James Franco as Allen Ginsberg in "Howl." Werc Werk Works
Movie distributor Oscilloscope Laboratories has posted an online trailer for “Howl,” the docudrama/fantasia starring James Franco as Beat poet Allen Ginsberg.
The Sundance opening night title, produced by Minneapolis boutique studio Werc Werk Works, is the first fictionalized effort from Oscar-winning documentarians Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (“The Celluloid Closet,” “Common Threads: Stories From the Quilt.”) The filmmakers were approached by the Allen Ginsberg Trust to make a film commemorating the 50th anniversary of his groundbreaking book-length poem “Howl.” It dramatizes the obscenity trial launched against Ginsberg’s publisher. Among the real-life characters featured in the film are prosecuting attorney Ralph McIntosh (David Strathairn), Judge Clayton Horn (Bob Balaban), prosecution witness Professor David Kirk (Jeff Daniels), radio personality and prosecution witness Gail Potter (Mary-Louise Parker) and literary critic and defense witness Luther Nichols (Alessandro Nivola). Graphic novelist and Ginsberg collaborator Eric Drooker contributed an animated reimagining of Ginsberg’s poetry, and frequent Coen brothers collaborator Carter Burwell wrote the original score.
Oscilloscope, founded in 2008 by Adam Yauch, a founding member of the Beastie Boys. It's not a big distributor, but it is a discerning one. The firm's releases to date include the Oscar-nominated documentary “The Garden;" Kellu Reichardt's “Wendy and Lucy,” starring Michelle Williams; Anders Østergaard’s multi award-winning “Burma VJ;” and Oren Moverman’s award-winning Army drama “The Messenger,” starring Woody Harrelson.
“Howl” is set to hit theaters on September 24, 2010.