The Last Time I Committed Suicide

Director: Stephen Kay
Screenwriters: Stephen Kay

Institute History

  • 1997 Sundance Film Festival


1946 Denver, U.S.A. Before Jack Kerouac immortalized him in On the Road; Before Dean Moriarty became the object of schoolgirl reveries and police persecution alike; Before Ken “Sir Speed Limit” Kesey tripped his busload of Merry Pranksters across the psychedelic states; Before the advent of cool; Before the rupturing of fiction; Neal Cassady was just a man pursuing an ever-elusive American Dream.

Inspired by an eight-page letter from Neal Cassady to beat icon Jack Kerouac, The Last Time I Committed Suicide is a breathtaking working of the young Cassady’s formative years. In his stellar directorial debut, Stephen Kay bursts through normative modes of storytelling, delivering a film alive with the fragmented pulse and imagistic splendor of Kerouac’s beat poetry. A film of vanquished faith and unfulfilled expectations, The Last Time I Committed Suicide points to the swerving, intangible destinies of the everyman and the icon. Stephen Kay’s feature debut is a grand achievement in style and subtlety.

— Rebecca Yeldham

Screening Details

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]