movie studio set.

Leslie and Frank discuss the film at length in Jack Sargeant's book Naked Lens: Beat Cinema. An illustrated transcript of the film's narration was also published in 1961 by Grove Press.

Pull My Daisy was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 1996, as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

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References[edit]

  1. ^ Cohen, John (8 August 2008). "Is Pull My Daisy Holy?". photo-eye Magazine. Retrieved 2 January 2009. 

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