The Beat Goes On: Kill Your Darlings, 2013


Longtime comment-leaver “Old School” is always sending us tidbits of info. His latest was in regards to the film “Kill Your Darlings,” which centers around the early days of the Beat Generation at Columbia University in 1944.

We thanked Old School and told him the material was intriguing, though we feared the homoerotic theme might freak out our more fuddy-duddy readers. Old School replied:

You’re probably right. Some readers of Ivy Style are even freaked out by bit loafers.

That wisecrack was enough to inspire us to go forth. So on to “Kill Your Darlings,” which stars a grown up Daniel Radcliffe, aka Harry Potter.

The Beat Generation has been part of the film zeitgeist for a while now. In “Howl” (2010), James Franco starred as Allen Ginsberg during the obscenity trials of the 1950s. In 2012, Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” was adapted to film. The trailer for “Kill Your Darlings” casts the film as a bohemian, collegiate version of a Tom Ripley-style noir, exploring themes of obsession, love-triangles, and murder. There is also plenty of vintage eye candy in the form of tweed, knitwear and saddle shoes.

As the scion of a wealthy family, Lucian Carr (Dane DeHaan) looks as slick as a model in an ’80s Ralph Lauren shoot. With his well-coiffed blonde hair, saddle shoes, ascots and popped collars, he is a supremely self-confident counterpart to Daniel Radcliffe’s self-conscious, buttoned-down Ginsberg. Jack Kerouac (Ben Huston), a merchant mariner during this period, sports a nautical workwear look that is so de rigueur it barely registers as costume.

“Kill Your Darlings” saw a limited theatrical run in 2013, but will be released on DVD later this month. — ZD & CC



27 Comments on "The Beat Goes On: Kill Your Darlings, 2013"

  1. Are they drinking Frappuccinos$copy; or what?

  2. For those interested:
    Sources of the clothing/shoes in the film (from the closing credits):

    Helen Uffner Vintage Clothing
    Early Halloween Vintage Clothing
    Hickey Freeman
    G.H. Bass & Co.
    Levi’s Vintage Clothing
    Canada Goose
    Oliver Peoples, Inc.
    Red Wing Shoe Co.
    Pendleton Woolen Mills
    Florsheim, Inc.
    Daybreak Vintage Clothing
    Johnston & Murphy
    Bobby from Boston

  3. That photo was taken during down time on the set. They’re in costume, though.

  4. There was a feature story on the death of Lucian Carr, et al in the NY Times some years ago that is worth reading in conjunction with this movie.

  5. LATFT–Look At Those Floppy Trousers.

  6. Don’t think I’ve ever seen any pictures of Jack wearing denim/jeans/dungarees. Khaki chinos seemed his preferred pants.
    And clearly Burroughs must have carried around a beer crate to stand on, every image out there shows him looking quite tall. Hollywood, though, finally reveals him as the short-arse he actually was.

  7. And the DeHaan boy is scarily Bowie!

  8. I’m sure your readers are more tolerant than you think, definitely don’t be dissuaded from posting about anything to do with homosexuality in the future, you are a style blogger after all !

  9. Jack Kerouac certainly did wear jeans. He mentions them in some of his books

  10. Just because Christian is a style blogger, it doesn’t mean he’s light in the (bit) loafers.

    And we should remember what Chesterton said about tolerance.

  11. @Henry

    If it weren’t for the Jews and the Gays, Ivy League style would never have developed or survived.

  12. I am completely flummoxed as to why a “homoerotic” theme in a film would be grounds for rejecting a post.

  13. Richard Meyer | March 11, 2014 at 4:01 pm |

    They were the Anti-Prep

  14. @Chance
    He mentions Neal Cassidy wearing Levis in OTR and in later books other acolytes and members of the scene wearing denim, but there is no evidence I can find he wore jeans in the ’40s.

  15. @ Chandler

    The reference to “fuddy-duddy readers” suggests the comment was tongue-in-cheek?

  16. @Honest Abe

    Don’t mind Henry. His comments are percipient when talking clothes, but can meander off-topic sometimes. I suppose every Ivy/American Trad clothing website needs a WASP supremacist LOL. Odd, though, that Chesterton quote- he was a self-avowed Papist convert.

