April is National Poetry Month!
We have a great many documentaries and learning resources on poets (see our filmography here). But we also have some home use titles for you as well! Have you seen these poetry themed movies?
Basketball Diaries (HU DVD 1990) – Teamed with his friends Mickey, Neutron and Pedro, high school student Jim Carroll seems headed for a bright basketball career. But when pressures from his coach, his mom, and school seem to mount, Jim finds solace in all the wrong places, and the dark streets of New York begin to tear him apart. This film is based on the autobiography Jim Carroll, a poet and artist.
Before Night Falls (HU DVD 486) – A look at the life of Cuban poet, novelist, and playwright Reinaldo Arenas, from childhood in Cuba to his death in New York City. His writings and homosexuality get him in trouble with Castro’s Cuba and he spends two years in prison before leaving for the United States.
Dead Poets Society (HU DVD 303) – Robin Williams portrays English professor John Keating, who, in an age of crew cuts, sport coats and cheerless conformity, inspires his students to live life to the fullest, exclaiming “Carpe Diem, lads! Seize the day. Make your lives extraordinary!” The charismatic teacher’s emotionally charged challenge is met by his students with irrepressible enthusiasm, but leads to tragedy for one student. All their lives may be changed forever, but the audience is left with a promise of hope for the future. Be true to your self and follow your own path.
Kill Your Darlings (HU DVD 11460) – A true story of obsession and murder. When Allen Ginsberg is accepted at Columbia, he finds stuffy tradition clashing with the daringly modern ideas and attitudes- embodied by Lucien Carr. Lucien is an object of fascination for shy, unsophisticated Allen, and soon he is drawn into Lucien’s hard-drinking, jazz-clubbing circle of friends, including William Burroughs and David Kammerer, who clearly resents Allen’s position as Lucien’s new sidekick. A true story of friendship, love and murder, Kill York Darlings recounts the pivotal year that changed Allen Ginsberg’s life forever and provided the spark for him to start his creative revolution.
Slam (HU DVD 158) – Trapped in Dodge City, a drug-infested war zone in southeast Washington D.C., Ray Joshua gets caught up in a drug deal gone bad and is sucked into the criminal justice system. In jail he finds truth in himself and his craft through Lauren Bell, a beautiful and charismatic writing teacher who leads him to the path of salvation. Using his talent for poetic rap, Ray learns to survive and rise above the pain of his lost generation.
Total Eclipse (HU DVD 7120) – Paul Verlaine, a writer, is torn between his growing infaturation with the genius poet Arthur Rimbaud and the domestic demands of his patient wife.