Silliman reviews Howl

Ron Silliman has posted a review of the new film about Allen Ginsberg and his famous poem.

I saw the best exposition of a poem in a major motion picture, Rob Epstein & Jeffrey Friedman’s Howl, coming to art theaters starting on the 24th & also, I believe, available thru various video-on-demand services. Howl is also perhaps the only major motion picture I’ve ever seen that is, in both form & function, the close reading of a text. I have never seen a film based on a work of literature that even remotely approached Howl’s devotion to the words on the paper. If you’re a writer, or care about poetry, you are almost certainly going to love this film. Howl was made for you, with intelligence & more than a little cinematic bravery, and it shows. Howl is a wonderful motion picture.

It is a lot harder, however, to imagine Howl appealing to a broad audience. Virtually every word in this film comes directly from the poem itself…

…which makes it essentially a feature-length videopoem, at least according to the minimal definition I employ at Moving Poems. Do go read the rest of what Ron has to say. It sounds like a very exciting film!

One Comment

  1. Reply
    renkat 9 November, 2010

    A colleague of mine saw this at a gay film festival and loved it. Here is an interview on Fresh Air… (I read a review of Franco’s book which was tepid at best)…

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