Preview of James Franco In Ginsberg Biopic Howl

Nick Nicoludis :: Thursday, July 15th, 2010 1:30 pm

When I heard there was going to be a movie based on the epic, book-length poem Howl by Allen Ginsberg (played by James Franco), I wondered how they were going to turn one of the most influential pieces of creative writing into a feature film.

The trailer is finally circulating around the internet, and as it turns out, the movie-which turns out to be a biopic-looks just as amazing as I hoped it would be. Check out the trailer after the jump.

The film centers around Ginsberg’s controversial writing style. More specifically his use of what some people would call obscene language. But then again, what wasn’t obscene is the ’50s? Jon Hamm plays a prosecutor in the vein of Tipper Gore during the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC), who questions Ginsberg and others about his controversial work.

Ginsberg often said that Howl is a biography of his experiences in the ’50s, so it only makes sense that the film is a biopic of Ginsberg’s rise to counter-culture stardom and his subsequent flogging by the main stream media.

In the trailer, scenes jump from black and white to color, and towards the end there is a shot of an old woman in black and white, staring at a painting which is in full color. Maybe this stylistic choice will designate changes in time or place, or maybe it relates to the subject matter contained within Howl.

The film is set to hit the big screens in late September. Until then, let’s all memorize Howl so we can catch all the subtle references I’m sure will be put into the film. Check out the trailer below!

One Response to “Preview of James Franco In Ginsberg Biopic Howl
  1. Someone just posted this trailer on my facebook wall; this is what I said in response:
    My Thoughts on the Howl Trailer, by Shannon Hassett:
    1. Perfect work on the font of ‘Howl’ at the end, and of saving that font for use at the end only.
    2. James Franco has really been getting on my nerves. Mostly because of that Franco shit he’s pulling on the soap opera, and because I can’t tell whether he’s starting to posture himself as an indie rather than just maturing into one naturally (please see: )**
    3. That being said, he NAILED Ginsberg’s voice; I was truly blown away.
    4. Jon Hamm dressed in that style of suit will never be able to break out of Don Draper, and I’m interested to see how significantly this effects his work in the film.
    5. Looking at that typewriter was veritable porn.

    **I was genuinely impressed with his short story in Esquire ( ), earning him back points, however frustrating it is to see people published merely because of prior fame alone.

    Posted by: Shannon Hassett July 15th, 2010 at 1:45 pm