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The Broken Tower (2011)

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A biography of American poet Hart Crane who committed suicide at the age of 32 by jumping off the steamship SS Orizaba.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Richard Abate ...
Father Crane
...
Mother Crane
Paul Mariani ...
Alfred Stieglitz
Shandor Garrison ...
Gorham Munson
Stacey Miller ...
Mrs. Cowley
Dylan Goodwin ...
Young Truck Driver
John Morrow ...
Young Sailor
Ivo Juhani ...
French Man in Library
...
American Man in Paris
Fallon Goodsen ...
American Woman in Paris
Caroline Aragon ...
French Cafe Owner
Sebastian Celis ...
Deckhand
Will Rawls ...
Factory Worker
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Storyline

A look at the dreams, unapologetic love of men , manic highs and depressive, death-haunted lows of early 20th century rebellious, self-destructive visionary poet Hart Crane from his early years as the son of a wealthy Cleveland businessman through his sojourns in New York, Cuba and Paris. Written by Anonymous

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The Truth is Indecent.


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20 June 2011 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

After the movie was screened at the 2011 Los Angeles Film Festival, multiple sources reported that it contains a scene in which Hart Crane (played by James Franco) performs oral sex on another man--a scene for which a prosthetic penis was used during filming. See more »

Quotes

Hart Crane: Isadora Duncan was incredible. Magnificent! But the crowd, what a bunch of conservative bores. So after, she comes back, breast exposed, she tells them to all go home and read the Calamus section from Whitman.
Gorham Munson: I'm sure most don't even know Whitman.
Hart Crane: [laughing] It was, it was incredible! Breast hanging out! Nipple exposed! Telling them that - that truth isn't beautiful. That in fact, it's quite indecent.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hart Crane: An Exegesis (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

The Bitter Pill
Written and Performed by Neil Benezra
Smoking Pigeons Publishing, ASCAP
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User Reviews

 
James Franco's impression of what Hart Crane was like
6 April 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I must confess that I bought The Broken Tower for the wrong reason, because I read that James Franco did something in it that gay men do all the time but non-porn actors NEVER do on film, even openly gay actors in flagrantly gay movies. That bit was kind of a bust, but I ended up liking the movie anyway, for less sleazy reasons.

I know next to nothing about Hart Crane, and I don't know a lot more after having watched this movie. It's not a biography by any means. My best guess would be that it's James Franco's impression of what Crane was like, and that's what makes it interesting.

It's oddly directed, with very many long, hand-held, extreme closeups, filmed from about chest-level, of Franco (as Crane) walking the streets of various cities, usually looking up from just under his chin, but sometimes looking at the back of his head. That motif repeats often.

At least 70% of the spoken lines in the movie are Franco (always as Crane) reading Crane's poetry: one long scene reciting to an audience in a formal setting, and much poetry read as a sort of narration as various events unfold on screen. This movie definitely is not for people who hate poetry - Crane's poetry in particular.

It's definitely not for people who need action, romance, likable characters, or a clear story line in movies. It's for people who can sit through a 108-minute experimental movie without any particular expectation as to what it's going to be like.

It's for people who appreciate enthusiasm and passion in artists (I'm talking mainly about Franco, but it applies to Crane too, I suppose) even if the result is not particularly coherent. It's obvious that this was a labor of love for Franco, and that more than anything else is what makes it interesting.


12 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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