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This exploration of the early years of the Beat generation is candid but conservative
"We're sending millions to fight fascists in Europe, but they're here – metre and rhyme!" Hmm. The fact that battles fought in the library of Columbia University appear unavoidably peripheral when the second world war is raging elsewhere is just one of the problems facing this earnest, enthusiastic, but oddly irksome take on the birth of the Beat poets, a group already overserved by swooning cinematic tribute. Daniel Radcliffe makes a surprisingly strong fist of his central role as a young Allen Ginsberg, the nebbishy son of a poet who arrives at university with a head full of uptight anxieties, which are promptly undone by his infatuation with Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan, looking more like a young Leonardo than DiCaprio himself) and his first heady whiff of drink and drugs. Carr is a boisterous irritant who introduces »
- Mark Kermode
Take your pick of this week's cinema releases. Plus, what's coming up on the site today
What to watch
In the UK? Have a gander at The Guardian Film Show, where we're reviewing Alexander Payne's Nebraska, Daniel Radcliffe's turn as Allen Ginsberg in Kill Your Darlings, skateboarding sort-of doc This Ain't California and Spike Lee's remake of Oldboy.
In the Us? Have a sing-song with the Coen brothers folk drama Inside Llewyn Davis, on limited release from this week.
In the news today
- Time magazine have named and shamed their worst films of »
In the 1940s, a young Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe) is accepted to Columbia University to study poetry and literature. There, he meets the charismatic Lucien Carr (Dane DeHann), the eccentric William Burroughs, and the booze-loving Jack Kerouac. Together, they form the basis for what becomes the Beat generation - but not before a killing threatens to shatter the group entirely. »
Moving triumphantly away from the Harry Potter franchise, Daniel Radcliffe stars as Allen Ginsberg, one of the great poets of the beat generation in the period drama Kill Your Darlings. Directed by John Krokidas, the film follows Ginsberg through his earlier years as a writer, with excellent performances from Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan( as the seductive Lucien Carr) and Michael C. Hall as Carr’s obsessed lover.
To celebrate the release of Kill Your Darlings we take a look at other renowned writers whose lives inspired critically acclaimed and award winning movies.
2006, dir. Bennett Miller
Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Oscar winning turn as journalist come novelist Truman Capote centres on the relationship that evolves between the writer and his subject. The infamous inspiration for In Cold Blood, Bennett Miller’s film focuses on Copote’s trip to Kansas with partner Harper Lee (Catherine Keener) to research the brutal killing of a family for an article. »
- Beth Webb
After eight years of seeing his face reflected in a knife blade across the buses of Los Angeles and New York, in his role as blood-spatter analyst/serial killer Dexter Morgan, Michael C Hall is finding it nice to talk about a different character.
His role in the beat generation drama Kill Your Darlings is the least known figure in a largely forgotten murder scandal that engulfed the proto-beats, and perhaps even fashioned them into the movement we now recognise. In New York City in 1944, Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe), William S Burroughs (Ben Foster) and Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston) were all inspired by an epicene beauty from the midwest, Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan), who liked to stand on the university library tables »
- John Patterson
Kill Your Darlings is the third film recently about the beat generation, after Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman's Howl (2010) and Walter Salles's On the Road (2012). This movie by John Krokidas is superior to both, with Daniel Radcliffe giving an intelligent and considered performance as the young Allen Ginsberg.
There is admittedly some of the same self-consciousness and 50s beat preciousness with polo-necked guys nodding life-affirmingly to live jazz. But it's also revealing about the role played by violence, shame and denial at the birth of beat and of Ginsberg's career. These ignited the poetry, and the film suggests that the poetic impulse is at least initially a flight impulse; an impulse away from a horrible real-world mess to a vantage point from where the mess can be artistically controlled, »
- Peter Bradshaw
Well, at least she got the topless shots out of the way while she was still young and beautiful. Lana Del Rey goes topless during her new short film ‘Tropico’ — a 27-minute art house piece set to Lana’s music that features Lana stripping while dressed as the biblical Eve. We can’t make this stuff up, folks.
