September 17, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT

The Source

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
runtime
88 minutes
performer
Johnny Depp, Dennis Hopper, Ali Farka Toure
director
Chuck Workman
author
Chuck Workman
genre
Documentary
We gave it a B+

Chuck Workman’s lovingly assembled documentary doesn’t drop any bombshells about the life and work of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and William Burroughs, yet this may be the rare case in which a filmmaker’s worship of his subjects adds resonance to how we see them. Through its lively weave of reminiscence and pop-culture collage, the movie makes the case that the birth of postwar bohemia marked the essential shift in 20th-century American life, bringing the churnings of the unconscious into the hot glare of everyday existence. B+

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