Cinema at the MFA: Pull My Daisy & This Song for Jack
These two short films enhance the enjoyment of The Open Road: Photography and the American Road Trip. Director Robert Frank is one of the major figures represented in that exhibition.
This evening, you will be viewing Pull My Daisy (1959) and This Song for Jack (1983). There will be a special introduction by David Amram, who composed the score for Pull My Daisy and who appears in This Song for Jack.
Cash Bar. Complimentary Snacks. Free with MFA admission.
Pull My Daisy, ©Robert Frank, 1959:
This film offers a look at the soul of the beat generation, made with writers Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg and painters Alfred Leslie, Larry Rivers, and Alice Neel. It was written and narrated by Kerouac, based on his unproduced play The Beat Generation.
Pull My Daisy tells the story of a bishop (Richard Bellamy) and his mother (Alice Neel) who pay a visit to Milo, a railroad worker. At the same time, his poet friends, Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky, and Gregory Corso quiz the bishop about the meaning of life and its relationship to art and poetry.
This Song for Jack, ©Robert Frank, 1983:
Robert Frank shot this footage at “On the Road: The Jack Kerouac Conference,” held at the Naropa Institute, Boulder, Colorado, from July 23-August 1, 1982. It features William Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Gregory Corso, Edie Kerouac, Ken Kesey, Abbie Hoffman, and composer David Amram, among many others.
David Amram is one of America’s most gifted composers and conductors. In 1957, he created and performed in the first ever jazz/poetry readings in New York City with novelist Jack Kerouac, a close friend with whom he worked for more than 12 years. Offbeat: Collaborating With Kerouac (2005) is one of his three memoirs.
He was appointed by Leonard Bernstein as the first Composer-in-Residence for the New York Philharmonic in 1966. In addition to Pull My Daisy (1959), he wrote the music for the films Splendor in the Grass (1960) and The Manchurian Candidate (1962). He also composed the scores for Joseph Papp’s Shakespeare in the Park productions from 1956-1967 and again collaborated with the famous director on Twelfth Night in 1968. He is currently working on a double concerto for violin, cello, and orchestra; a string orchestra version of his Greenwich Village Portraits; and a ballet piece for the legendary Jacques d’Amboise.