When I made an allusion to Ginsberg in last week’s What You Should Have Watched, sadly, I was not referring to the much-anticipated Kill Your Darlings – you see, while James Franco was busy running around doing everything, he did a spectacular little film that didn’t receive much hype, despite its crucial subject matter. This film is simply entitled Howl, and it dives into the epic poem‘s genesis as well as its controversy, which helped shape a revolution in the history of art and publication.
Essentially, there really isn’t much more to it then that. We’re given the 1957 obscenity trial, with Franco as Ginsberg weaving his poem throughout the trial – the crux of each phrase then punctuated by breathtaking animation. The best part is, the rest is history.
It’s one thing to be a fan of Ginsberg before going into this, but I personally think that the subject matter is so strong that anyone who appreciates the power of art, literature and creative liberty will truly admire the message of the film. The beauty is in the film’s simplicity: this was an action that sparked a generation, delivered with a delicate balance of poignancy and reserve. Check. It. Out.
Next time on What You Should Have Watched, let’s talk a little more about one of Ginsberg’s best buddies – all six of them.