Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Kill Your Darlings

The new movie Kill Your Darlings is a coming of age story starring Daniel Radcliffe as the young Allen Ginsberg in his 1st year at Columbia University at the tail end of World War II. It's the first feature film of director & writer John Krokidas & is based on actual people & events. In the movie, a recording of Brahms Symphony #3 brings together Ginsberg & the dandified Lucien Carr, who then introduces him to William Burroughs & Jack Kerouac. The episodic plot converges on Carr's murder of David Kammerer, an older man who stalked the younger Carr for several years. Carr was indicted for the murder but successfully used the gay panic defense & served less than 2 years.

Daniel Radcliffe portrays an eager, happy & confident Ginsberg. We see him taking drugs, masturbating, receiving a blow job & engaging in accurately choreographed sex with another man. Dane DeHaan as Lucien Carr looks like he belongs in the 1940s & communicates both insecurity & decadence. I liked Ben Foster's deadpan & gravel-voiced impersonation of Burroughs. Michael C. Hall is creepy yet vaguely sympathetic as Kammerer. The film's careful recreation of 1940s settings & clothing gives it a stylish, well-dressed look. There are occasional hallucinogenic flashes in which the film runs backwards. Kill Your Darlings opens in the Bay Area on November 1st.

§ Kill Your Darlings (2013)
A film by John Krokidas
USA, 100 mins.

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