Franco opens Sundance

January 22, 2010 13:11:58 Posted at January 22, 2010 13:11:58
Lainey Posted by Lainey

Well, technically, Howl opened Sundance yesterday. A doc-style biopic on Allen Ginsberg with James Franco playing the iconic poet. As you know, my quiver for him has been tempered dramatically recently due in large part to his large-ish thighs. They seemed to be more reined in last night at the premiere but still... given those pointy pubey whiskers and the ubiquitous clamminess that has become his face, this Franco is a far cry from Gucci which may not be his priority but, f-ck, for the sake of the moists, it certainly is mine.

Howl is meant to represent a new identity for Sundance, a festival trying to shed its swag reputation. The film is receiving mixed reviews. Praised universally as a cerebral effort, the consensus seems to be that the artform is uneven, undoubtedly an esoteric picture but certainly not intended for a wide audience, although James’s performance has been widely praised, as noted by Variety:

“In the interview, Ginsberg admits, among many other things, to his fear of his teacher-poet father's reaction to his work, his mother's madness, his sexual infatuations, his psychiatry-inspired breakthrough to live a fully honest, unconstrained life, and his view that "HOWL" was not, as some perceived, a promotion of the merits of homosexuality, but at its heart an argument for "frankness about any subject." It's in these thoughtful, off-the-cuff interludes that Franco can come closest to fully inhabiting Ginsberg, which he does with great credibility; despite doubts going in about how plausible the handsome actor would be as the poet much more familiar from his later life as looking plump, balding and unkempt, it's a good fit in the end, physically and vocally.”

This is what keeps me hanging on. To those thighs.

For those of you unfamiliar with Ginsberg and Howl, there’s a good article in The Guardian – click here.

And for an onset interview with Franco in costume click here. When he and I are having long talks over dinner in my screenplay, it’s this iteration that shows up.

Photos from

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