Muffled howl

OUT NOW! Despite engaging in interesting issues, this Beat poet biography croaks when it should HOWL.

Disturbingly simple-minded in its take on art and freedom, Howl revolves around the obscenity trial Allen Ginsberg (Franco) had to face after the publication of his seminal poem “Howl”. Unfortunately, why this trial should be interesting to an audience today remains muddled. Even though Ginsberg’s life wasn’t really very exciting, the time and art of the Beat Generation could certainly have made for a less dull film.

HOWL | Directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (USA 2010) with James Franco, David Strathairn. Opens January 6.