Set to play at TIFF in the coming week, one of the fall’s most anticipated films, Kill Your Darlings, has now graced us with an official trailer. Directed by John Krokidas—in his feature-length debut—the film stars Daniel Radcliffe as Allen Ginsberg in a drama that tackles both the jazzy thrill and darker underbelly of the Beat generation.
With a stacked historical cast of Jack Huston as Jack Kerouac, Dane DeHaan as Lucien Carr, Elizabeth Olsen as Edie Parker, Ben Foster as William Burroughs, and Michael C. Hall as David Kammerer, the film unfolds to tell the true story of a murder that took place in 1944 and the surrounding arrests of Kerouac, Burroughs, and Carr.
In their Sundance review of the film, the Guardian wrote:
Inevitably for a Beat story, the women don’t have too much to do, but Krokidas rather beautifully undermines the overly male nature of this world by firmly setting the high-faluting ideals of the tough-talking but, let’s face it, largely draft-dodging Beats against the brutal context of the second world war. He also resists the temptation to divide the group’s protean sexuality into gay and straight, instead portraying events as a kind of underground Big Bang that sent Ginsberg, Kerouac and Burroughs off to their respective parts of the literary universe.
Best of all, though, it creates a true sense of energy and passion, for once eschewing the clacking of typewriter keys to show artists actually talking, devising, and ultimately daring each other to create and innovate. And though it begins as a murder-mystery, Kill Your Darlings may be best described as an intellectual moral maze, a story perfectly of its time and yet one that still resonates today.
The film’s official synopsis reads:
In this dynamic portrait of the early days of the Beat Generation, a young Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe) and William S. Burroughs (Ben Foster) become embroiled in the notorious 1944 murder of Burroughs’ childhood friend David Kammerer by the object of his affection, the Rimbaudian Beat muse Lucien Carr.