Howl | Chicago Reader

Howl

Pioneering gay filmmaker Rob Epstein (Word Is Out, The Times of Harvey Milk, The Celluloid Closet) and his frequent collaborator Jeffrey Friedman set their sights on one of the defining cultural events of the 1950s: the publication of Allen Ginsberg's Howl and Other Poems, which prompted a landmark obscenity trial. Their movie rather awkwardly weaves together three narrative strands: a stiff courtoom drama in which various academics debate the literary and social merits of "Howl"; a biographical sketch of Ginsberg (uncannily impersonated by James Franco) that includes his first public reading of the poem in San Francisco; and animated sequences, designed by Eric Drooker, that objectify (perhaps too literally) Ginsberg's haunting imagery. The result, though clearly flawed, is passionate and ambitious, celebrating that long-gone era when a book of verse could spark a revolution in consciousness. With David Strathairn, Jon Hamm, Mary-Louise Parker, Jeff Daniels, and Treat Williams.

Credits

Directors:

  • Rob Epstein
  • Jeffrey Friedman

Cast:

  • James Franco
  • David Strathairn
  • Jon Hamm
  • Bob Balaban
  • Jeff Daniels
  • Mary-Louise Parker
  • Treat Williams
  • Alessandro Nivola
  • Todd Rotondi
  • Jon Prescott
  • Aaron Tveit

Producers:

  • Elizabeth Redleaf
  • Christine Walker
  • Rob Epstein
  • Jeffrey Friedman
  • Gus Van Sant
  • Jawal Nga

What others are saying

  • Now Playing

    Howl is not showing in any theaters in the area.

    Reviews/comments (2)
    4.1 out of 5

    Showing 1-2 of 2

    Add a review

     
    Subscribe to this thread:
    Showing 1-2 of 2

    Add a review


    Roll over stars and click to rate.