Allen Ginsberg read by James Franco? Rather stunning…

This is not a fresh piece of news at all, but I wanted to share with you this reading of Allen Ginsberg’s poem Howl by James Franco in the movie of the same name. Real figurehead of the Beat Generation, Ginsberg wrote this poem in 1955 to denounce the nuclear weapon while depicting a youth infatuated with drugs and sex. It was immediately banned for crudeness after a resounding trial, but today it is considered as a manifesto of the Beat Generation.

The movie is very interesting, but not really for its biographical aspect. Indeed it insists much more on Howl‘s trial and its process of writing. During the whole movie, James Franco, who plays Ginsberg, reads pieces of poems by the latter, among which Howl. What struck me is the litanic rhythm, gloomy and nagging at the same time. Even though you don’t understand every word, you can give in to Ginsberg/Franco’s ardor, amplified by the images of the movie, surrealist, psychedelic and chaotic at once. A good job, obviously !


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1 commentaire

  1. Well done Julien! (Don’t worry about the date: it’s never too late for poetry!).
    Did you know that the very specific rhythm of Howl you comment upon was due to Ginsberg’s own incredible lungs. He could go on for ever apparently!
    Do remind me to play some original recordings sometime in class.

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