Leo Without Mardou

This is my favorite Kerouac.
The Subterraneans, the book that is. The film, I’ve never seen, though I’ve heard that it has made the rounds on TMC or some such; one night museum movie nights that I’ve missed because I was either on deadline, on assignment or on Pluto in my head. And I’m sorry.

This is a book I have returned to mostly for its raw emotion; “Leo’s” tailspin, the competing narrative in his head.

I know the film isn’t supposed to be art — and it completely takes a wrench to the story (For starters, Mardou in the book is African American and Native American; Leslie Caron who plays her, is, well, French — Quelle taboo!) But the film is a document of an era — and the soundtrack is good (Carmen McRae, Gerry Mulligan, Andre Previn)…I actually do have that, something I procured years ago on vinyl on one my digging expeditions…. So, here is a little taste that I ran into by way of listening to Terence Blanchard (who did a cover of the main theme some years back)

Ah, Leo . . . . who goes back “having lost her love and write this book”

Here are the opening credits, sadly sans soundtrack!. Shame on WMA …. This is one of those mid-Century time-capsules that few can see otherwise…


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