Kill Your Darlings (2013)

Kill Your Darlings
Director: John Krokidas
Writer: John Krokidas, Austin Bunn
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan, Michael C. Hall, Jack Huston, Ben Foster, David Cross, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Elizabeth Olsen, Kyra Sedgwick
Part of: identities Festival
Seen on: 14.6.2014

Plot:
Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe) gets a place of university and isn’t unhappy to get away from home, where his mentally ill mother (Jennifer Jason Leigh) makes his life difficult, the relationship with his father (David Cross) is strained. At university, Allen meets Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan) and is immediately fascinated by him and his reckless lifestyle. Lucien introduces him to David Kammerer (Michael C. Hall), William S. Burroughs (Ben Foster), Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston) and Jack’s wife Edie Parker (Elizabeth Olsen). Allen realizes that something strange is going on between Lucien and David, but is swept up in the anarchistic energy that envelops Lucien, William, Jack and him. But the harmonious and fun beginnings soon give way to difficulties and tensions.

I am still a little undecided about this film. The cast is really good, the story is interesting and it’s all packaged into a film that is mostly fine but lacks something I can’t put my finger on.

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Howl (2010)

Howl is a movie by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman about Allen Ginsberg, starring James Franco, David Strathairn, Jon Hamm, Mary-Louise Parker, Treat Williams and Jeff Daniels.

Plot:
Howl is a film of layers. Most prominently, there’s an interview with Allen Ginsberg (played by James Franco), the obscenity trial surrounding the poem Howl and also a part where we get an animated version of Howl. But we also get to see scenes from Ginsberg’s life. These parts are cut together and mixed.

Howl may sound complicated from my plot description, but it is not. Epstein and Friedman have a good handle on things and deftly mix documentary and feature film. James Franco is a wonderful Ginsberg, but the heart and soul of the movie is – quite fittingly – the poem itself.

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