Sunday, November 30, 2014

Kill Your Darlings an ode to the Writer's Movement

Kill You Darlings, a film directed by John Krokidas, centers around writing and the great poets of the beat generation. The Beat generation was a cultural movement that essentially consisted of rebellion from strict society, separating from traditional writing, and inspiring a countercultural ideology. The film focus’s on Allen Ginsberg, played by Daniel Radcliffe, and his group of writers pushing against society in the most radical sense for their new writing style. Throughout the film the group goes through a series events that include getting absurdly intoxicated as well as breaking the law in multiple instances for the sake of their writing. Inevitably at the end of the film the protagonist Allen Ginsberg completely devotes his life for the preservation of his work and his self-respect as a writer.

 One of the most important scenes in the film that establishes the characters devotion to their writing is when they first conceive their idea for their new literary movement. In this scene the characters directly state their vision of straying from contemporary and traditional writing and expanding to what is considered wrong or forbidden writing. They reference Walt Whitman who, “ hated rhyme and meter, the whole point of untucking your shirt” in reference to present day poets and poetry who wrote in a rigid order and structure such as Ogden Nash.

Another series of scenes in the film that portrays the characters’ conviction to their writing is their drug abuse montage. This montage is intercut between shots of them planning out their “new vision” and shots of them taking drugs or drinking. Their drug use is not arbitrary; rather they use a “derangement of the senses” to further their understanding of their perspectives on life and society. Not only does drug use separate them from society in the sense that is causes them to actually think differently but the using narcotics in the 1950s is so ostracized that it disconnects them even more. With the drugs and new light on literature they begin to transcend their day-to-day living, inspired and driven to form their new work which becomes tangible at the end of the montage.
Kill Your Darlings is a film about writers rebelling against contemporary society and literature to establish their own counterculture movement. They are writers who start the beat generation and disassociate themselves from conventions. 

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