NORTH BENNINGTON -- Bennington College will host a free and open to the public screening of John J. Healey’s documentary film "The Practice of the Wild" -- a documentary profile of Beat Poet Gary Snyder filmed in the wilds of the untrammeled California coastal mountains -- on Monday, April 9, at 7 p.m., at the EAC (East Academic Center), Room 2..
The 52-minute film, produced by William Randolph Hearst III, is about Pulitzer Prize winner, poet laureate of the so-called "Deep Ecology" movement and the man often considered the last of the "Beats."
"The film portrays the life and wisdom of the man often referred to as ‘the poet laureate of deep ecology’ in conversation with his good friend, author Jim Harrison," John J. Healey said in an email interview this week. "Part Socratic dialog, part Don Quixote vs. Sancho Panza, the two distinguished men of letters discuss everything from Zen to Google. In an age of increasing brevity, speed and synthetic heroes, Gary Snyder is the real deal."
According to the website for the film: "’The wild requires that we learn the terrain, nod to all the plants and animals and birds, ford the streams and cross the ridges, and tell a good story when we get back home.’ So writes legendary Beat poet Gary Snyder in his influential 1990 collection from which this celebratory documentary takes its name and finds its restoring rhythms of nature, image and word. Occupying a hallowed yet humble position within the realms of poetry, academia, ecological activism and spiritual practice, Snyder has distinguished himself among peers such as Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac by becoming both a countercultural hero and a Pulitzer Prize winner."
Director Healey’s work is described by reviewer Steven Jenkings, according to the website, as pairing "the poet with his cantankerous compadre," Harrison, and continues by saying: "Together, the two old friends roam the verdant hills of the central California coast, musing eloquently and with hard-won wisdom and earthy humor on Bay Area bohemia, Zen Buddhism and the morally charged interdependence of all living things. Whether reminiscing about a camping trip with Kerouac, recalling the writing of his seminal "Turtle Island" or being held by his ankles and dangled over a cliff in Japan as a test of truth-telling, Snyder is a warm and captivating presence."
Healey lives in Williamstown, Mass.
The East Academic Center is the old Early Childhood Center. Drive past the Barn lots and make the left before the library, left again and right into the lot across from the East Academic Center. For information call 802-442-5401.