Howl: A Review

Published by Wreybies in the blog Ponderings of a Pachyderm. Views: 168

I just finished watching Howl and was very moved by this movie. I had written James Franco off as just a pretty boy until his last few roles where this young man has proven himself capable of a sensitivity that makes him all the more attractive.

I was never one of those who was in a literary love affair with the American Beat Writers. I did not have a copy of On The Road on casually purposeful display in my dorm room or later in my apartment at university. I did not wax rhapsodic over beers and bong swats as to the deeper underlying truths that these writers were trying to elucidate. I did not pretend to understand what I did not understand in order to look smarter than I was because frankly I was not drawn to these authors. No space ships. No aliens. No whiz bang technology or first contact with alien races; hence, I could not have been less interested in what they had to say about the human condition. I was of the opinion, though I did not have the words to express it at the time, that the human condition they we're trying to get the reader to know was not a condition that applied to me in my modern life removed from a sense of ennui that life was not living up to its own promises.

Basically I was a philistine as regards these men and the literary and cultural movement they started.

Anywho, the movie centers itself on the life of Allen Ginsberg (James Franco) and the poem, Howl, which he wrote and the subsequent obscenities charges which were brought against the publisher of the collection of poems of which Howl was a part.

If I took nothing else from the movie Howl, I took the idea that a writer must be true and real and honest. A writer, as an artist, must comment on the culture around him as it affects him, even when this comment is disquieting or unpopular or perhaps even distasteful.

Anything less is a lie.
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