Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Howl writer set for film and photo tribute

ginsberg-hero.jpg

Prominent Beat poet Allen Ginsberg has been quiet of late. His death in 1997 hasn’t helped. However, despite still being deceased, his popularity is due to soar again for two reasons.

Firstly, a selection of his best photography is due to go on display at London’s National Theatre from 24 January. But, even more high-profile is Howl — a film telling the story of the writer’s life during the Forties and Fifties starring Pineapple Express’s James Franco.

The film, named after Ginsberg’s most famous work, focuses on the debut performance of the autobiographical poem Howl in 1955 — the first exposure the public had to the Beat Generation, which counted Jack Kerouac and William S Burroughs among its players.

The poem attracted publicity for being “filthy, vulgar, obscene” due to its depiction of both heterosexual and homosexual sex (the latter of which was still illegal across the US), and including “disgusting language” such as… well, actually it’s still not suitable for these pages.

Meanwhile, the exhibition, Angelheaded Hipsters, traces Ginsberg, Kerouac and Burroughs’ early working lives together, then follows Ginsberg’s later career. And what a career. It involves Vietnam War protests, LSD-induced hallucinations and unlikely unions with Hell’s Angels and communists. Which is a great deal more interesting than the life stories of most writers.

Howl is at cinemas from 25 February

(Image: Rex Features)

Related

Edgar-Wright.gif

Edgar Wright takes on Hollywood

Comments

More

Arsenal have a tiny dressing room at Sutton away

by Alex Finnis
20 Feb 2017

'This Is Us' praised for honest portrayal of an anxiety attack

It's really spoken to a lot of people

by Alex Finnis
20 Feb 2017

It turns out Americans don't know who our prime minister is

Helen Mirren anybody?

by Gary Ogden
20 Feb 2017

Teaser to Stephen King and J.J Abrams new show 'Castle Rock'

Things are about to get weird

by Emily Badiozzaman
20 Feb 2017

The ShortList Alternative Oscars

The only awards that really matter

by Gary Ogden
20 Feb 2017

Brilliant new Simpsons couch gag takes aim at South Park

It ranks as one of the best yet

by Joe Ellison
17 Feb 2017

Is Love Actually actually shit or brilliant?

Two writers argue their case for the divisive 2003 rom-com

16 Feb 2017

The totally excellent 19 facts you never knew about Wayne’s World

No way? Way.

by Keyan Milanian
16 Feb 2017

Why it's time to celebrate the second division Britpop bands

As Sleeper reform, this is why you need to look past Oasis, Blur & Pulp

by Dave Fawbert
15 Feb 2017

The trailer for Apple's Carpool Karaoke is here and it's epic

Will Smith singing R Kelly in a helicopter? Sign us up

by Emily Badiozzaman
15 Feb 2017