"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 secrets of happy families
- This is the twistiest tongue twister ever, says science
- How to stick it to the poor: A congressional strategy
- 4 secret societies you probably don't know about
- Did God have a wife?
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- Would you cuddle a stranger for $80 an hour?
- Why Republicans shouldn't get too excited over Obama's stumbles
- Which professions have the most psychopaths?
- Why Newt Gingrich is getting flak for defending Nelson Mandela
Subscribe to the Week