New York Premiere


Oct 25, 2010
6:30 PM ET
New York


Now in his nineties, poetry icon Lawrence Ferlinghetti helped to foster the postwar literary sensibility while becoming the best-selling poet of the modern era. In this definitive documentary, director Christopher Felver crafts a sharply wrought portrait that reveals Ferlinghetti's inspiring role as catalyst for numerous literary careers and for the Beat Movement itself.

Felver's one-on-one interviews with Ferlinghetti, made over the course of a decade, touch upon a rich mélange of characters and events that challenged America after World War II. Ferlinghetti's infamous censorship trial for his publication of Allen Ginsberg's Howl in 1956 launched a social rebellion against fifties conformity. By winning the trial, Ferlinghetti set a precedent that secured the First Amendment rights of publishing and preserved the freedom of speech in literature.

This portrait explores the world of San Francisco's legendary poet, artist, publisher, and civil libertarian. Ferlinghetti's City Lights Bookstore became the embodiment of social change and literary freedom since its founding in 1953. Ferlinghetti reads many of his significant poems and discusses his political and social activism, giving viewers an insight into his public and private personae. The documentary features archival photographs and footage of Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Dennis Hopper, Dave Eggers, and the poet himself as he reads from A Coney Island of the Mind, Ferlinghetti manifests what it means to be a rebel poet, a renegade publisher, and a true bearer of the Whitman tradition. After the screening, Ferlinghetti will skype in from his San Francisco home to answer questions.

Join us for a complimentary reception after the event at 8:00 pm. 

Christopher Felver, Filmmaker
Lawrence Ferlinghetti (via Skype)
David Amram, Composer
Bob Holman, Poet
Bill Morgan, Bibliographer
Anne Waldman, Poet
Others to be announced.

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