James Franco stars as the young Allen Ginsberg – poet, counter-culture adventurer and chronicler of the Beat Generation. In his famously confessional, leave-nothing-out style, Ginsberg recounts the road trips, love affairs and search for personal liberation that led to the most timeless and electrifying work of his career, the poem HOWL. Meanwhile, in a San Francisco courtroom, HOWL is on trial. Prosecutor Ralph McIntosh (Strathairn) sets out to prove that the book should be banned, while suave defense attorney Jake Ehrlich (Hamm) argues fervently for freedom of speech and creative expression. The proceedings veer from the comically absurd to the passionate as a host of unusual witnesses (Jeff Daniels, Mary-Louise Parker, Treat Williams, Alesssandro Nivola) pit generation against generation and art against fear in front of conservative Judge Clayton Horn (Bob Balaban).
HOWL is simultaneously a portrait of a renegade artist breaking down barriers to find love and redemption and an imaginative ride through a prophetic masterpiece that rocked a generation and was heard around the world.
James Franco in conversation with directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman – an all new feature length audio commentary Holy! Holy! Holy! Making of Howl – featuring directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, stars James Franco, Jon Hamm, David Strathairn, Treat Williams, Bob Balaban, poet Anne Waldman, and others Directors’ research tapes – original interviews with Ginsberg’s friends and collaborators Eric Drooker, Peter Orlovsky, Tuli Kupferberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Steven Taylor Allen Ginsberg reads Howl – never before seen footage from a performance in 1995 at the Knitting Factory in New York James Franco reads Howl audio feature
English with Optional French Subtitles
"A great film. Franco disappears into Ginsberg's sexy earthiness." - Newsweek
★★★★★ "The film HOWL, like its source material, is undeniably brave, committed, and inventive." - LA TIMES
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