All of a sudden, everything’s coming up Allen Ginsberg. Why? Are we envious of the man’s ability to free his spirit in a conformist age? Is it because there’s a bit of a gay, Jewish, quasi-communist, beat poet inside all of us? Is it because it’s still possible to get a chill down the spine when we hear the opening lines of Howl, while “My love is like a red, red rose” just doesn’t cut it anymore? At any rate, now we’ve got not one but TWO upcoming Ginsberg projects to track. Oh, the dharma of it all!
We already know about Kill Your Darlings, the story of David Kammerer’s 1944 murder by Lucien Carr, the young Adonis who brought the various players in the beat scene together in one dysfunctional melange. Now Variety is reporting that Jon Hamm is joining the cast of Howl. The film will follow the 1957 obscenity trial against Ginsberg’s signature work. Bookseller and poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti was tried for peddling a poem that included references to drugs, sodomy and all other manner of behavior that makes Sarah Palin’s toes curl.