ride the reel

I’ve been thinking about films lately as a resource – I think partially after Alan emailed me about finding little glimpses of the Beats, even in movie credits (sorry I never replied! I did read it, though!), and also partially because of our fangirling over things like Moana. There’s been a few movies about the Beat Generation, especially over the past ten years. Most notably, there has been Howl (2010), where Ginsberg is portrayed by James Franco, who surprisingly does a great job at acting and sounding him. A live adaptation of Kerouac’s On the Road was made in 2012, too. Most recently, though, was a movie made from the novel Kerouac and Burroughs collaborated together on about their experiences getting away with murdering Lucien Carr’s ex-lover and professor. The novel, And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks, turned into more of a toxic love story between Carr and Ginsberg called Kill Your Darlings (2014). Another fun fact: Daniel Radcliffe, our beloved Harry Potter, plays Ginsberg in this movie, which I think was very generous of the producers. Don’t get me wrong – I love Ginsberg, but he was not a very handsome dude.

All of this has a point, though, instead of just naming off some good movie suggestions! I know I want to explore Ginsberg’s psyche, toying with the accuracy of the character, but there have people who have already done that for creative purposes – actors. I’m wondering if there are some interviews with actors like Franco and Radcliffe, where they talk about their experience in becoming Allen. After all, it’s more than just putting on a pair of dark-framed glasses and running around naked. Franco, too, is an English professor at Columbia, so he has a pretty analytical and interesting perspective:

I think their information is very valuable, and can definitely be used as a reference – maybe even, when I get to the digital part, I can even rip and embed audio soundbytes from Franco or Radcliffe talking about “being Allen.”

One Reply to “ride the reel”

  1. This. Is. Fantastic. I love this idea of exploring personality via the actors.

    I was wondering too, beyond movies about the Beat generation, to ones influenced by them (that’s what I figured out of Good Will Hunting only from that credit sequence).

    I thought I knew of a site that generated visualizations showing how different movies sere connected. Cant find it yet. But there is Similiar kind, e.g. http://www.similarkind.com/entity/139120/similar-movies-like-kill-your-darlings (I was not quite ipressed but oh well) and also http://www.culturegraphy.com/people/by-person/ (try plugging in Allen Ginsberg). A lot of these draw from data in the Internet Movie Database, which, if you poke around, is completely driven by data under the hood.

    That’s a distraction- I’m really thrilled at this approach.


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