Everybody knows that Lana Del Rey, 27, is a bit quirky. Heck, we love the “Young and Beautiful” singer for it. But her new, very Nsfw short film — an elongated music video, really — takes things to the next level. Lana dresses up as Eve and strips until nothing but two sequined silver stars stand between the audience and her nipples. Check out the video (if your boss isn’t around) below!
Lana Del Rey: Topless In ‘Tropico’ Take Our Poll
Lana loves nothing more than an extra-long music video, but this 27-minute »
- HL Intern
Set in the 1940’s during the early days of the literary revolution, Kill Your Darlings is a true crime thriller based on the previously untold story of a murder that implicated the men who went on to become the great poets of the Beat Generation; Allen Ginsberg, Lucien Carr, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs.
Based on actual events and nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Kill Your Darlings tells how these young men first meet at Columbia University in 1944. A story of friendship, obsession, jealousy and genius, their self-proclaimed brilliance is stained by the brutal murder of David Kammerer, which both consecrated and fractured their early fellowship.
Please note: This competition is open to »
★★★☆☆ Beat literature and its purveyors have had a long and varied relationship with the silver screen which has seen no less than three films about them in the last few years. James Franco accepted the challenge of the lead in Allen Ginsberg pseudo-biopic Howl (2010), whilst Walter Salles took on the unenviable task of bringing Jack Kerouac's "unfilmable" On the Road (2012). Now, first-time director John Krokidas tackles the formative years of the movement in his fairly standard period piece, Kill Your Darlings (2013), which boasts an impressive cast including Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan, Ben Foster and Michael C. Hall.
- CineVue UK
The drama picks up with a 17-year-old Ginsberg as he embarks on his first year at Columbia University. There he meets charismatic rebel Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan), who introduces him to fellow Beat poets William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac and becomes his first great unrequited love.
Digital Spy sat down with Radcliffe and DeHaan to discuss their research for the roles of Ginsberg and Carr, and their much-discussed "hot" kissing scene.
Freeing himself masterfully from the clutches of the Harry Potter franchise and developing his acting talents in challenging roles within fascinating films, Daniel Radcliffe now stars as Allen Ginsberg, in John Krokidas’ Kill Your Darlings. Performing alongside Dane DeHaan’s Lucien Carr, we had the wonderful pleasure of sitting down with the two talented actors to discuss their latest production.
The pair discuss the fact they hadn’t ever heard of the incredible set of events this film is based upon, why it helped portraying such renowned figures at such a young age, and their bond with director Krokidas. Meanwhile Radcliffe also discusses his own personal deviation away from Potter and what he expects the die-hard fans to make of his progression, while be sure to stick around to end of the video, where we hear his very best “Hey U Guys” impersonation.
Kill Your Darlings is out on December 6th, »
- Stefan Pape
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is poised to enter the top 10 biggest sellers of 2013, with The Hobbit: The Desolation posing its greatest end-of-year threat
• More on the UK box office
• Hunger Games: Catching Fire – review
Following its sensational debut the previous weekend, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire had no problem hanging on to the top spot, with a gross (£5.53m) more than triple its nearest rival, Gravity, with £1.74m. The drop for Catching Fire – down 46% – will be considered respectable, given the huge anticipation for the film, which saw fans rush to see it on opening weekend. The original Hunger Games fell only 33% in its second frame, but declining revenue curves for sequels are invariably steeper. Last November, the final Twilight dropped 66% in its second session.
- Charles Gant
It’s somewhat hard to believe that Kill Your Darlings is director John Krokidas’ debut feature film, in what is an accomplished, compelling piece of cinema, of a scandalous murder that drew the renowned poets of the beat generation together. A story we can’t quite believe we haven’t seen on the big screen before – a sentiment that Krokidas echoes himself.
We had the pleasure of sitting down to discuss the title with him – and in spite of his tonsillitis he was suffering from, he discusses the conspiracy theories surrounding this incredible tale and why he chose to tell it from Allen Ginsberg’s perspective as opposed to Lucien Carr’s. He also tells us about his intimate bond he formed with lead star Daniel Radcliffe, and how this cast dramatically changed, from once having Jesse Eisenberg in the main role.
