Howl

Kill Your Darlings

Perhaps the most misleading aspect of the new crop of Beat movies that have surfaced during the past few years is that they obscure the fact that there was once an older crop of Beat movies. If your only exposure is Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s Howl, Walter Salles’ On the Road, John Krokidas’ Kill Your Darlings, and Michael Polish’s Big Sur, you might assume that the Beats participated in an artistic movement reserved exclusively for the written word. Yet Allen Ginsberg was front-and-center of experimental film projects like 1959’s Pull My Daisy (narrated by Kerouac) and 1966’s Chappaqua, while William S. Burroughs spent most of his career after the 1970s in independent films (alongside producing spoken word albums). Even Jack Kerouac, the most novelistic of the best-known Beats, showed his media literacy by recording improvisatory experiments in audio technology before he published “On the Road.” The literary Beats not only inspired later independent filmmakers, musicians, and artists, but they participated in multimedia productions themselves, seeking to realize a revolutionary new aesthetic across a variety of platforms of expression, often concurrently with their most famous published work. There is nothing inherently wrong with focusing only on these authors’ best-known works in adapting them to screen, but the resulting films do reinforce a rather common image of the Beats as forever-young literary outsiders, when they were in fact heavily involved in the social and artistic movements their work cultivated and helped inspire throughout their lives. But this raises a question: Do […]

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We love television, but we love movies more. And we love movies a lot more than awards for television. So, why would we watch the 2012 Emmy Awards when we can just watch any number of this year’s nominees in their great film works, a lot of which are streaming on Netflix. Classics that you’ll find from the Watch Instantly service featuring Emmy nominees include Platoon, Fatal Attraction, Reservoir Dogs, Black Hawk Down, The Terminator and plenty others. But I noticed a bunch of recommended titles with the special circumstance of involving two or more Emmy-nominated talents, including a few from the contending directors. Speaking of which, I could have counted Louis C.K.‘s Pootie Tang, but I still haven’t seen it. Maybe that’s what I’ll be watching this evening. Check out the list and links after the jump.

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There are a couple biopics about famed porn actress Linda Lovelace in the works, so let’s not get confused. Lovelace isn’t the one that was supposed to star Lindsay Lohan but then picked up Malin Ackerman because Lindsay Lohan is Lindsay Lohan; that one is the Matthew Wilder-directed Inferno. Lovelace will be directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (Howl), and has Amanda Seyfried replacing the originally-rumored Kate Hudson as the titular performer. I’ve seen these two movies have actors that are appearing in one being attributed to the other or downright get referenced as being the same film before, so I want to be clear. Now that we got that out of the way, let’s look at the casting news. Way back during this project’s humble beginnings, James Franco was rumored as being the choice to play Chuck Traynor, a pornographer and Lovelace’s longtime husband. That probably had something to do with his experience working with the directors in Howl. That bit of casting didn’t work out though, and the role eventually went to the equally-as-sleazy-as-Franco, Peter Sarsgaard (see An Education, yuck). Apparently that wasn’t the last of the Franco on Lovelace rumors, however, because Variety’s Showblitz is now reporting that the actor may be making a cameo in the film as Playboy founder Hugh Hefner. That sounds like the sort of fun, low commitment gig that I could see Franco being into, so I’d say the chances of him appearing in this film are once again good.

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This Week in Blu-ray

Welcome to the first edition of This Week in Blu-ray for 2011. Want to know what my New Year’s Resolution was? 52 consecutive Tuesdays with Blu-ray advising for my adoring fans. Needless to say, we’re off to a good start. That is if we consider timing and completion to be the pinnacle of success with this column. This week’s releases won’t exactly blow you away, as we’ve got some very middling movies to talk about (I’m looking at you, Dinner for Schmucks, Catfish and Machete). However, there are some winners in one back-breaking horror film and a back-catalog release that will likely cause a backdraft of fireballs aimed right at your pocketbook. Does anyone else see a theme here? And why does my back hurt all of the sudden? Quick, you read the column while I go stretch.

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This Week in DVD

Welcome to 2011! The doldrums of last week have been left far behind, and the powers that be have returned from the break to release a torrent of titles onto DVD and Blu-ray. There’s nothing truly great out this week, but there are at least two titles entertaining enough to buy. There are also a couple surprising ones to avoid, but as usual the bulk of this week’s new titles fit comfortably in the nether region between the two extremes. Which of course means they should be added to your Netflix queue… Titles out this week include Robert Rodriguez’ ridiculous action romp (Machete),  Joe Maggio’s foodie abduction thriller (Bitter Feast), the other social media movie of the year (Catfish), a mediocre remake of a very funny French film (Dinner For Schmucks), and more!

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The Reject Report

Greed is good. Greed is legal. Yeah, we’ve heard all that malarkey before, and it’s obvious. Why else would studios release their films on more than 3000 screens in one weekend? That almighty coin that keeps Hollywood turning and those glorious things we call motion pictures hitting left and right ad nauseum. We’ve got two such films this weekend and two that aren’t opening quite as big. Both of the biggies are pulling in hype based around their respective brand loyalty, but they each have something new to offer, as well. It’s Shia LaBeouf Vs. the talking owls here at the Reject Report. Let the best squawker win.

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We realize that you’re probably sitting at home right now, chewing your own nails off and wondering what movies are coming out this month. Maybe you’re even wondering why no one on the entire internet has said anything about them by now. Strange, we know. Fortunately, Rob Hunter and Cole Abaius spent the entire month of August going to the local library, making phone calls to important producers and making fan trailers out of macaroni to make sure that you, dear reader, are in the know about what’s coming out in September. Don’t let Machete scare you. If you watch movies, this guide’s for you.

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James Franco in Howl

Today Oscilloscope Laboraties announced that you will be able to see Howl this year, as per my recommendation after seeing it at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

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The interpretation of art is tricky. In fact, most great works of art are the trickiest because what makes them great is that they can mean different things to different people. Such is the overwhelming theme of Rob Epstein’s excellent film, Howl.

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howl-movie-header

Now that the Sundance 2010 line-up is out (competition and non-competition both released this week), we will start to see some preview images coming out from many of the much-anticipated films. First up is Howl…

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Can James Franco Get Beat Enough?

Now fully financed, a movie that will appeal to the greatest minds of our generation. Franco, Alda, and Mary Louise Parker get ready and set for a March start date for Howl.

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Mary-Louise Parker

It looks as if Nancy Botwin will be dealing her “MILF Weed” to the beatnik brigade in the upcoming Allen Ginsberg biopic.

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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