  17. Bebe, no one is perfect. Chesterton, despite his Romishness, was an astute observer and a fine writer. He saw through the double-talk and nonsense of the day, and his observations are every bit as trenchant—and true—today.

    Consider, for example, his outstanding observation that “birth control” is neither: it results in no births, and leads to a lack of control. The veracity of this observation is borne out by subsequent developments, especially the Sexual Revolution and its “free love,” which is neither free (adherents often become slaves to sex, often at great personal cost), nor did it have anything to do with love (using another person for sex then abandoning that person is hardly a loving act).

    I also take exception to your characterization of me as a “supremacist,” but I do realize that at least that part was tongue in cheek.

    And meander off-topic? Isn’t that what conversations, even those in blog comments, do?

  18. @ CeeEm

    RE: Jack Kerouac’s jeans

    In other cases, the indicated provenance would be rather sketchy (third wife’s brother writes so), but, given Jack’s marital status(es), is probably best as can be. Of course, these jeans were worn only in the last year(s) prior to his 1969 death.

    Neal Cassady’s “The First Third” has a photo of him and Jack on the cover. He appears to wear jeans, and Jack has on what look like canvas drill pants. I certainly look forward to seeing this movie (thanks to Christian for the posting).

  19. @Bebe
    Thanks, interesting!
    I found a pic. Early 50s, looks like he’s been Dharma Bumming up some mountain. Nicely faded.
    Clearly he favoured chinos/khaki drill from their ubiquity in the existing photos out there, I think jeans were very rarely worn by Jack. He came to despair of the denim hordes of hippies. But I guess LVC have to ‘synergize’ their product some way, movies are good for that I suppose….

  20. Somewhere there’s a video featuring a seemingly sober Burroughs lecturing Andy Warhol on the merits of Southern comfort food, including chicken fried steak. I think “biscuits and gravy” also receives mention. Funny.

  21. re jack kerouac & jeans

    here sporting what look like some kind of 5 pockets

    and these are definitely jeans

  22. @S.E.

    Check out this video on YouTube:

  23. In the last years of Burrough’s life one seldom saw him in anything but Levis, sport shirt and Army field jacket. He did “dress up” for special occasions, as in the video and he had a penchant for argyle and fair isle sweater vest. By all accounts around Lawrence, Kansas he loved guns.

  24. Yes, that’s the video. Hilarious.

  25. Brooks Brothers Bohemians.

  26. @Henry,

    I sense it’s Christian who likes to stir the chowder pot while introducing unusual flavorings. I recall a particularly infelicitous (to my mind) post about Brooks Brothers suits’ signifying racial prejudice to a few American blacks of a certain age and mindset. Sartorial identity politics is indubitably de rigueur in Eastern Seaboard and other US cities where the weather is bad. In LA Sleepy Lagoon zoot suits were co-opted long, long ago. One can easily deduce that co-option is just what the Beats did with their own Ivy wearables.

    Chesterton was certainly a writer of great agility, from whom one can quote endlessly for all sorts of subjects, though his logical ability leaves something to be desired. Still, opinions on birth control from a man who never had any children are, shall we say, a trifle irrelevant. Paulus Sixtus should have taken a cue card there.

    Actually, it was the “Papist” part that was tongue-in-cheek. I’ve read some of your past Ivy Style comments, and rather suspect them of channeling the blog of Admiral Cod. And I do have an extremely wry humor.

  27. Admiral Cod? Oh, please! The man is an outright disgrace. I call a spade a spade*, but would never stoop to calling a spade something vulgar.

    Since we are all humans, we all can relate to the human condition, some better than others. Being childless (and/or single) does not automatically disqualify one from thinking about children, or the meaning of voluntary sterility and promiscuousness. Chesterton, unlike many modern, uh, “writers,” had arguments. The most you can say for most moderns is that they have fervently held opinions.

    *This spade refers to the digging implement. Anyone who thinks the phrase has anything to do with race is even more ignorant than those who cannot think of another term for “spade.”

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