Recently we had the opportunity to chat with John Krokidas and Austin Bunn, the writers of the upcoming KILL YOUR DARLINGS, about the inception of the Beat movement at Columbia University in the mid-1940s.
Allen Ginsberg – he of Howl And Other Poems - arrived at Columbia in 1944, where he met William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac and Lucien Carr. Carr became a lynchpin in the creation of the beat movement, but later bowed out after he was placed on trial for the murder of David Kammerer – a charge he successfully reduced to manslaughter after mounting an “honor slaying” defense, which argued that Carr was the victim of homosexual predation.
Ginsberg dedicated Howl to Carr, but Carr successfully lobbied to have the dedication removed. The poem itself still makes reference to him, however.
The killing is also chronicled in the book And the Hippos Were Boiled In Their Tanks by Burroughs and Kerouac, written in 1945 but not published until 2008 – well after Bunn and Krokidas had finished the bulk of their screenplay.
Krokidas directed the film, which stars Daniel Radcliffe as Ginsberg, Dane DeHaan as Carr, and Michael C. Hall as Kammerer. In this interview, Bunn and Krokidas chat with us about taking years to write the script, what drove them to finish, and the challenge of writing about some of the 20th Century’s most important writers.