Friday, January 29, 2010

Farewell Howard Zinn. Thank you for everything.


Howard Zinn, Historian, Dies at 87

Published: January 27, 2010

Howard Zinn, historian and shipyard worker, civil rights activist and World War II bombardier, and author of “A People’s History of the United States,” a best seller that inspired a generation of high school and college students to rethink American history, died Wednesday in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 87 and lived in Auburndale, Mass. Full New York Times obit >>

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Burroughs: A Man Within Gets A Plug From Variety

William S. Burroughs: A Man Within



A Yonilizer Prods. and BulletProof Film presentation. (International sales: Submarine, New York.) Produced by Yony Leyser. Co-producers, Carmine Cervi, Ilko Davidov. Directed, written by Yony Leyser.

With: William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Regina Weinreich, Patti Smith, Amiri Baraka, John Waters, Peter Weller, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge.

For a guy who always looked cadaverous, William S. Burroughs has been overripe for the kind of substantive, stylistically simpatico docu treatment he gets from helmer Yony Leyser, whose "William S. Burroughs: A Man Within" does real justice to the Beat writer, gun nut and literary icon. Specialty/arthouse release would seem a real possibility, especially in urban centers, and more especially, New York. Full story >>

Huffington Post Nails It!

Fabio Periera

Fabio Periera

With any luck, later this year audiences everywhere will get to see "Howl," a brilliant film by Academy-Award winning documentary filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman. Starring James Franco as a young Allen Ginsberg, the film follows the 1957 trial surrounding the publication of his poem "Howl." full story >>

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Howl at Sundance - A Solid Recap from Vanity Fair

[The cast and crew the last day of filming in NYC, last year April. Producers Christine Walker and Elizabeth Redleaf are far left, and front row are Jeffrey Friedman, cinematographer Ed Lachman (in hat), James Franco and Rob Epstein. All wearing Ginsberg glasses courtesy the props department. photo: courtesy Jan McLaughlin]

by Jane Ganahl


So pled the sign at the shuttle bus stop outside Park City’s Eccles Theater on Thurdsay night. Inside, past the phalanx of photographers, past the mobs of bundled-up gawkers looking to get a glimpse at Howl’s decidedly hunky cast, led by James Franco and including Jon Hamm and David Strathairn, Sundance’s sold-out opening night film was set to begin. full story >>

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sundance Overview

[illustration: Eric Drooker]

[John Hamm left as defense attorney Jake Ehrlich and David Strathairn for the prosecution, in Rob Epstein & Jeffrey Friedman's Howl]

The reviews have been flooding in since Howl's premiere last Thursday at Sundance. For better or for worse, the information-age allows for instant reviews, virtually posted, minutes after the house-lights come up. Variety's Todd McCarthy probably one of the the first, praises it with an incredibly lukewarm touch, but we here at Ginzy Central seem to think Filmjunk have pretty well nailed it, line for line, both for the film and for answering the critics. They saw the same film we did, (we think!). Heartening too is Betsy Sharkey's LA Times review, published on Saturday, which ends: "“Howl” is not easy, and not commercial, but is it necessary? Absolutely. It is a tiny tributary of a movie, far from those churning mainstream waters, and quintessentially so, which seems exactly the creative stream that Sundance in its 26th year is supposed to be fording."'s Laremy Legel sees it as "a pursuit of honesty through poetic excellence," and seems to really get the writing angle more than a number of the others. And, last but not least, MTV's blog, though short and sweet, adds a nice helping of euphoria.
And here's a bit of a more sobering take from's Andrew O'Hehir.

We're still sifting through these as they come through, and, soon as the dust settles, should have a few more up for you to peruse for your amusement.

Here are a couple of You Tube clips meanwhile:

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Howl on film...

After 8 years in the making, and plenty of reinventions, Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman's film Howl has finally arrived. It screened to a select audience in NYC Monday, but has it's official premiere tomorrow night at Sundance, and the first reviews are just starting to trickle in.

A few words from James Franco in Vanity Fair appeared online, but pretty much the official first review comes from B Ruby Rich courtesy London's Guardian:

Ginsberg's Howl resounds on film

In 1955, Allen Ginsberg performed a poem about sex, drugs and race that became a battlecry for the US counterculture. It also led to an obscenity trial. B Ruby Rich on a new film about the epic Howl >>

[Allen Ginsberg, 5 Turner Terrace, Potrero Hill, San Francisco, June 1956. - Photo Snapped by Peter Orlovsky. c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

"Arm yourselves with 'Leaves of Grass,' immediately."

from the Village Voice Clip Job: Ken Kesey Reappears, Is Busted

Thumbnail image for VVLogo15.jpg
Clip Job: an excerpt every day from the Voice archives.

October 27, 1966, Vol. XII, No. 2

Kesey Reappears, Is Jailed in California

Ken Kesey has been busted.

The elusive novelist, who returned from exile in Mexico two weeks ago to remain in the U.S. "as a fugitive and as salt in the wounds of J. Edgar Hoover," is now in the Redwood City Jail in California. He is charged with possession of marijuana.

full article >>

And from Salt Lake City's SLUG Magazine, more props for Yony Leyser's William S Burroughs: A Man Within documentary which premiere's at Slamdance next Friday, which means we'll all get a shot at seeing it later this year sometime. Full Story >>

Monday, January 11, 2010

Benefit for Tuli Kupferberg January 22

For those of you in the NYC area, we've got an amazing lineup of talent coming out to support Tuli Kupferberg.

January 22, 7:30pm,
St. Ann's Warehouse, 38 Water St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Sonic Youth
Jeff Lewis
Lou Reed
John Zorn Trio
The Fugs
Produced by Hal Willner

Kupferberg suffered two strokes in April and September 2009 which left him virtually blind, confined to his apartment and in need of 24-hour care. He is recovering well—he is able to speak clearly—but has overwhelming medical ($3,500 a month!) expenses not covered by Medicare or the very modest publishing/royalties income he earns at the age of 86. A number of his friends and admirers are coming to his aid by performing in a benefit concert produced by Hal Willner, including his fellow Fugs, Jeff Lewis, John Kruth and an all-star band, Lou Reed, Sonic Youth, Pete Stampfel, John Zorn and others who will be announced soon.

click here for tix >>

If you can't make the show, you can still make a tax deductible donation through the Fugs' website >>

update - see also