They say behind every great man is a great woman. Carolyn Cassady stood behind two such men. Wife of beatnik icon Neal Cassady and lover-muse of Jack Kerouac, Carolyn saw her life story and the memory of the men she loved hijacked by mythmakers.
Love Always, Carolyn is the intimate, graceful portrait of a patient matriarch who could never escape the constant wake of her husband’s epic misadventures. It is an intimate yet universal story of a woman’s search for personal recognition and price of a life in the public eye.
This is a film about a woman`s search for personal recognition and the price of a life in the public eye.
Carolyn Cassady is determined to debunk the myths surrounding her close relationships with two of the most famous and yet enigmatic figures in modern literature, her husband Neal Cassady and her lover Jack Kerouac.
Having been brought up in a sheltered and conventional middle-class home Carolyn is plunged in to a completely unknown world together with Neal and Jack. With a degree in Fine Arts and Drama, Carolyn is aiming for a job opening in Hollywood but instead she finds herself looking after children and unsettled men. Newly wed and with a three month old baby, Neal suddenly leaves Carolyn behind as he takes off on a road-trip together with his best friend Jack. The trip was later fictionalized in Jack´s novel “On the Road” placing Neal in literary history as “Dean Moriarity”, the notorious, drug-using hero.
Tormented by distorted stories about her dead husband, Carolyn makes an attempt to put the record straight in her own book “Off the road”. However, her life seems forever destined to deal with journalists, filmmakers and fans, all wanting a piece of the story of a notorious hero – not the actual man she knew. Carolyn is repelled to see the man she loved trashed and glorified for the wrong reasons. Her three children are not unaffected by their inherited fame. They all carry conflicting feelings regarding the past and their father. John Cassady is in demand as being the son of “the fastest man ever alive”. John is rewarded with public attention but finds himself in a complex situation as he is trying to enjoy the limelight and stay supportive of his mothers mission at the same time.
In Love Always, Carolyn we want to give a voice to a woman, Carolyn Cassady, and her first account version of her life together with Neal Cassady, the man who unwillingly became the iconic hero of the Beat Generation. It is also an attempt to reassess our ideas of and our need for the male iconic hero. A flourishing myth industry seems eager to create – or seduce us to believe in – an imagined utopia where there is fame and fortune for everyone to be found. Through Carolyn Cassady and her children we learn the side effects of the fabrication of a hero and the fleeting condition of fame. Their private memory of a beloved husband and father has been transformed into a public domain and a commodity to trade. Instead of dealing with their own tragic loss they are left to deal with the aftermath of a fictionalized and mythical character of a novel.
Maria Ramström and Malin Korkeasalo