Now Showing: Lowell Blues: The Words of Jack Kerouac

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What's New(s)-updated 4/24/2010

—June 2010. Polis is This and Lowell Blues screening, National Gallery of Art, 6th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC. 20565 Tel: 202.842.6272
—October 9th, 2010. Charles Olson Centenary Festival, Gloucester, MA. Polis is This.
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LOWELL BLUES: the words of Jack Kerouac
Screenings | Teachers Guide | Reviews | Awards | Press Photos (.pdf)
Video | Purchase

Teachers Guide

In order to make Lowell Blues more user friendly in the academic community, Kerouac scholar Brian Foye worked with Ferrini Productions to create our teachers guide. The guide goes into the back-story of Lowell Blues and offers exercises that educators may use when using the film.

Download Lowell Blues Teachers Guide
in PDF format.

Download Lowell Blues Press Photos
in PDF
format. (236kb)


Henry Ferrini speaks to 11th grade English students at Kerouac's high school in Lowell, MA about the making of Lowell Blues. The film is now part of the 11th grade curriculum.

Here's what one teacher had to say about their experience using Lowell Blues:

"So frequently secondary educators find it difficult to locate materials appropriate for use with students, yet decidedly "out of the box" . . . materials which are fresh and different, which motivate students, challenging them to think creatively, write responsively, discuss intelligently, read to explore. Lowell Blues is just such a piece. I purchased it to use with my high school seniors as they read On the Road.

In an age when some of our best students report feeling turned off to education, disappointed by curriculum offerings which they find dry and irrelevant to their own lives, and frustrated by the emphasis in public schools on standardized testing at the expense of creativity, it is refreshing to find an "educational" film to which students react positively, which they want to experience and discuss more than once. I use quotations to encase "educational" because part of the strong appeal of this film for students is that it defies labels --- it is film, yet it is poetry . . . and music; it is educational, yet it is entertaining; it appeals to mature young adults, yet it is definitely an adult piece. Students know they are viewing the real thing --- art, not artifice; professionally produced adult fare, not something made-for-high school. And students are excited to talk about how the film helps them to discover connections . . . not only parallels between Kerouac's thinking and their own, but also connections between various branches of the humanities they have studied over the years - history, music, art, literature.

I work in an alternative program at Brookline High School. My very bright students struggle daily to cope with learning and emotional challenges. Whenever I can help them in that struggle by using a visual mode to engage and hold their attention, I am delighted, and so are they. As I wrote to Henry, "What an amazing piece [Lowell Blues] is! - poetic, insightful, thought provoking - the kind of film that, like a good book, can be revisited again and again, each time producing a new experience and inviting new perspectives."

Marilyn Kelly-Anderson
Head Teacher -Winthrop House of Brookline High School
Brookline, Massachusetts


Packed house at the Cape Ann Historical Society.
July 2001



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