An American movie put out in 1999, directed by Alison Maclean, and starring Billy Crudup and Samantha Morton. It was based on the book by Denis Johnson. It's a simple tale of drug addiction and such, and doesn't really break any ground that you wouldn't expect it to. Maybe I've simply seen too many films on the subject....

The title, I think, is a reference to the Velvet Underground song, Heroin ("I feel just like Jesus' son"). I couldn't find any reference to the protagonist (played by Billy Crudup) actually being Jesus' son in the film, though there are a couple of scenes with hinting imagery, and fairly effective use of surrealism. For example, he looks through a window in a diner; on the other side of the window, looking in, it appears as if he has a halo hovering over his head.

Jesus' Son by Denis Johnson

Jesus' Son is a collection of stories revolving around a lost soul known as fuckhead. The book was published in 1992, and in 1999 was made into a movie by the same name. The book's title comes from The Velvet Underground's song Heroin.

When I'm rushing on my run
And I feel just like Jesus' son...


While the main theme (or at least thematic motif) found throughout the stories is drugs, this novel offers a different experience to Welsh's rebellious, trashy Trainspotting, and although sharing certain existential ideals, different also to such beat novels as Burroughs' Junky.

There is something powerful in these stories, something that manages to imply meaning without being reducible to nostalgia.

Sometimes this is easier to place, as when the narrator is at the hospital (following a car crash) he witnesses a woman (who is just told that her husband has died in the crash) scream. He says that the scream made him feel alive. He's spent the rest of his life looking for that feeling again.

There's something that resonates with the reader. Je ne sais quoi?

Misc. Quotes:

He'd wasted his entire life. Such people were very dear to those of us who'd wasted only a few years. (Out on Bail)

I felt the beauty of the morning. I could understand how a drowning man might suddenly feel a deep thirst being quenched. (Emergency)

I had never known, never even imagined for a heartbeat, that there might be a place for people like us. (Beverly Home)

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