Wednesday, January 31, 2007


"What [Allen] Ginsberg forced us to understand in Howl…is that nothing is safe from poetry." - Paul Zweig

Twenty-nine years old, poor and unpublished, Allen Ginsberg sat down at his desk in early August of 1955 to type out his "imaginative sympathies." What, instead, came pouring out of his old, second-hand typewriter was Howl, a poem that would set in motion not only his own career but those of his fellow Beat poets. Part autobiography, part manifesto, part prophecy, part spiritual memoir, Howl was something altogether different in the world of American literature. Ginsberg had found a new voice and its impact would be felt not simply in the world of poetry but in American popular culture.

Fifty years later, at a moment when American militarism is at the center of national debate, when issues of public obscenity and freedom of speech are once again making headlines, HOWL, the movie, will celebrate this groundbreaking work that helped pave a path for artistic freedom, social critique and sexual candor. Using the poem as its guide, HOWL will offer a modern cinematic journey through Ginsberg's world and his imaginative universe. Using animation, documentary footage, and a dramatic re-creation of the landmark obscenity trial, this feature-length film will re-imagine a 20th-century milestone for a 21st-century audience.


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