Broken Tower Movie Reviews
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By Kenneth Axel Carlsson January 30, 2017
This movie is about the life and death of the poet, Hart Crane (James Franco). It details his life, working for his father, trying to find time for his poetry, but also about his love life as a gay man.
It is actually a very straightfoward movie, shot chronological, but does have some elements of poetry in the images as well (especially in the beginning of the movie), although not as much as I would have loved. The images themselves are mostly black and white, made with a handheld camera that makes the images very lively and nervous. These are good choices for a movie of this character. It has the feel of a documentary, although it clearly is not. Another trick that the movie uses, is to divide the movie into chapters, or as they call them, _Voyages_. Each voyage also has a subtitle or description that lets us know what to expect. It ties in well with the literary tradition.
James Franco clearly have a lot of admiration and love for Hart Crane, which makes him very believable in the role. Hart Crane is a fragile man, who only wants to write poems and be alive. He has no great expectations of life, but doesn't feel like the world understands nor accepts him. In another (minor) role as Hart's lover, we see one of my favorite actors, Michael Shannon. I like it when big actors take on minor roles like this, it shows that they aren't just in this game for the money, but to tell important stories.
This would most likely be considered to be a B-movie, whatever that actually means, but when you look closer, it actually makes a very believable setting and the actors are great in their roles. All the choices concerning the colours, the nervousness of the handheld camera and the messy editing, those are, I think, on purpose. The emphasize the feel of Hart Crane, as they make sure we get right under his skin.
_Last words... a bold movie that dares be different, much like Hart Crane himself. It is not a huge movie by any means, and yet, it is a very personal and emotional movie if you dare get involved in the Voyages of Hart Crane. For whatever it's worth... this movie gave me a reason to look up the name Hart Crane and, perhaps, emerge myself in his poems. At least, a book now resides on the shelves... with the name Hart Crane._