James Franco stars as beat poet Allen Ginsburg in the film "Howl."
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Allen Ginsberg was a force of nature and cultural lightning rod. The 2010 documentary, "Howl," stars James Franco as Ginsberg as well as David Strathairn and Mary-Louise Parker and Jon Hamm. It paints a wide-ranging portrait of the poet, partly focusing on a 1957 obscenity trial over his ground-breaking poem, "Howl."At hearing Ginsberg's first reading of it in San Francisco, poet Michael McClure said the piece "left us standing in wonder, or cheering and wondering, but knowing at the deepest level that a barrier had been broken, that a human voice and body had been hurled against the harsh wall of America."See a free showing of "Howl" at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 520 Kanawha Blvd. W. starting at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The film is rated R and shown with captions for the hearing impaired. Call 304-345-5042.