4 Movie Clips from HOWL – Premieres at Sundance and Stars James Franco, Jon Hamm, and David Strathairn

     January 19, 2010

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Every Sundance, there are always a few movies everyone is talking about before the Festival.  You know…the ones with buzz. One of the movies at this year’s Fest that people are talking about is Howl.  The reason…it’s filled with an all star cast consisting of James Franco, Jon Hamm, David Strathairn, Treat Williams, Bob Balaban, Alessandro Nivola, Mary Louise Parker and Jeff Daniels.  Also, you’ve got Franco playing a young Allen Ginsberg and as the synopsis says, “it’s a legal drama, a character study and an animated trip into the magic and madness of the modern world.”

With Sundance set to begin later this week, we’ve landed the first footage from Howl and it’s four clips from the film.  If you’d like a sneak peak at one of the big films from this year’s Fest…take a look.  Also, the film plays this Thursday night in Park City, so reviews will be everywhere on Friday.

Here’s the synopsis I was given and further down are the clips:

howl_movie_image_james_franco_03.jpgDirectors & Writers: Rob Epstein & Jeffrey Friedman

Producer: Elizabeth Redleaf and Christine K. Walker

Cast: James Franco, Jon Hamm, David Strathairn, Treat Williams, Bob Balaban, Alessandro Nivola, with Mary Louise Parker and Jeff Daniels

Running time: 86 minutes

In 1956, one of the most controversial works of American art galvanized a generation.  Now, the story behind Allen Ginsberg’s HOWL come to life in a genre-defying feature film that is at once a legal drama, a character study and an animated trip into the magic and madness of the modern world.

James Franco stars as the young Allen Ginsberg – poet, counter-culture adventurer and chronicler of the Beat Generation – who recounts in his famously confessional, leave-nothing-out style the road trips, love affairs and search for personal liberation that led to the most timeless and electrifying work of his career, the poem “Howl.”

howl_movie_image_james_franco_01.jpgMeanwhile, in a San Francisco courtroom, “Howl” is on trial.  Prosecutor Ralph McIntosh (David Strathairn) sets out to prove that the book should be banned, while suave defense attorney Jake Ehrlich (Jon Hamm) argues fervently for freedom of speech and creative expression. The proceedings veer from the comically absurd to the fervently passionate as a host of unusual witnesses (Jeff Daniels, Mary Louise Parker, Treat Williams, Alessandro Nivola) pit generation against generation and art against fear in front of conservative Judge Clayton Horn (Bob Balaban).

The trial’s heated controversy and Ginsberg’s provocative memories are woven around “Howl” itself, its images of ecstasy and anguish, of desire, madness and wonder, brought to vivid, visceral life in a fever dream of inventive animation.  Echoing the vastness and originality of Ginsberg’s poem, HOWL mashes up genres and rides wild emotions as it reveals all the ways a fearless work of art impacted its creator and the world.

As always, are the clips are in the player below.  Once you push play you might have to watch a pre-roll ad and then all the clips will play in order.  Sorry about the pre-roll, it pays for the bandwidth.

Also, the second clip is out of sync.  Not our fault. It’s the way it was sent to us.

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