Here are a few more artists who were hounded by censors and would benefit from the cinematic strategy pursued by the makers of Howl.
The American playwright ran into trouble with her very first play, The Children's Hour, which was banned in Boston, Chicago and London, England, because of its lesbian theme. Her memoirs, especially Pentimento, and the 1986 book Conversations With Lillian Hellman, edited by Jackson R. Bryer, are crammed with her ideas on politics and art. And her personal life, like Ginsberg's, was fascinating, given her relationship with Dashiell Hammett.
WORKING TITLE: Prep School Confidential
WHO WOULD STAR? A perfect comeback vehicle for Lily Taylor
Ayatollah Khomeini's fatwa on Rushdie after he published The Satanic Verses completely changed the author's life. His many essays and op-ed pieces on politics and culture would make perfect fodder for the fake interview. There's no trial transcript, but a screenwriter could make a powerful concoction from various statements by the ayatollah and other fundamentalists outraged by Rushdie.
WORKING TITLE: Satanic Versus
WHO WOULD STAR? Art Malik (True Lies, the sheik in Sex And The City 2) would be wonderful as the Mumbai-born novelist.
Sure, The Trials Of Oscar Wilde is already a play, but he's an artist who deserves another treatment. His essays on aesthetics and pleasure are smart and witty, and he was absolutely compelling on the stand at his trial for gross indecency. While in prison, he wrote De Profundis, a repudiation of his earlier cultural writings, which would make a great literary centrepiece for the film.
WORKING TITLE: Wilde At Heart
WHO WOULD STAR? Colin Firth has embraced so many queer characters lately - why not cast him as Wilde?
When an unexpurgated edition of Lawrence's 1928 novel Lady Chatterley's Lover came out in 1960, its publisher was charged in the UK with obscenity. In court, E.M. Forster defended the book, which would make a great film sequence, and Lawrence was a prolific producer of essays and literate letters, so there's no shortage of cultural commentary there. Throw in Kate Millett with her feminist rethink of Lawrence and you'd have a tension-packed piece.
WORKING TITLE: Saint Lawrence
WHO WOULD STAR? Put a beard on Andrew Garfield (The Social Network, Never Let Me Go) and he'd be perfect.SGC