Fans of the Beat Generation should try to check out the new Angelheaded Hipsters display at the National Theatre, London.
The title for the show comes from Allen Ginsberg's infamous poem Howl and the display, organised by photographic agency Corbis, features prints made from images in Ginsberg's archive. Mainly snapshots taken in the early 50s, together they create a fascinating insight into the scene and feature images of the likes of Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs and Neal Cassady.
If that captures your interest, you may also be interested in an event the National Theatre is hosting on 19 Feb. Subtitled 'discovering the beat movement', poet Michael Horovitz and Barry Miles, co-founder of International Times and Ginsberg's biographer, have been invited along to discuss the lasting influence of the Beats.
The display is free, while the event costs £5.
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The schedule for the BFI London Film Festival was announced this week, which includes a few titles that should appeal to the retro enthusiast.
There are three noteworthy music documentaries; The Ballad of Mott The Hoople, which mixes their reunion tour of 2009 with interviews and footage from the 1970s; Upside Down: The Creation Records Story, which charts the ups and down the record label through the 80s and 90s; and Lemmy, which like the man himself, probably needs no further introduction.
For those interested in the Beat writers, there is the documentary William S. Burroughs: A Man Within and Howl described as “an imaginative interpretation of Allen Ginsberg's poem” with the 1957 obscenity trail at its centre.
If you’ve already visited the City Lights Bookshop and Vesuvio’s bar in San Francisco, devotees of the Beat writers may be interested in the hotel in Paris’ Latin Quarter at 9 Rue Gît-le-Coeur. Famous residents of this hotel included William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso, whose stay there was recorded by another guest, the photographer Harold Chapman.
The hotel has been restored from the run-down state it was in during the Beats’ heyday so there isn’t much to see there beyond a plaque, but fortunately Chapman’s photographs survive and will be showing in the exhibition The Beat Hotel at Proud Chelsea. Chapman’s photographs give a detailed account of the daily lives of the Beats and it was here that Williams Borroughs wrote Naked Lunch.
The Beat Hotel exhibition runs from the 29 July to 29 August 2010 at Proud Chelsea. Visit the Proud website for further details.