“The Beat Goes On” -oh no! oh yes, but, of course, someone just hadda use that as their headline! – Well, the orgy of press-coverage of Daniel Radcliffe donning tortoise-shell specs, tweed jacket, scarf, and all, to commence playing the role of Allen in the forthcoming (2013) John Krokidas movie Kill Your Darlings has left us…well (it has to be confessed) just a teensy bit..nauseous. “Daniel Radcliffe channels his inner geek for new role as Beat poet Allen Ginsberg”, Eleanor Gower declares (accompanying one of the more comprehensive sets of pictures) in London’s notorious Daily Mail, and, notwithstanding that “geek” thing, proceeds to report the news with a curious salacious (dare we say it? homophobic) slant – “The star (Daniel Radcliffe) is playing gay Beat poet Allen Ginsberg today filming scenes with actor Dane DeHaan who plays Beat Generation member Lucien Carr. Daniel and Dane today filmed a scene which showed their characters bonding and holding hands. At one point they threw their arms around each other as they ran down the street. Another scene showed Dane lying on the floor with his head resting on Daniel’s leg. The actors seemed comfortable in each others company, despite the close nature of the scenes and at one point shared a joke while sitting on the Brooklyn pavement.. “Close nature”? Goodness me! – We’d draw your attention to David S Willis’s perspicacious observations from last December, when Radcliffe’s participation was first announced – “Homophobia in the Media’s Treatment of New Ginsberg Movie”, and that underlying fear (unvoiced by many) – to use suitable metaphors – that Harry Potter’s “gone over to the dark side”!
“Harry Poeter, Harry Hotter”? – the headline writer’s task is clearly not an enviable one. Perez Hilton clearly thinks he needs that exclamation point when he’s dishing the awful news – Harry Potter – The Poet!
Sometimes the header is just plain bizarre – “Daniel Radcliffe’s Ginsberg Hair Helps Him Shed Harry Potter” . Sometimes, just catty – “Daniel Radcliffe Plays Much Sexier Allen Ginsberg” (“The casting gods continue to smile on Allen Ginsberg…”). The comparisons with James Franco (and, with, to a lesser extent, Tom Sturridge and David Cross (from I’m Not There) continue to abound. The International Business Times (of all places!) has the requisite gladiatorial combat -“The Better Allen Ginsberg? – Daniel Radcliffe versus James Franco” (you can vote on this singular non-event also at celebuzz.com, should you desire).
Even People magazine’s relatively even-handed coverage contains this curiously unthought-out sentence – “Though Jewish, Ginsberg was an adherent to mysticism” – Ever heard of the Kabbalah? – or Martin Buber, anybody?