Remembering Peter Orlovsky

BY Advocate Contributors

June 02 2010 2:20 PM ET

ALLEN GINSBERG PETER ORLOVSKY MAIN X390 (FAIR USE) | ADVOCATE.COM

In our film we combined Peter’s howling story with a story Allen told about the two of them tripping on peyote in downtown San Francisco at night and seeing the biblical monster Moloch emerge from the overpowering architecture towering above them.

Peter never got a chance to see our finished movie — also called Howl — about the poem that launched the literary movement that came to be known as the Beat Generation and that would inspire many of the counterculture movements that followed. We did write to Peter a couple of weeks ago, to tell him all of the good things that were happening with the movie and its impending release. We enclosed a production still from the film that had been inspired by a famous photo of Allen and Peter on a park bench taken by Harold Chapman in the '50s. We re-created the moment with James Franco as Allen and Aaron Tveit as Peter, trying to capture the sense of sweet contentment we saw in their faces. We thought Peter would enjoy our casting choices.

At least he would get a chuckle out of it. 

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