104 minutes, U.S.A., 2013, Colour, D-Cinema

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A freshman at Columbia University, Allen Ginsberg first encounters Lucien Carr when Carr is reciting salacious passages from Henry Miller aloud in the school study library. Ginsberg is immediately fascinated, and drawn into Carr’s libertine world of heavy drinking, mind-expanding drugs, jazz, poetry and grandiose manifestos, with William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac part of the clique. There’s sex, too, though while Ginsberg coyly avoids declaring his obvious desire for Carr, David Kammerer is an older man skirting around the group who has no such qualms in declaring his claims on the flamboyant student. The world is at war, and these are young men determined to change everything.

Based on true events, Daniel Radcliffe and Dane DeHaan are part of an exceptional cast in John Krokidas’ feature debut, an evocative, exhilarating depiction of the Beats before the best minds of that generation were destroyed by madness.(Notes by Michael Hayden.)

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