RSS
The 'Howl' trailer: Can James Franco embody beat poet Allen Ginsberg?
The always unpredictable Franco dons glasses and declaims poetry in one of the strangest biopics in recent history
 
"Howl" is already garnering critical acclaim.
"Howl" is already garnering critical acclaim.

"I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked…"  Thus begins both Allen Ginsberg's epoch-defining 1955 poem, "Howl," and the trailer for an upcoming film adaptation starring James Franco as the influential beat poet. Costarring Mary-Louise Parker, Jon Hamm, and Jeff Daniels, the movie focuses on the obscenity trial Ginsberg faced after the poem's publication, and has garnered buzz for its experimental form (mixing original and archival footage) as well as the casting of the what-will-he-do-next Franco. The unique script is almost entirely adapted from court transcripts, the poem's text, and published interviews. “We realized," says co-director Jeffrey Friedman, as quoted in The New York Times, "that 'Howl' itself was such a revolution in terms of form that we really had to do something different to do justice to it." A noble effort, says Variety reviewer Todd McCarthy. Unfortunately, the film, "while clearly motivated to celebrate the life force embodied by Ginsberg and his work, is itself wood-dry."  Watch the trailer:

 

 

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week