1st Edition

Beat Film, Beat Writers

By David Stephen Calonne Copyright 2025
    242 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Beat Film, Beat Writers is the first monograph to analyze the films of Christopher Maclaine, Lawrence Jordan, ruth weiss, Ron Rice, Robert Frank, Barbara Rubin, Shirley Clarke, William S. Burroughs, and Joanne Kyger. The book is noteworthy for its emphasis on women filmmakers who have traditionally been excluded from close analysis by film scholars. Beat Film, Beat Writers Writers also explores the ways Beat authors such as Philip Lamantia, Michael McClure, Diane di Prima, Wiliam S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Peter Orlovsky, Gregory Corso, Joanne Kyger and others became deeply involved with the film communities of New York and California. The book discusses their roles as both actors and participants in the making of these films and demonstrates how many of the same themes that characterized Beat literature surface in cinema. The anxiety over the possibilities of nuclear war, the search for deeper modes of spirituality in the study of Buddhism as well as occult and esoteric systems, the struggle for equality for the LGBTQ+ community, the beginnings of the ecological movement, and the fight against censorship and the open depiction of sexuality are all themes which occur both in Beat film and Beat literature. Beat Film, Beat Writers also features an Epilogue on the cinema of singer and poet Jim Morrison, who although not part of the Beat movement, was deeply influenced by Beat literature and carried on many of the aesthetic and philosophical aims of the Beats into the late sixties.


    1. Christopher Maclaine:  The San Francisco Scene
    2. Lawrence Jordan: Beat California
    3. ruth weiss and The Brink
    4. Ron Rice: Songs of Innocence and Experience
    5. Robert Frank: Daisies and Brothers
    6. Barbara Rubin: I Know That We Can Live Loving Together, Seeing, Feeling, Touching to the Highest Spheres
    7. Shirley Clarke: Rebel with a Cause
    8. William S. Burroughs: The Bankruptcy of the Reality Studio
    9. Joanne Kyger,  Descartes and the Splendor of

    Epilogue After Beat Film: Jim Morrison



    David Stephen Calonne is the author of several books including William Saroyan: My Real Work Is Being; The Spiritual Imagination of the Beats; Diane di Prima: Visionary Poetics and the Hidden Religions; R. Crumb: Literature, Autobiography, and the Quest for Self; Jazz, Counterculture, and the Sacred, and biographies of Charles Bukowski and Henry Miller. He has also edited five volumes of uncollected prose by Bukowski for City Lights. Calonne has lectured internationally and has taught at the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Michigan, and the University of Chicago. He presently teaches at Eastern Michigan University.