Posts Tagged ‘Allen Ginsberg’

Berlin 2010 Preview: Competition, Part 1

February 3, 2010

The Berlin Film Festival is often overshadowed by Cannes Film Festival as it’s very difficult to dock a yacht in Berlin. It’s endured for 60 years, though, as an early warning system for the best of the year’s international art house fare. The Competition strand features those films vying for the Golden Bear, which in past years has gone to Jose Padilha’s The Elite Squad and Claudia Llosa’s The Milk of Sorrow. The field’s first half features Japanese war stories, the making of one of the worst films ever made, criminals old and young and the returns of Polanski, Baumbach and Popogrebsky.

Bal (Honey)

Turkish director Semih Kaplanoglu’s fifth film is a father/son story set in the remote mountains. Young Yusuf is ostracized at school for his stammer, but worships his beekeeper dad, who tends to a network of precarious treetop hives. When his father is called away on business, Yusuf follows him into the forest.

Kyatapira (Caterpillar)

Lieutenant Kurokawa returns from the front of the second Sino-Japanese War. He’s had his arms and legs blown off. Shigeko is expected to dutifully attend to her immobile war hero husband. Director Koji Wakamatsu’s previous film, the acclaimed United Red Army, still awaits release in the U.S. Based on the story by Edogawa Rampo, which was censored by the Japanese authorities in 1939.

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Gus Van Sant Gets on the Bus

April 13, 2009

electric-kool-aid-acid-testTime Out New York‘s breezy Frame-Up breaks the news that Gus Van Sant will direct the movie of Tom Wolfe‘s Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. Alas, the story of how the blog found out is about as convoluted as the Sargossa Manuscript. It apparently involves a Tweet about a Tweet from Gus Van Sant. Van Sant had no sooner written that he was directing the movie, when his Tweet disappeared into the cybernetic void. This also describes several acid tests we’ve enjoyed in the past.

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Jon Hamm Defends the Best Minds of His Generation From Being Destroyed By Madness (Slight Return)

March 25, 2009

jon-hammAll 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.
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Jesse Eisenberg Has Seen the Best Minds of His Generation Destroyed By Madness

March 19, 2009

kill-your-darlings1When Allen Ginsberg is remembered, it’s as the chanting dervish at the center of many cultural events of the 1960s. As one of the original “Beat” artists, he represented a nexus of drugs and sexuality. He let some of his poetics rub off on Bob Dylan, faced down the Hell’s Angels at an anti-Vietnam War demonstration in 1965, and chanted at the 1968 DNC demonstrations in Chicago. But it wasn’t always thus. A famed campaigner for gay rights, Ginsberg for a while tried to mingle with the “straights” as a reporter for the World-Telegram with girlfriends and everything. As a poet, he struggled to escape the influence of his mentor William Carlos Williams before blossoming with “Howl,” one of the most famous poems of the 20th century.

Which is why the news that Jesse Eisenberg is to play the young Ginsberg in the horribly titled Kill Your Darlings is kinda intriguing. As the oldest son in Noah Baumbach‘s The Squid and the Whale, he created an indelible portrait of an awkward adolescent who, not unlike Ginsberg, wasn’t afraid to be off-putting. Eisenberg is poised to become the next Michael Cera with this spring’s Adventureland, but let’s not hold that against him. This could be some very exciting casting.
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