Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Curation #12 from my Kerouac bookshelf: Kill Your Darlings (DVD)

Item #12 in my Kerouac bookshelf curation project is the DVD of the 2013 film, Kill Your Darlings. Directed by John Krokidas, it runs 104 minutes. I purchased this DVD with the intention of possibly showing it to my Kerouac class at the University of Maine at Farmington, but I never did. As such, it is still in the original shrink-wrap.

I watched this film once when it first came out, and haven't re-visited it. I remember not liking it all that much. It just wasn't compelling for me. Regular Daily Beat readers will know its background. It basically tells the story of several Beat Generation figures in the early years (Lucien Carr, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, and Jack Kerouac), focusing around the 1944 murder of David Kammerer by Carr. I've said previously that I try not to get into the weeds of analyzing the accuracy of a film adaptation of a novel, but this film presents itself more or less as a true story. Lucien Carr's own son, Caleb (author of The Alienist) is on record as saying the film is terribly inaccurate, relying too much on Ginsberg's slanted recollections. A friend of mine, who will remain nameless but who knows a lot about the Beats and Carr in particular, hates this film for its inaccurate portrayal of Carr et al.

Hence, watch it with a grain of salt. Or skip it and read Burroughs' and Kerouac's version of events in And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks. Or do some Googling (Carr, Kammerer, murder) and read any of the dozens of articles on the subject.

Below is a picture of the top shelf of my Kerouac bookshelf showing the placement of my Kill Your Darlings DVD (8th item in the pile) on the day I started curating my collection. Next up: Howl, the film.

The top of my Kerouac bookshelf

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