An obscure and difficult to watch movie about an obscure and difficult to read poet. It’s the brief life of Hart Crane a poet and writer well regarded by his peers but who was one very unhappy homosexual who took his own life in 1932 when he was mere 33 years old.
In his short career Crane’s perpetually failed to achieve his own writing goals:he so desperately wanted to write an epic tome like ‘The Waste Land’, and that compounded his deep discomfort with being gay. On a professional basis it didn’t stop the likes of Eugene O’Neil writing a forward for one of his books, and on a personal basis it didn’t stop Crane from working his way through half of the French Fleet at one time. In fact it was after making an (unwanted) pass at a Sailor that poor Crane jumped overboard to his death.
The hand held camera is shaky and bordering on annoying: the story is patchy and confusing, and if you know little about Crane before viewing, you really wont be a lot wiser afterwards. This very odd movie has been bought to the screen by James Franco who directed, starred, wrote the screen play in what is obviously something of a passion (obsession?) with the man. (And coming so soon after ‘Howl’ where he portrayed Allen Ginsberg another gay poet).
I know now from my ‘research’ that I am far from alone in being unable to understands Crane’s poetry, and I am most definitely not the only one who simply didn’t get Mr. Franco’s movie. And no, the mere fact that Mr. Franco has his own ‘Brown Bunny’ type scene where he performs fellatio on some sailor’s prosthetic, is still not worth wading through this one!
It went straight to DVD. but is available on Netflix