The Broken Tower

The Broken Tower

DVD - 2011
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From Focus World and director/star James Franco. Hart Crane was one of the most important voices in American poetry, but lived a life with as much turmoil as passion. From his early life to his journeys from New York, Cuba and Paris, Crane's story and that of the loves that defined him is told with imaginative empathy, and with a no holds barred performance, in a film as introspective, rebellious, heartbreaking, and honest as Crane himself.
Publisher: Port Washington, NY : Entertainment One, [2011]
ISBN: 9781417237036
Branch Call Number: DVD Broken
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (110 min.) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in


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Dec 18, 2018

If you just can't get Hart Crane's wonderful poetry out of your head, this will be a natural for you.

If your response to his poetry, at least initially, is similar to the young society women transfixed by his reading here, although almost certainly at a loss as to what it is all about, you still might find reason to jump in.

That, in part, is because the film is guided by a very respected biography of Crane, and therefore feeds our natural curiosity about how people are and possibly what was in play to allow them to be that way.

As I watched, I was reminded of James Dean; later I learned that Franco has received honors for playing that role. This has a remarkably negative rating on Rotten, though the Times man was positive. Some I think are irritated because they smell pretentiousness. Others might be sickened by what they perceive as an irresponsible person. I thought of the phrase, 'Philosophers bake no bread', but man, after all, does not live by bread alone.

We've seen many young people, even seeming brilliant ones, check out early. And they produced much beauty in the eyes of many. Varied and beautiful lotuses, floating in their special elements.

From another angle, the term 'queer' is used here. That term has faded, in favor of gay. This has not forced people into declaring themselves somber. I wonder if compassion might have allowed a truer acceptance of homosexuality without that change. We have managed to maintain an idea of strength, and an idea of weakness. Just facts.

kevfarley Feb 28, 2014

I "drowned in conceptual overload",.. and had to give up !

akirstan Feb 04, 2014

This is a brilliant work if you have the "art, knowledge, film, writing" to know the topic and subject, if you have the time to invest and watch this as a celluloid lyrical imagery narrative. If you dont have some background, you will drown in conceptual overload. You have to put on you "listening ears", and your "seeing eyes" to absorb this. Its about the pathos-humanity of one man, his life and writings. Like a piece of artwork at a museum, or a book like "look homeward angel" by thomas wolfe, you have to view it a few times. But its not based just on a film maker's art but also collegiate research discussed with collegiate experts. That's the spin or rub as you would have it. I would say pay more attention to what is happening cinematically as the films spins out as to more than the concrete facts of him being born , ate and slept and traveled. Stand back and watch James Franco weave and "exacto-knife" out this piece. NOW about James Franco: As the "in process" of James Franco's creative expression begins to present the "creartiste", movies/films such as this that are rich in intelligensia from the areas of university philosophy, hollywood technique-ing, and his "inner creatrix--this film of Hart Crane and topic was crunched down, distilled, vetted, immaculately researched and lyrically presented. How many people understand the medium of black and white filming? How many people need linear story telling of beginning-middle-end? How many people read poety? When you take these 4 vast areas and present an opus of them, its enough to follow one theme ! 1) The parade of black and white imagery, 2) the concept of a simple recitation of a 10 minute poem presented in its entirety, 3) the dialogue, 4) the budget and the wherewithal to produce a movie on an obscure non-mainstream subject that only universities "explicat-sophies-es" and opine as literature royalty, and 4) an "emerging-in process-artist" with his bundle of inner creative tools, thoughts, skills whose inner urge is to present "That"--"Artifact", you get "Broken Towers" . This is no small "artsy-film house - wine glass movie" It is fresh, it is new because no one of his Hollywood statue has done this. And He is at the beginning of his creative work, because the mistake is to think that James Franco is at the top of his profession because he is at the top of Hollywood Acting Cinema. All those role and films are the beginning jump off point to His "Creartiste Nature" He was born to create and acting was the first avenue his talent perfected. I am sure as more films works by Jame Franco appear, He will someday be a "University Film School Topic or Genre" to study. No one understood cubism at first unless you were/are an artist. The language of line, color, shape,dimension presented on a flat piece of paper. "Broken Towers" is a carved and etched sculpture of film, black and white imagery, dialog, craft, philosophy and humanity as best presented by any filmmaker. Everything that you see is because James Franco wants you to see it. whether you like it or think its genius, that's not the point. Its a moving "dissertationic thesis" in lyrical celluloid. I'll coin a few words "Franco-sense...Franco-stein Franco-ic...Fran-conic or "that's very james franco"" if he produces more works, he end up owning these names to name his style. "James Franco-The Actor" came after James Franco-The Creartiste" even though "James Franco-The Actor" made Himself known first, and actually "James Franco-The Creartiste's" first creation IS "James Franco-The Actor"

kurasawa1 Oct 22, 2013

slow but worth seeing even if you do other things while it is on. Sincere

jmmason Oct 18, 2012

Some things, like anchovies, are an acquired taste. Well, I have now acquired that taste for them. Not so with James Franco, who I still find to be so off-putting in all ways. Maybe his participation in this project garnered some investment interest, but the movie itself does not benefit from his presence. Like the Oscar telecast he hosted, there is no "there" there.

Aug 22, 2012

I only watched 10 min. and I just couldn't get into it. So my half star is for that 10 min.


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