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Entries in Kill Your Darlings (6)

Wednesday
Feb052014

William S Burroughs Centennial

Today is the centennial of the infamous Beat era writer William S Burroughs and I've been thinking about him lately due to Philip Seymour Hoffman's death via heroin (why is it that I always start stringing the celebrity junkies together when they die? Is it because there are so damn tragic many of them?) but mostly because I was really gripped by Ben Foster's portrayal of him in Kill Your Darlings, a problematic movie about guys that weren't nearly as palatable in real life (despite the movie being about murder) that had a great moment here and there. Of course the movie wasn't really about Burroughs but about Lucien Carr's (Dane Dehaan) murder of his lover (Michael C Hall). From time to time I have wondered why we've had no straight up biopic about Burroughs (Keifer Sutherland is the only other actor I can think of that's played him), given that he's a very famous white guy genius and that's the kind of biopic Hollywood likes best. But I guess it couldn't be done; The MPAA and most moviegoers and possibly even myself would just never be able to deal what with the sex, the drugs, the finger-chopping, the wife-shooting, and what not.

So let's move over to actual movies. Burroughs appeared in a small role in Gus Van Sant's terrific Drugstore Cowboy (1989) which I highly recommend to any of you wondering why Matt Dillon was a "you owe him" Oscar nominee for Crash (2005) and then of course there was David Cronenberg's Naked Lunch (1991), a film version of Burrough's, ummmm, unfilmable novel. (Incidentally our friend Nick, who you know from Nick's Flick Picks and the podcast, writes extensively on this film in his first book "The Desiring Image") Whether or not any cinematic interpretation of Naked Lunch could be considered definitive if we didn't have it we would never have seen Julian Sands buggered by a towering insect monster or Judy Davis injecting bug powder into her breasts.

Have you seen Naked Lunch or read any of Burroughs work?

Burroughs with Cronenberg during the filming of Naked Lunch

Some Centennial Celebrations
Time Magazine "Rebel, Junkie, Exile, Genius"
NPR "Possessed by Genius"
The New Statesman "To say it country simple, most folks enjoy junk” - Burroughs in 1966 on kicking his heroin addiction 
Dreg Studios Brandt Hardin celebrates the history of Burroughs with a portrait 

Friday
Jan312014

GALECA & GLAAD: Gay 'Best of the Year' Honors

Though I complain about the proliferation of awards groups some of them serve more of a purpose than others, even if they're also lining up to honor the same things as every other group. Like AIDS related Best Picture nominee Dallas Buyers Club twhich some gay critics don't like at all and on principal but which factors into both of the gay-specific awards recently announced.

Now, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation has made really suspect endorsements over the years (Let us not speak of I Know Pronounce You Chuck & Larry) but they've also highlighted and fought against a very real problem so you have to respect their greasy wheel existence if not always their execution of message. 

As per usual, GLAAD will hold a bicoastal bifurcated awards ceremony, first in Los Angeles in April and then in New York in May, long after Oscar season is over. GLAAD's film (and other medium) nominees as well as the nominees and winners of GALECA (the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association) are after the jump with commentary and in some cases links. It's always bugged me that when magazines, blogs, and web articles are nominated for prizes the nominations list rarely have an easy way to check out the nominees so I figure I'm doing a public service by including them. You're welcome. 

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Oct172013

LFF: Kill Your Darlings

Dave is at the London Film Festival, plotting how best to avoid the hoardes of Daniel Radcliffe fans who'll be coming for him soon.

In writing you must kill all your darlings."

The dilemma of how to literally take William Faulkner’s melancholy quote is the central crisis point of John Krokidas’ debut feature Kill Your Darlings. The film is a playful, confident but messy tale of Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe) and his obsessive friendship with Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan), a fellow student at Columbia University. Krokidas makes this relationship the heart of his film, aesthetics and narrative bound up in their complex bond, relying heavily on the two young leads who have reached this point in their careers by markedly different paths. Despite the presence of some more seasoned hands in the cast - Ben Foster, Jennifer Jason Leigh, David Cross - this is a strikingly youthful film, effectively matching the burgeoning talents it explores.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Aug242013

Una Noche, Kill Your Darlings and the Problem with Gay Films at the Box Office

Glenn here. I read an article the other day at IndieWire asking "why don't LGBT movies make money at the box office anymore?" It's a worthy question to ask since I know I'd love for films focusing on "our" stories to be more prominent in cinemas and the only way to get that is to receive the backing of Hollywood and audiences. What I don't think is that there's anything insidious going on in the seeming rapid decline in mainstream representations of LGBT characters on the big screen. It's not like film audiences have gotten more homophobic with time, right?

