Must-see ‘Howl’ offers historical value

You have probably heard of James Franco. He is a young actor who has done a few memorable movie roles, including one in “Spiderman 3” as New Goblin/Harry Osborn. He also played the drug dealer in “Pineapple Express.” If you watched the Oscars this year, he was hosting the show alongside Anne Hathaway. Franco is a pretty well-known guy; he even wrote a book (which I have heard only negative things about, but I digress). You’ve probably also heard of Allen Ginsberg, right? He is only one of the greatest American authors of the last 100 years and a leading figure in the Beat Generation. If you have heard of him (which I trust you have taken some literature classes and hopefully have been exposed to his work already), then you should be excited to know that next Thursday our very own Backdoor Playhouse will be showing the movie “Howl,” based on Ginsberg’s book with the same name and court case it brought about in 1957.

I haven’t seen the movie yet, though it came out some time ago. I know that the people who saw it when it came out will be eager to watch it again, so I would suggest getting there early to claim a seat. If you have time, you should also try reading the book first in case you are indeed new to Ginsberg. Everyone always says to read the book before watching any film, and in this case (like most), you should do that because it really gives you a peek into the writer’s mind further than what a movie can portray.

Franco plays the role of young Ginsberg in this film, and since he is a real-life student in the creative writing program at Yale, I expect his performance to be spot-on.

Just in case you haven’t heard of Ginsberg or the Beat Generation, don’t “beat” yourself up about it.

Check out the film for free at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Backdoor Playhouse. It’s an interesting part of history and popular culture that you shouldn’t miss if you can help it.