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Movie Review: Howl
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Howl
Directed by Robert Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman
Starring James Franco, Jon Hamm, David Strathairn, Bob Balaban, Jeff Daniels, Todd Rotondi, Mary-Louise Parker
UK Release date: February 25, 2011

16:10pm Screen 3 in the basement of the Cornerhouse, the missus and I alone in the dark, a screen no bigger than 15×10 feet, making this feel like a slideshow presentation and the film starts in greyscale, in a smoky basement cafe in 1955 San Fransisco…

In 1955, a 29-year-old unpublished poet realised the American Dream in a four-part poem called Howl, a poem that would become an obscene ode to the struggle of his displaced lost generation, post WWII when the creation of ‘teenager’ also created a whole slew of new problems for the new transition between child and man.

“What would my father think of Howl?” Ginsberg wondered, a typical notion of self examination and the constant need to prove to parents that, yes, you will find a job, even if it is not in their footsteps. Ginsberg would soon find out two years later in 1957 that it isn’t just what his father thinks, but the general public when the poem became infamous when his publisher was thrust into a court trial for the distribution of obscene materials.

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