My biggest theory is one that the article only flirts with: that gay culture itself has become so mainstream that the idea of paying $15 for a dash of it is rather unnecessary. And as the article wisely states, television has been more than willing to take up the baton of telling complex, romantic, tragic, funny, and unique stories about gay characters. And it's cheaper, too. That medium has certainly come a long way from the days of advertisers cancelling their marketing on Ellen less than 20 years ago!

Is LGBT the new black... on TV?

Gay TV and two new gay-centric films after the jump

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jan212013

Sundance Kills Your Darlings In Interior Leather Bars

"Sex. Sex. Sex." That's a far more accurate and truer statement than the clichéd "Sex Sells" isn't it? Sex often emphatically doesn't sell. Sometimes it severely limits your market penetration... excuse me, saturation. So "Sex Sells" is an overstatement with lots of conditional clauses. But "Sex. Sex. Sex." that's just true, unequivocally! I'm not saying this because of this Kill Your Darlings trio's photo op I've just posted...

Daniel, Dane, and their Director John

 

...even though yes, director John Krokidas is totally 100% sexable based on this photographic evidence. (Tangent: Dane DeHaan turns 27 next month. Is he going to look like he's 30 when he's 60?).

I began this post with "Sex. Sex. Sex." because that's all I keep reading about from Sundance. Yesterday we covered the Cougar Island sexcapades of Two Mothers but apparently Sundance just keeps presenting the world with future MPAA challenges. Quoth Carpetbagger:

“I’ve seen five movies today, and it has been nonstop,” said a senior executive at a major Hollywood studio on Saturday night. “I’m no prude, but it’s a little much.”

NSFW James Franco, Amanda Seyfried, and Gay blah blah blah after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb152012

Kill Your Darlings (Casting The Beats)

JA from MNPP here. It seems like it's the dream of every young actor to play one of the Beats - sensitive yet masculine fellows in sharp clothes with pre-praised snappy dialogue: what could go wrong? Well...  they were kind of all having sex with each other for one, and that keeps the money-men away. So the budgets stay tiny, pre-production gets drawn way out, and names come and go, come and go. I've been following the news on one of these projects for awhile - Kill Your Darlings first blipped onto my radar back in 2009, when it was announced that Chris Evans was going to play Jack Kerouac. That's the sort of headline that grabs my attention, you see. 

William S Burroughs, Lucien Carr and Allen Ginsberg

KYD is about the sordid story at the start of the Beats, involving the poet Lucien Carr who was friends with Kerouac and William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg. Carr murdered a man named David Kammerer, supposedly because Kammerer came onto him. That gay-panic defense seems somewhat unlikely given the fact that Ginsberg maintained he'd had sex with Carr, but you can read more about the background to the story here.

Besides Chris Evans, KYD was originally going to have Ben Whishaw playing Carr and Jesse Eisenberg was going to play Allen Ginsberg. Then silence. Who knows what iterations of actors came after that, but the next thing we heard was two and a half years later, this past November that is, when Daniel Radcliffe was announced as set to play Ginsberg.

Well a couple of days ago we got more casting news. A lot more, actually. Young Leonardo DiCaprio doppleganger Dane DeHaan, who just topped the box office this month in the generally well-received found-footage movie Chronicle, is set to play the murderer Lucien Carr. Dexter's Michael C. Hall will be playing the victim, David Kammerer. Elizabeth Olsen is set to play Carr's girlfriend Edie. The great Ben Foster is playing William Burroughs, while Jennifer Jason Leigh and Kyra Sedgwick are set to play...we don't know who. Somebodies!

Michael C Hall (a victim for once?) and Dane DeHaan

Jack Huston | Jack Kerouac

Finally  Jack Huston, of yes those Hustons, is going to play Jack Kerouac.