Were you aware of these incredible set of »
- Stefan Pape
Kill Your Darlings is getting substantial critical acclaim, and for good reason. Yet while the plot and performances are superb, it's the chemistry between Daniel Radcliffe's Allen Ginsberg and Dane DeHaan's Lucien Carr that steals the show - as our exclusive clip shows. The clip shows the first fateful meeting of the two, as a wide-eyed Ginsberg is introduced to a raucous, artistically liberating world he's never known. The catalyst for said introduction? Mr Carr, whose intellectually seductive wiley ways prove rather arresting. Watch...
- Matt Risley
Director: John Krokidas.
Running Time: 104 minutes.
Daniel Radcliffe is one smart cookie. Here is a man who has picked his post-Potter projects very well. His choices have exceeded expectation in terms of critical acclaim (A Young Doctor’s Handbook) and box office success (The Woman In Black), and he’s such a likeable chap to boot. So, it’s thrilling to say that playing a young Allen Ginsberg is the best thing he could have done because he, and the film he leads, are brilliant.
Whether you’re a fan of the Beat Generation or not, John Krokidas presents a character-led drama that is lighter than you might expect, »
- John Sharp
This month sees a high-profile new release from Disney, a period drama starring Daniel Radcliffe and an eagerly-awaited comedy sequel that brings back a certain mustachioed San Diego news anchor.
Digital Spy rounds up the five movies you need to see this December below...
Release date: December 6
Why you should see it: Disney rediscovered some of its old magic with recent offerings Tangled and Wreck-It Ralph, but the House of Mouse well and truly hits it out the park with their take on Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen. We've already seen Frozen (and given it an emphatic thumbs up), so start preparing yourself for a brand new all-singing, all-dancing Disney classic.
Release date: December 6
Why you should see it: Beat generation writers Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William S Burroughs find themselves pulled into the murder of David Kammerer in this period drama from director John Krokidas. »
(Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Véréna Paravel, 2012, Fra/UK/Us) 87 mins
An arthouse fishing-trawler documentary sounds like a practical joke, but this takes us to places we've never before – into the ocean depths and back out on to the decks with the catch. It's a series of dark, semi-abstract tableaux full of flapping fish, clanking machinery and tattooed fishermen doing wet, gory work. It's easy to forget this is real life you're watching.
Saving Mr Banks (PG)
How Walt Disney came to make Mary Poppins was hardly a pressing movie mystery, and one suspects a spoonful of drama has been added, but the leads are eminently watchable.
- Steve Rose
Casting can be as much about atmosphere and tone as about performances, as much as performers may not want to believe that. But just look at “Kill Your Darlings,” about Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, and a long-forgotten 1944 murder. The film stars Daniel Radcliffe in a career-redefining performance as the college-age Ginsberg; casting director Laura Rosenthal filled the screen around him with unfamiliar faces and used the faces of familiar actors in unfamiliar ways. Among those familiar faces was David Cross, cast as Ginsberg’s father in a winking nod to a previous project of Rosenthal’s. “I did a movie called ‘I’m Not There,’ sort of about Bob Dylan, and David Cross was Allen Ginsberg,” she says. She mentioned bringing Cross in to director John Krokidas, who initially worried it might be “too much” but quickly changed his mind and cast Cross. The challenge of working on »
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 »
- Landon Palmer
Playing the part of George, he'll be joined by Chris O'Dowd in the role of Lenny. O'Dowd initially found fame on British television in The It Crowd before successfully making the transition to Hollywood, appearing in Bridesmaids, This Is 40 and the hit HBO TV series Girls.
Franco originally announced the project in March this year, and gave details of casting and direction a month ago, but the project has been officially announced by lead producer David Binder. The play's director will be Anna Shapiro, who won a Tony for her production of August: Osage County, since turned into a film starring Meryl Streep. »
- Ben Beaumont-Thomas
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