Review: One Fast Move

It’s Bad to Be the King

| January-February 2010


After Jack Kerouac became the king of the Beats, the fame and attention—and his raging alcoholism—began to wear him down. He sought refuge in nature, fleeing San Francisco to fellow poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s cabin at Big Sur. There, amid fog and redwoods and rocks and waves, he found a modicum of peace—for a while. One Fast Move: Kerouac’s Big Sur tracks Kerouac’s run from his demons and the foment that led to the writing of his dark, intense book Big Sur. The film employs interviews with friends, including Ferlinghetti, and with Kerouac-loving artists such as Sam Shepard, Tom Waits, and Patti Smith, but it’s Kerouac’s voice—channeled eerily well by actor John Ventimiglia—that booms most urgently through the mist.