I planned to finally see “Social Network” at Crosby hotel’s Sunday movie night, but all of a sudden they changed it to “HOWL”, a movie about Allen Ginsberg, an esoteric American poet that I knew little about. From one extreme to another, I thought, and went along. I couldn’t even expect what a treat I was offered.
I discovered passionate verses of Ginsberg that rhythmically flow like a song, their expressiveness sounds like a dance, and their aliveness refreshes you as a mountain waterfall. I was given a lesson in losing boundaries in self-expression, extracting inspiration from everything and staying true to oneself.
The movie itself is word-to-word based on Ginsberg’s interviews, his poetry and transcripts from the legal proceedings against the publisher of “HOWL” (after publishing “HOWL” Lawrence Ferlinghetti was arrested and charged with publication of obscenity in 1957 in San Francisco) – every word is history. The combination of the original footage, black-and-white shots as well as animation to take us in the depths of Ginsburg’s vision created an excellent medium to present “Howl” and its story.
I was blown away, inspired and grateful that I got to see something I would unlikely to stumble upon on my own.
I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix, angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machin- ery of night, who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz... --"HOWL" by Alan Ginsberg