Kill Your Darlings: The (not so) Humble Beginnings of the Beat Generation.


For the uninitiated, the beat generation essentially consisted of the cultural movement that sprang up after a number of writers came into popularity during the 50’s, including Ginsberg, Burroughs and Kerouac. This movie is a portrayal of the Kammerer murder, an event that occured early on, during the beat generations beginnings.

The movies events, more or less, are accurate, with some exceptions and some ambiguities. Lucien Carr, a beat writer and central figure in the film, denies that the events portrayed in this and other works are accurate, and instead sticks to a story of Kammerer being a stalker and a pedophile who was attempting to attack him after a failed sexual advance. Aside from this, the portrayal of Jack Kerouac was interesting, but a bit off base, if memory serves, but to be fair, it is a biographical drama and all in all, basically a fictional retelling.

The movie was fun to watch and a very interesting take on the beat generation writers beginnings. It focuses on a sort of historical footnote, but it also gives an interesting portrayal of what the beat generation began as, and what it was about. From Jazz to substances and sex, it covers quite a bit of the appeal of the beat writers and their world, the world of the 50’s, and more importantly, it’s underworld.

I think the movie is a pretty good introduction to the beat generation, just because of it’s accessibility and interesting portrayal. This write up, of course, isn’t intended as a full fledged literary critique, but as an introduction to an interesting film some may not have come across.