Howl

I forgot to mention this last night, but we went to the Circle Cinema yesterday evening to watch Howl. It was amazing. It deals with the obscenity trial over the Allen Ginsberg poem of the same title.

I’ve loved Ginsberg’s work since I was in high school, and the film definitely does it justice. James Franco plays Ginsberg, and the movie includes many scenes of him reading the poem in a spot-on imitation of Ginsberg’s weird cadence, sometimes in black-and-white before an audience of hipsters, and sometimes narrating a visually stunning animated interpretation of the poem. ┬áThe poetry reading scenes are interspersed with footage of Franco-as-Ginsberg being interviewed about his life and work and scenes from the trial, which feels particularly topical and timely in light of the ongoing Prop 8 trial. I find it interesting that 55 years later, the government is still wasting time and money trying to justify immature decisions based on homophobia, while the intelligentsia are still eviscerating the arguments in favor of such decisions and making their proponents look ill-prepared at best and silly at worst.

If the art director doesn’t win an Academy Award, I’m going to stop paying attention to the Oscars altogether.

Sometimes I secretly wish I could open my own private school for the children of subversive iconoclasts. Kids would be required to read at least 100 banned books in order to graduate, and we’d have an entire course devoted to the study of Quentin Tarantino movies. We’d also have a linguistics class that would include a study of profanities, their etymology, and the sociocultural reasons one word becomes a socially acceptable euphemism, while its synonym is declared “dirty” or “vulgar.”

I’m pretty sure our test scores would be off the charts, and disaffected teenagers would be lining up like soccer moms at a Black Friday sale to try to get a spot on the waiting list….

Emily

6 Responses to Howl

  1. David Schulte says:

    Emily:
    I wish you had told my about the Howl documentary as I, too, loved that queer bastard’s work. When I was living in the dorm back in my college days, I showed some of the fellas in the dorm some of Ginsberg’s more graphic stuff, and almost got some future accountants to change majors.

    • I may be mistaken, but I think it’s still playing at the Circle. If not, it should be out on DVD soon. I didn’t know you were a Ginsberg fan. On an unrelated note … you up for lunch/coffee/whatever sometime during break?

      • David Schulte says:

        Hey Emily:
        I’m off for the holiday on Thursday, so I can do coffee or lunch at any time. Let me know what time works best for you.

      • Coffee around nine? Cubana shouldn’t be too crowded, or we could hit Shades or CHoCS if you’d rather. Your preference?

  2. David Schulte says:

    9:00 sounds good–Cubana is at 15th and Peoria, right.
    It will be good seeing ya.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 699 other followers

%d bloggers like this: