the obscenity trial of allen ginsberg's landmark poem, "howl" took place in san francisco during the summer of 1957 (after seizure by undercover customs officials from "city lights bookstore" and then again by san francisco police officers) - that has been written about extensively, and is part of first amendment lore. tomorrow, the film "howl" which dramatizes the trial and backstory, starring james franco as the young allen ginsberg, has its world premier the 2010 sundance film festival!
the "docudrama" has been a long time in reaching the screen - originally planned for a 2007 release, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the trial. it missed that ambitious target by a few years. regardless, i can't wait to see "howl" when distribution is expanded and finds its way to the east coast - new york city in particular.
back in the fall of 2008, i posted that "howl" had been cast and was finally moving forward. ironically, ginsberg himself was never at the trial - nor anywhere in the united states, for that matter! franco won't have any courtroom appearances in the film. but jon hamm (that erstwhile mad man) will play jake "never plead guilty" erlich, the fiery lead defense attorney.
"howl" is a "must see" for my 2010 movie list :D