Ever heard of Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac or William Burroughs? You should…they are three of America’s most prolific poets linked together by two things…the beat generation and murder.
All three crossed each others’ path while embarking on a literary education at New York’s Columbia University in 1944. Their paths also became intertwined with Lucien Carr and David Kammerer, which results in a murder mixed with depression, suicide and repressed homosexuality.
What is the “beat generation”? The”beat generation” was a group of American post-World War II writers who came into prominence during the 50s, as well as the cultural phenomena that they both documented and inspired. Central elements of “Beat” culture included rejection of received standards, innovations in style, experimentation with drugs, alternative sexualities, an interest in Eastern religion, a rejection of materialism, and explicit portrayals of the human condition.
Daniel Radcliffe (Allen Ginsberg) has really evolved since leaving Harry Potter behind and gives a solid, layered performance. Jennifer Jason Leigh (Naomi Ginsberg) never ceases to amaze me when she is on screen. What a brilliant, focused actress she is!!! Just when I though Michael C. Hall could do NO wrong as Dexter on Showtime, he gives me depth in the form of an emotional roller-coaster as David Kammerer. Last, but certainly not least, Dane DeHaan is letting us have it with his portrayal of Lucien Carr.
This film ran a little long for me and took a minute to get to the meat of the story. However, it did peak my interest about the beat generation and its subjects. It also sheds light on how being gay has always been and continues to be a judgemental, stigmatic label placed into a negative light by insisting that being gay is a lifestyle choice. Interesting isn’t it? KILL YOUR DARLINGS opens in theaters on October 18.