In the early 1940s, Allen Ginsberg is an English major at Columbia University, only to learn more than he bargained for. Dissatisfied by the orthodox attitudes of the school, Allen finds himself drawn to iconoclastic colleagues like Lucien Carr, William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac. Together, this gang would explore bold new literary ideas that would challenge the sensibilities of their time as the future Beat Generation. However, for all their creativity, their very appetites and choices lead to more serious transgressions that would mark their lives forever. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
In this film, David Cross plays Allen Ginsberg's father, Louis. In I'm Not There. (2007), David Cross played Allen Ginsberg himself. See more »
The Columbia University library tour guide proudly identifies a book as a first folio edition of "Hamlet." There is no such edition. "Hamlet" was published in quarto editions (half the size of folio) during Shakespeare's life. The only folio editions of Shakespeare's work were the posthumous collections of his complete plays. See more »
First of all, before the 'acting' and script are addressed, ...the sound! Horrible!! The music is played at a ridiculously LOUD volume, which slams the viewer (listener) suddenly, for no reason whatsoever. It's just one of several examples of a surprisingly poorly made movie. No, this is not a 'film'.
The writing and acting are perfectly appropriate for the young kids who think they have discovered the angst of life like no one ever has before them.
This is a very shallow depiction of the self-aggrandizement that the Beats built their 'revolution' on. The script is as shallow as the Beats were ultimately shown to be - as most readers and devotees come around to realize. For the most part, they were entitled little rich brats who indulged and were indulged. The acting, then, is constrained by the writing: complete absence of subtlety or nuance; no restraint; no pacing; clichéd and stereotyped - like watching a junior-high-school play rehearsal.
There are no surprises here. You watch, waiting for something to build to something - anything. There is no examination of these characters or any historical or socio-economic context, just the assumption that they are smart, insightful, and 'right'. The movie is based on stupid assumptions.
Perhaps the problem with this movie is, after all, the material. But, no, it just really is a very bad movie. It looks, feels, and sounds like a student infatuation with the Beat myth. Maybe people who like open-mike poetry slams would like this; I wouldn't know. But, I do know this is dreadful.
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