Daily Archives: October 9, 2010

Howl

This weekend I watched Howl, starring James Franco as Allen Ginsberg. Odds are it won’t be out for long, and because of the film’s extremely limited release you might consider watching it now while you can. Franco nails his character, particularly in the sequences representing Ginsberg’s interview and his reading of the poem “Howl.” All of Ginsberg’s charming verbal ticks– the nasal, incantatory drone of his elocutionary style, his tendency to toss out phrases and images in conversation in order to make a point– are referenced in this performance. Franco– whom a friend, on seeing Freaks and Geeks, once described as “alternately repulsive and hot”–  seems to have a genuine intellectual dimension, and for this reason– coupled with his apparent commitment to the roles he plays– he appeals to audiences who like to think about film.

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