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John Krokidas took the job of researching the birth of the Beats for KILL YOUR DARLINGS very seriously, even going so far as to sneak into the apartment building where Jack Kerouac had lived while attending Berkeley. And then talking his way into the actual apartment Kerouac had rented, and surprising the current tenants with its illustrious history. When I spoke to Krokidas on October 7, 2013, we also covered his other adventures in Beat history to be found in San Francisco, as well as how he got permission to film at Columbia University, where Alan Ginsburg had matriculated, getting Daniel Radcliffe to stay attached to the project for years while Krokidas worked out funding, and the collaborative partnership the two forged. We also discussed what I consider Krokidas’ brilliant casting against type with David Cross and Ben Foster, as well as why a film about first times meant so much to this first-time director. We also discovered a modern darling that we should consider killing.
KILL YOUR DARLINGS is his film about rebellion, passion, and the birth of the Beats. Daniel Radcliffe plays Alan Ginsburg before he was a legend as he heads off to college and co-founds a literary movement that turns society on its head. It starts with his meeting Lucien Carr, a troubled fellow student who introduces Ginsburg to the counter-culture of the WWII years, as well as future fellow beats, William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac. He also introduces him to David Kammerer, his lover who has tenaciously followed Carr from university to university despite the emotional toll their relationship has taken on each of them. The film co-stars Michael C Hall, Dane DeHaan, Jack Huston, Ben Foster, Elizabeth Olsen, David Cross, Kyra Sedgwick, and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Krokidas directed from a script he co-wrote with Austin Bunn, and this is his feature film debut.