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.”