Interview par Rick Dale de Gerald Nicosia, auteur de la biographie de Kerouac MEMORY BABE. Gerald Nicosia a participé au camp Beatnik pour aider les acteurs à mieux appréhender leur rôle.Lire La Suite...
|Gerald Nicosia reading poetry in San Francisco, 2008. Photographer unknown.|
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As readers know, The Daily Beat recently received a copy of the Official Special Issue of Trois Couleurs #8, dedicated to the upcoming Walter Salles-directed adaptation of Jack Kerouac's beloved beat generation novel, On The Road. Knowing that author Gerald Nicosia helped train the actors at Salles' "beat boot camp," I was surprised that Nicosia wasn't mentioned in the Salles interview. I was further surprised that Nicosia's Memory Babe: A Critical Biography of Jack Kerouac, considered by many to be the definitive Kerouac biography, wasn't listed among the 22 entries in the issue's bibliography. To find out what's going on, I interviewed Gerald Nicosia by e-mail. That interview follows verbatim, and I've also included a number of pictures taken by Nicosia (or Anne Marie Santos) that document his involvement. Importantly, this is the first time some of these pictures have been made public.
The Daily Beat: We understand that your involvement with Walter Salles and the film goes back to 2006. Can you tell us how you came to be involved and describe your early encounters with Salles? We also know that you were involved in Salles' "beat boot camp" in Montreal in 2010. Tell us how you got involved in that and how Salles took advantage of your extensive knowledge of Kerouac and your collection of recordings, books, etc.Gerald Nicosia: Walter Salles had just gotten the rights to ON THE ROAD from Francis Ford Coppola. He felt, being Brazilian, that he had to familiarize himself with the Americanness of Kerouac before he could make the film, follow the same highways, talk to the people who knew Jack, or knew about him, like myself. He decided he would make a documentary of his journey, and he did, called IN SEARCH OF ON THE ROAD. It hasn’t been released yet, but I saw a rough cut of it at the San Francisco International Film Festival in May 2010. I was one of the people who was interviewed in it. That interview was done at my home, in my office upstairs, in Corte Madera. Salles and his film crew spent about four hours with me. They filmed about two hours of interview with me. I also played them dozens of tapes, which I had just gotten back from U Mass Lowell, having won that lawsuit (by settlement). These were the MEMORY BABE taped interviews, which I had put at U Mass Lowell for public study in 1987, and which were locked up because of threats from John Sampas in 1995. So I had just gotten them back, in time for Salles to hear them. He was much taken by the interviews of Lu Anne Henderson and John Clellon Holmes, among others. I also showed him hundreds of photographs, showed him footage of Jack Kerouac shooting pool at the Pawtucketville Social Club in Lowell, filmed by a Montreal TV crew—which Salles hadn’t known existed—he was blown away by it. I also played music for Salles, like Wynonie Harris’s “screaming blues” song, “I Love My Baby’s Puddin’,” which was Neal Cassady’s favorite song. Salles hadn’t heard that either.
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