Kill Your Darlings
Daniel Radcliffe shines as the young Allen Ginsberg in this fresh and vibrant take on the early days of the Beat Generation.
The story of the Beat Generation is well documented in cinema, but rarely has it been rendered with such originality and fervour as in John Krokidas’ striking debut, Kill Your Darlings. Following the trails of a young Allen Ginsberg as he navigates his way through freshman year at Colombia in 1944, the film recounts his burgeoning friendships with William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, and his increasingly noxious relationship with the volatile Lucien Carr; to whom Ginsberg would later dedicate his celebrated poem ‘Howl’. In the lead role, Daniel Radcliffe shines as the infamous young poet desperate to escape from his academic prison and figure out the man he wants to be. If Radcliffe is a revelation, then so too is director Krokidas, who infuses each scene with an urgency and sense of discovery that makes it so visually distinctive without ever overshadowing the emotional authenticity that exists at its core.
John Krokidas received his BA in Theater and American Studies from Yale University, where he studied acting before attending New York University’s Graduate Film Program. He wrote and directed two short films at NYU. His first, Shame No More played at over 70 film festivals around the world and sold to 10 countries, airing on such channels as Arte and Canal Plus before becoming part of the short film collection Queer as F**K and airing on IFC and PBS in the US. His second short film, Slo-Mo, premiered at the Telluride Film Festival and went on to play Sundance before airing on HBO, PBS and the Sundance Channel. Sundance chose Slo-Mo to be part of its 20th Anniversary Best of the Fest. Since graduating, Krokidas has written screenplays for Universal Studios, Miramax, producers Bruce Cohen (American Beauty, Milk), Alan Poul (Newsroom, Six Feet Under), Michael Stipe’s Single Cell Pictures (Being John Malkovich) and actress Renee Zellweger (Bridget Jones’s Diary, Chicago). Krokidas wrote and directed a PSA starring Jack Nicholson (Jack and Hill) for the 2008 Presidential Election that was chosen by CNN as one of its Best Political Ads of the Year. And in 2011, Krokidas was chosen by The Advocate magazine as one of its Top 40 Under 40. Krokidas has taught filmmaking and lectured at the University of Southern California, New York University, the New School and Yale University. He is represented by Andrew Cannava and Keya Khayatian at the United Talent Agency and by Steve Dontanville and Frank Frattaroli at Circle of Confusion. Kill Your Darlings marks Krokidas’ feature directorial debut.
Enjoy a world of benefits with BFI Cinema Membership.
Follow the BFI London Film Festival live blog.