Note:Most of the film isn’t graphic at all. The reason for such a strong sounding rating is for the animated scenes where full nudity is visible. These make up a very small portion of the movie.
Some general sexual discussion due to the content of the poem itself.
Animated characters have explicit sex.
Animations of phalluses and vaginas.
Some scenes suggest that the characters either just had sex or were about to.


Film review:Translated by www.rabudo-ru.com


The story of the film howl took place in a very different era from today, when incandescent bulbs were used. In 1955, in a small cafe in San Francisco, young poet Alan Ginsberg (played by James Franco) was about to put on his glasses and read his long poem howl to a group of listeners sitting around. In the lens, three fully exposed incandescent bulbs are particularly bright, and the camera also intends to push a close-up of one of them, as if to remind the audience that there were no energy-saving lamps at the time of the film performance. My idea is slightly derailed. What will be the visual effect if I replace the round incandescent lamp with today’s disc tubular energy-saving lamp? Technological progress has made familiar and ordinary objects gradually become nostalgic objects, just because they are entering history. Ginsberg began to recite from “I saw the most outstanding minds of this generation destroyed by madness and naked in hysteria next to hunger…” and the audience soon entered a state of intoxication. Today, we only show the same expression when watching kittens playing the piano and dogs dancing on youtube and Tudou.

Reading long poems in the cafe is one of the four scenes of the film. A few years later, Ginsberg accepted a recording interview and recalled the creation process of howl as the second scene. During this time, the passage of time was obvious: the picture was changed from black and white to color, and Ginsberg’s original smooth face grew a beard. The third scene is very simple. The poet beats hard in front of an old black typewriter, and howl jumps onto the paper word by word. The fourth scene is arranged in the court. The publisher of howl and the bookstore of “city light” in San Francisco are prosecuted for spreading obscene content. There are many explicit descriptions in Ginsberg’s long poem, which are about organs related to giving birth to children and their behaviors unrelated to giving birth to children. The lawsuit later became a well-known case to explain the first amendment to the US Constitution. In addition, the film also completely converts the whole poem of howl into three-dimensional animation, with a length of about a quarter of the whole film.

There are many examples of adapting novels into films. It is the first time I have seen poetry adapted into films. The two directors rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman once won the Oscar for best documentary. They don’t have to make too many fictions to make a feature film. In several scenes in the San Francisco district court, the words of the prosecution and the defense, the statements of a series of witnesses, the cross questioning of witnesses by prosecutors and defense lawyers and the judge’s judgment are all directly taken from the court records of 1957. I was surprised to find that the process of hearing was similar to that of literary criticism. The process of watching the film was also the process of understanding the theme, creative techniques and literary value of howl.

Several witnesses explained their understanding of poetry from their own perspectives. The first one on the stage was Gail Potter, a young literary girl who used to be in charge of educational programs on local TV stations. When Gail introduced his literary creation experience, he said, “I have rewritten Faust 40 times.” There was a roar of laughter in the court. Although Gail’s writing achievement is not outstanding, she is still clear when she criticizes. She believes that howl has no literary value. It is evaluated in terms of form, style and clarity, and the language is too vulgar. In addition, Ginsberg’s poems have no sense of moral sublimity. Mark schorer, the second witness in the film, was the director of the English department at the University of California, Berkeley. He believed that howl was about the wandering living state of a group of homeless people, including the depiction of sexual experience, and the poet did not deliberately distinguish between the sexual experience of the opposite sex or the same sex. Prosecutor McIntosh’s prosecution was based on the number of dirty words in the poem. He repeatedly asked the literature professor to explain the specific meaning of the poem. Schorer replied simply, like popularizing literary knowledge, “poetry can’t be translated into daily language word by word.”

Luther Nichols, the third witness, is a literary critic of the San Francisco Chronicle. His view is closer to that of Berkeley professors. Howl depicts the life experience of a group of vagrants on the road, including sexual experience. Professors and critics are much more relaxed than Ginsberg in the choice of words. They use physiological academic words that are not easy to cause Association, such as copulation. The poet fucked in the ass. Prosecutors questioned whether the individual descriptions in the poem were obscene, and critics said it was only speculation. The implication is that poetry cannot be used as a factual basis for conviction.

I have never taken a course in American literary criticism. This film provides a special window. In addition to the audio-visual enjoyment brought by poetry reading and matching animation, the comprehensive topics covered by literary discussions in court will also give the audience an extraordinary harvest. David Kirk, the fourth witness and professor of literature, may have far less academic status than the head of the Department in Berkeley, but he is much more pretentious. There is a two minute discussion in the film for Professor Kirk to explain his views. Howl has no literary value. The theme of the poem is clear, but the formal imitation of Whitman is too heavy.

The prosecutor asked, “which work do you remember Whitman?”

“Leaves of grass”, this poem is called leaves of grass. ” Professor Kirk replied.

The defense lawyer asked, “do you think Ginsberg imitates Whitman’s style?”

Professor Kirk clarified, “it’s the form of leaves of grass, not the style.”

He believes that great literary works should create their own forms and cannot be imitated. This scene of court confrontation has the main characteristics of the defense of literary papers. We are discussing topics such as originality and reference, reference and imitation, form and style.

Judge horn may need to read a lot of literary works and literary theories because of this case. His final judgment was not affected by Kirk and the views of literary young women. Horn believes that howl has continuous social significance. It is unlikely to corrupt readers and will not stimulate their licentious thoughts or lustful desires. The publisher “city light” bookstore is innocent. Since then, Allen Ginsberg became a literary star and one of the representatives of the “Beat Generation”. By the time he died in 1997, howl had sold 800000 copies. It is precisely because of the success of this book that another “Beat Generation” Jack Kerouac’s on the road was published. The influence of these two works on the young generation of American society continues to this day, and may continue to a very distant future.

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