Stop putting it off, part 2

So, I’ve watched the first two films from my list and, whilst neither of them blew me away, I am glad that I watched them.

9 is an imaginative, but flawed, animated film set in post-apocalyptic world where the only survivors are a troupe of strange little creatures, created by a scientist, and the semi-sentient machine that brought around the destruction of the human race.

The world is well-realised and at times strikingly beautiful (in a grubby, post-apocalyptc kind of way). The plot is imaginative and pretty compelling, yet the film is let down by some terrible pacing and a general lack of character and story development.

Next up is Howl, a film that attempts to pay its respects to one of the most well-known poems produced by the beat generation. I wasn’t familiar with Howl (the name of the poem as well as the film) or its author, Allen Ginsberg.

The poem is brutally honest and contains no small amount of what many would consider ‘obscene language’. It sparked a great deal of controversy when it was released in 1955 and was ultimately the focus of a trial, where the book’s publishers were challenged to defend the books literary merits.

The film is quietly contemplative as it considers the importance of freedom of speech to literature and the challenges that an author faces as he tries to honestly channel his ‘real voice’. It’s a mash up of flashbacks, talking head reproductions of interviews with Ginsberg (James Franco turns in an understated, gentle performance), court room scenes (in which Ginsberg plays no direct part) and animated segments that attempt to channel the spirit of the poem.

 

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