Over the weekend John and I watch a movie called Howl, it is a film about the obsenity trial surrounding the book Howl and a snippet of the life of Allen Ginsberg. I loved it, it was interlaced with animations depicting the poem itself and it seemed as though it was a real labor of love project. I found it truly moving and inspiring, my last post was written after I watched that movie and I found it inspired me to get more descriptive than I usually am in this blogsphere. It made me really want to go spend a few hours in City Lights Bookstore.
James Franco plays Allen Ginsberg quite well and the movie is sprinkled with cameos throughout, though as far as I know only modern day celebrities-not any from the actual time depicted. With recently watching Naked Lunch and John reading the book, which one of the characters is based off of Ginsberg, you can imagine our NetFlix streaming list has gotten a little heavy with movies about or during the “beat generation”. As per usual I recommended the film to my father, who has always had that streak of bohemian in him. Now I know this all happened before my Dad approached teenagehood and the 60s but it was a step in a direction that would begin the counterculture that happened in the 60s. My Dad has never sugar coated the 60s and never referred to them “as the good ole days”, quite the opposite in fact. His generation had to attempt to handle so much, a government that thought they were disposable, a culture caught in the middle of a suburban puppet show and rebellion of emancipation, and then a breakdown of the utopia they thought they were going to sustain. It was inspiring times for artist and thinkers and maybe it was because they had to make it that.
I sometimes wonder how this time in the world will be depicted in films and in books, decades from now. There could be an amazing counterculture going on (please don’t let it be the modern-day Hipsters 😛 ) and I am too insulated to notice it- but it scares me that the films they make about my generation are things like The Social Network. Which granted ,changed the way we communicate, blah, blah, blah-but I hope my generation can show more than that in our lives and in our (artistic) work. Or maybe I was just raised by a couple of hippies and my perception of the world is bit off from my generation, who knows? 🙂
With the story I am writing I am hoping to capture a residual of what the world is like and how it feels in this moment, and maybe a certain optimism that is slowly growing back…we shall see.