Pull My Daisy

Pull My Daisy

"Pull My Daisy" (1959) is a short film that typifies the Beat Generation. Directed by Robert Frank and Alfred Leslie, "Daisy" was adapted by Jack Kerouac from the third act of a never-completed stage play entitled "Beat Generation." Kerouac also provided improvised narration. It starred Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, Larry Rivers, Peter Orlovsky, David Amram, Richard Bellamy, Alice Neel, Sally Gross, Delphine Seyrig and Pablo Frank, Robert Frank's then-young son.

Based on an incident in the life of Neal Cassady and his wife Carolyn, "Daisy" tells the story of a railway brakeman whose painter wife invites a respectable 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 Neal Cassady over the 40's and 50's. Part of the original poem was used as a lyric in David 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 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".

External links

* [http://books.guardian.co.uk/news/articles/0,6109,1488451,00.html Guardian article mentioning the play Beat Generation and the fact that "Pull My Daisy" was pulled from its third act.]

* [http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8994248541021504750 Complete "Pull My Daisy" at Google Video]

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