2nd HOWL Fest Set to Celebrate Arts in New York's East Village
by Adam Burnett
Paying homage to the past and present of East Village counterculture, the 2nd Annual HOWL! Festival will take over the streets of downtown New York from August 18-24. Containing a host of events including the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Festival, a "Way the F**k Off Broadway" performance art showcase, and a "Wigstock" drag show, the fest will likely possess an overwhelming sense of political urgency.
Not surprisingly, the film festival component of HOWL! has taken its cue from the summer's slew of political docs, focusing its theme on "Art & Politics." HOWL!, which takes its name from Ginsberg's seminal 1956 poem, will open with the director's cut of Jerry Aronson's "The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg." This intimate portrait of the East Village beat luminary played at Sundance in 1993 and has since been re-edited, re-mastered, and updated with unseen footage. It is being re-released by New Yorker Films on August 18 at the Cinema Village.
Jim Fields and Michael Grammaglia's "End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones" will begin its limited run on August 19 as part of the festival, followed by an after-party at CBGBs, the birthplace of NYC punk. "The Yes Men," an anti-corporate festival favorite from the "American Movie" team, will also be screened.
The core of the festival's showcase, however, is obscure and largely subversive political docs and avant-garde films. Among the many politically-charged programs is the Newsreel Collective Program which has collected short subjects from the late 1960s. Its three programs focusing on "Elections," "US Adventures in Foreign Policy" and "Resistance." Among the films to be screened are "The People's War," a look at the Vietnamese resistance to U.S. colonialism, "Yippies," a postitive look at the left's extremists, a 12-minute short entitled "Resist - With Naom Chomsky," and "US Techniques of Genocide." Among the avant-garde screenings is the Avant Garde(n) series, with a new theme each night.
[ For more information, please visit: http://www.howlfestival.com. ]