Robert Frank Retrospective: Program 1

Related Exhibition Looking In: Robert Frank's "The Americans"

Saturday, May 2, 2009, 3:00 p.m.
Thursday, May 7, 2009, 7:00 p.m.

Phyllis Wattis Theater

Made with writers Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, and with painters Alfred Leslie, Larry Rivers, and Alice Neel, Pull My Daisy is a classic look at the soul of the beat generation. It was written and narrated by Kerouac, who based it on his unproduced play The Beat Generation. It tells the story of a bishop (Richard Bellamy) and his mother (Alice Neel) who pay a visit to Milo, a railroad worker. At the same time, his poet friends — Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky, and Gregory Corso — hang around, quizzing the bishop about the meaning of life and its everyday relationship to art and poetry. Pull My Daisy is recognized as one of the most important works of avant-garde cinema.

Robert Frank's second film, The Sin of Jesus, is one of his most stylized, indicating his increasingly sophisticated cinematographic eye. In this bleak, Bergmanesque parable, Jesus refuses mercy to a young woman, instead giving her a guardian angel that she seduces.

This short film, O.K. End Here, is a look at a day in the lives of a man and woman living together in New York City. It is Sunday, a day without the distractions that keep people from facing each other and themselves. O. K. End Here won the grand prize at the 1963 Bergamo Film Festival.

Additional Info

Pull My Daisy, Codirected with Alfred Leslie, 1959, 28 min., 16mm
The Sin of Jesus, 1961, 40 min., 35mm
O.K. End Here, 1963, 30 min., 35mm
Total running time: 98 min.

Image: Robert Frank, Pull My Daisy (still), 1958; photo courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and Robert Frank

SFMOMA would like to thank the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, home of the Robert Frank Film and Video Archive, for its support in providing prints and other assistance for this program.