Posted on July 9, 2011
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http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=leartojugg-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B0042U9B3G&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrIt is incredibly foolish of me to get distracted by hulu.com, but there I was and there was the link to Howl, the 2010 film about the work by Allen Ginsberg. I seem to remember reading it during the five-minute Beat Poet phase of my early 20s.
This short film is based on some recordings Ginsberg made while his publisher was on trial for selling obscene material. The narrative bounces between several things:
- a coffee house reading by Ginsberg – shot in b&w
- the action that inspired the work – with Kerouac and Cassady, et al
- the trial with the expert witnesses from academia debating its literary value
- said recordings
- dreamy interpretation in animation
You would think the last part would have irritated me, but not so much. The awesome thing about this film is that it reads the text of the poetry several times over, generally starting with the coffee house reading. The subsequent readings build on one’s understanding of the language from different points of view.
Someone should have taught it this way in English class.
Back to the Spaceballs cartoon.