Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Film Week

A review of the films I've seen this past week.

HOWL (2010)
A unique, fantastic movie about Allen Ginsberg's masterwork. I love the experimental, yet very linear structure of this movie. Basically, you have James Franco, excellent as Ginsberg. The filmmakers (who also made The Celluloid Closet and The Times of Harvey Milk) interweave interview footage with Franco as Ginsberg along with impressionistic flashbacks, scenes from the 1957 obscenity trial of the publication (with Jon Hamm and David Strathairn as the competing lawyers), and animated scenes depicting imagery of the poem itself with Franco as Ginsberg reading the poem. So what we get is an overall impression of the poem itself, what it meant to its author, what experiences and feelings informed the work, and what the public's reactions were to it. It's a fascinating movie. **** stars.

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