The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. For more information on films playing in the Cinémathèque, please call 773-281-4114. To order advance tickets online, visit the TicketWeb website by clicking here.
THE BEAT HOTEL
"Makes you want to pack up your laptop and write away in some cheap garret with a shared toilet" -Film Journal Intl
Recommended! -NewCity Chicago
The Beat Hotel showcases the legacy of the "American Beats" in Paris during the heady years between 1957 and 1963, when Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky and Gregory Corso fled the obscenity trials in the United States surrounding the publication of Ginsberg's poem Howl. They took refuge in a cheap no-name hotel they had heard about at 9, Rue Git le Coeur and were soon joined by William Burroughs, Ian Somerville, Brion Gysin, among others, who were seeking out the "freedom" of the fabled Latin Quarter. The Beat Hotel, as it came to be called, was a sanctuary of creativity, but was also, as British photographer Harold Chapman recalls, "an entire community of complete oddballs, bizarre, strange people, poets, writers, artists, musicians, pimps, prostitutes, policemen, and everybody you could imagine." And in this environment, Burroughs finished his controversial book Naked Lunch; Ian Somerville and Brion Gysin invented the Dream Machine; Corso wrote some of his greatest poems; and Harold Norse, in his own cut-up experiments, wrote the novella, aptly called The Beat Hotel.
This film also tracks down Harold Chapman whose photographs are iconic of a time and place when these artists were just beginning to establish themselves on the international scene. Chapman lived in the attic of the hotel, and according to Ginsberg "didnít say a word for two years" because he wanted to be "invisible" and to document the scene as it actually happened. The Beat Hotel brilliantly presents a poignant and sometimes humorous portrait of an extraordinary time that is at once unexpected and revealing.