Category Archives: Jerry Portwood

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Angel-Headed Hipster

Artist Eric Drooker howled with Ginsberg, illustrates his epic poem

By Jerry Portwood

You probably know artist Eric Drooker’s work even though you may not recognize his name. He’s produced artwork for over a dozen covers of The New Yorker, several depicting books stacked to resemble skyscrapers. Now his art has been adapted as animated sequences in Howl, the film about the landmark 1957 obscenity trial on the publication of Allen Ginsberg’s epic poem Howl, starring James Franco. Read full review in NY Press >>

And A.O. Scott’s New York Times Review.

Aaron Tveit and James Franco in “Howl.” Jojo Whilden/Oscilloscope Laboratories

Leaping Off the Page, a Beatnik’s Poetic Rant

I saw the best poems of previous generations destroyed by sanity, well-fed, calm, neatly dressed, tiptoeing through lecture halls at 10 a.m. looking for a passing grade on a term paper. Read full New York Times Review >>

Bob Holman’s review for…

Howl – The Movie

James Franco IS Allen Ginsberg


I want medals all around for those who are bringing us the movie Howl, already released in San Francisco, due in New York next week—I mean that tells you something right there, and I like it! Yes, this is a movie based on a poem—when was the last time you saw one of those? And it’s done real smart too—while they get most of the lines of Ginsberg’s classic into the film, they serve another purpose here, or several purposes, and a linear rendering just ain’t one of them. Read full review >>

And a quite good one from NPR’s Scott Tobias as well…

James Franco, Loosing A ‘Howl’ In Ginsberg’s Honor

James Franco as Allen Ginsberg

In an interview with Playboy magazine — see, people do read it for the articles — Allen Ginsberg was asked about his struggles to accept his homosexuality. His answer, re-created in the unconventional and illuminating biopic Howl, cuts to the heart of what his poems (and this movie) seek to express. Read full Story >>

And the Wall Street Journal gives especially good review of Drooker’s animation sequences.

An animated scene, drawn by Eric Drooker, from the new film ‘Howl.’ [Oscilloscope Laboratories]

“Howl,” the new film about Allen Ginsberg and his controversial poem, is no simple narrative. The action flits among the titular poem’s first public reading—at San Francisco’s Six Gallery on Oct. 7, 1955—to the obscenity trial that followed in 1957 to an interview with the poet (played by James Franco). Meanwhile, soaring in and around all this are long stretches of animation depicting the text’s urban, surrealist visions. Read full story >>


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Filed under A O Scott, Allen Ginsberg, Bob Holman, Eric Drooker, Howl, James Franco, Jeffrey Friedman, Jerry Portwood, New York Press, New York Times, Rob Epstein, Scott Tobias, Wall Street Journal