Another selection for the London Film Festival this year is Rob Epstein’s biopic into the mind of Allen Ginsberg, the notoriously explicit poet from the fifties.
With what has been described as a “career-defining” performance by James Franco (Ginsberg), the plot follows the rise (and fall) of the controversial poet during the late forties and fifties, revisiting the first reading of his most famous poem ‘Howl’ at the Six Gallery Reading on October 7, 1955, it’s reactions and the events which lead up to the obscenity trail against Ginsberg in 1957.
Epstein begins the film in black and white, recounting the early years of the story but has captured the progression of the median by using juxtaposition, switching to colour in the second half of the film. Biopics are difficult to get right and having received a meagre 46% from critics in the US, it’s difficult to tell whether it has truly captured the genre.
Watch the trailer here at Front Row Reviews: