The “Beat Cinema” of the 1950-60’s was like the poetry – made with a spontaneous, hedonistic experimentalism in search of visionary experience. What this cinema is all about is reportage – documenting lived experiences both external and subjective, in the search for poetic enlightenment; something seldom channeled into industrial 35mm feature productions.
As the social upheavals of the 60s unfurled, many of the Beats were transformed or consumed by them. Others made a significant impact on modern culture with their continued creative work. James Broughton made The Bed in 1968, a sublime free-love pageant on the furniture on which humans spend the most part of their lives. Today, independently financed cinema like Big Joy: the Adventures of James Broughton helps keep the ideals of the Beat tradition alive.
Find out more about the Beat cinema” in this BFI article, “Beatitude: the real Beat cinema.“