Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sundance Review: Kill Your Darlings

This is a cheesy video I made because I want my magazine to get lots of subscription and YouTube love, so watch it please!

When Michael C. Hall walked into the Eccles Center for his Sundance Premiere of Kill Your Darlings, he was dressed in monochromatic gray sweater and pants, and had a very unassuming nature. He also had a ready smile and talked a lot about his love of the Beatnik icons like Jack Kerouac (played beautifully by ravishing (and tall!) Jack Huston from Boardwalk Empire). He talked about the depths the film goes to in an eloquence that was unexpected. Not only is Hall refeshingly kind, succinct, and interesting--we also give him thumbs up for being well read and eloquent. During one moment, he said, honestly, that it's the one and only time in his life where he looked at the director and said, "Don't be an idiot, hire me."

The director, John Krokidas, is not an idiot. Thank God. Not only did he cast Michael C. Hall, he also rounded up such talent as Dane DeHaan, Ben Foster, newbie Elizabeth Olsen, and Daniel Radcliffe. When Radcliffe took to the stage for the Q & A, a member of the audience asked him, "Why are you drawn to such bizarre roles?" Radcliffe did a sweet little smile and looked like he was about 12. He was good natured and cracked a little joke about how parts he thinks are interesting, everyone else thinks are crazy-weird and that he's a weirdo for taking them. Truth be told, this movie is a far cry from Harry Potter days (thank God, again) and Daniel has a gay love scene in the film. I overheard one girl, a LDS woman from Utah, say as she left the screening, "I feel really guilty because that guy love scene totally turned me on."  I'd say that's pretty good praise when you're in Utah.

Set in 1944, the movie draws real figures from history like Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and William Burroughs together in an intriguing murder mystery. As Ginsberg (Radcliffe) ventures off to Columbia, he's pulled into a world of education, city life, new explorations in sexuality, and a bit of obsession. His obsession centers around a young man named Lucien Carr (played by Dane DeHaan). Carr soon commits an unexpected, but well documented murder that draws Gingsberg in even deeper into a world that unfolds before the audience in a true mastery of story telling. As is true for most Beat stories, the women don't have much to do.

The film started with a poem that one of the producers wrote on a stickie note and handed to his friend. He told his friend he wanted to write this play. His friend said, "Nope, you're gonna write a screenplay and I'm going to direct it." And they did. I like people who's dreams start on stickie notes and end up on the big screen at Sundance.

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