James Franco's portrayal of openly gay
beat generation poet Allen Ginsberg in Howl will open the
Portland Lesbian & Gay Film Festival.
The 14th annual festival
takes place October 1-9.
Howl takes a look at Ginsberg's
most famous poem, Howl, published in 1955 by City Lights, a
San Francisco-based bookstore. The poem became the subject of a
landmark obscenity trial that tested the boundaries of the First
You also get to see a bit of Ginsberg's
personal life in the movie, including his love life. Ginsberg's
lover, the poet Peter Orlovsky, is played by Aaron Tveit in the
Franco, who played Harvey Milk's lover,
Scott Smith, in last year's Milk, recently told UK paper The
Independent that he “would be happy to play 100 gay roles as
long as they were always good parts.”
Closing the festival nine days later
will be the period drama that examines the life of Anne Lister,
considered Britain's first modern lesbian.
The Diaries of Miss Anne Lister
made its U.S. premiere at Frameline, San Francisco's LGBT film
The film is set in 19th
century Yorkshire, England and adapted from Lister's astonishing
diaries, which were coded to conceal her lesbian affections. The
complete journal spans a staggering 4 million words and took nearly a
century to decipher.
Lister (played by Maxine Peake), an
industrialist and landowner, courts several women as she rejects the
marriage proposals of wealthy men and is nearly exposed as a lesbian.
The lush film, directed by James Kent,
is based on Helen Whitbread's groundbreaking 1992 book.