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Sundance 2010: 4 clips from HOWL

Chase Whale

by: Chase Whale
January 20th, 2010

So we're leaving for Sundance in 12 hours. This is probably going to be the longest 12 hours of my life, so in the meantime, I'm going to try and find good Sundance news to give ya while I'm waiting on my plane to pull up.

That said, here's four clips from HOWL, which is making it's world debut tomorrow at the festival. HOWL was written and directed by Rob Epstein & Jeffrey Friedman and stars James Franco, Jon Hamm, David Strathairn, Treat Williams, Mary Louise Parker and Jeff Daniels. In the film, Franco plays the young Allen Ginsberg, a poet who wrote a poem - titled "Howl" - about love affairs and no-holds-barred confessions that eventually led him and the poem in a courtroom.

Ive embedded the 4 clips after the jump. Big thanks to Collider for posting these.

Side note: the second clip is out of sync, which is the way it was sent to Collider.

Official Synopsis:

In 1956, one of the most controversial works of American art galvanized a generation. Now, the story behind Allen Ginsberg’s HOWL come to life in a genre-defying feature film that is at once a legal drama, a character study and an animated trip into the magic and madness of the modern world.

James Franco stars as the young Allen Ginsberg - poet, counter-culture adventurer and chronicler of the Beat Generation - who recounts in his famously confessional, leave-nothing-out style 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 (David Strathairn) sets out to prove that the book should be banned, while suave defense attorney Jake Ehrlich (Jon Hamm) argues fervently for freedom of speech and creative expression. The proceedings veer from the comically absurd to the fervently passionate as a host of unusual witnesses (Jeff Daniels, Mary Louise Parker, Treat Williams, Alessandro Nivola) pit generation against generation and art against fear in front of conservative Judge Clayton Horn (Bob Balaban).

The trial’s heated controversy and Ginsberg’s provocative memories are woven around “Howl” itself, its images of ecstasy and anguish, of desire, madness and wonder, brought to vivid, visceral life in a fever dream of inventive animation. Echoing the vastness and originality of Ginsberg’s poem, HOWL mashes up genres and rides wild emotions as it reveals all the ways a fearless work of art impacted its creator and the world.

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