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Austin Bunn
Austin Bunn

SCREENWRITER AND PLAYWRIGHT, TO OFFER COMMENTARY ON THE CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED FILM ABOUT THE BEAT GENERATION, KILL YOUR DARLINGS

NYS Writers Institute, May 2, 2014
7:00 p.m. Film screening and discussion | Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue, Downtown Campus [Note early start time]

EVENT DETAILS:
Austin Bunn, screenwriter and playwright, will offer commentary and answer questions following the screening of the critically acclaimed film Kill Your Darlings (2013), a true story of murder and gay awakening set in New York City amid the nascent Beat poetry scene of the late 1940s, on Friday, May 2, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. [note early start time] in Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue, on the University at Albany downtown campus. Earlier that same day at 4:15 p.m., Bunn will present an informal seminar on screenwriting in the Science Library, Room 340, on the University at Albany uptown campus. Both events, which are free and open to the public, are sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute.

 

PROFILE
A screening of the film Kill Your Darlings, based on true events during the early years of the Beat Generation, will be followed by commentary and discussion with Austin Bunn, co-author of the screenplay. The former author of the “Machine Age” technology column for the Village Voice, Austin Bunn has published nonfiction and fiction in the New York Times Magazine, Atlantic Monthly, Wired, and Zoetrope.

Bunn coauthored A Killer Life (2006), the autobiography of Christine Vachon, legendary independent film producer known for pioneering movies often about gay subjects, including Poison (1991), I Shot Andy Warhol (1996), Happiness (1998), Boys Don’t Cry (1999), One Hour Photo (2002), and Far From Heaven (2002). Publishers Weekly called the book, “an immensely appealing view into the expensive reality of imaginative filmmaking.”

Bunn is also the author of RUST: A Documentary Play, a nonfiction theatrical piece about the 2008 closing of General Motors’ metal stamping plant—the Grand Rapids Metal Center—in Wyoming, Michigan. Bunn chronicled the experiences of some of the 1,500 workers who were laid off, based on hundreds of hours of conversations with workers, managers, historians, bartenders, city consultants, and others. The play received the unusual honor of being published (in adapted form) in the New York Times Magazine onJanuary 6, 2012.

Bunn is also the writer/producer of the 26-minute documentary short film Lavender Hill: A Love Story (2013), about a gay commune established in West Danby, New York, during the “Back to the Land” movement in the early 1970s. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, David Mermelstein praised the film for an “elegiac quality that will likely move even viewers who would not ostensibly care about people like this,” and said, “Bunn does this without ever descending into the maudlin, and that, too, should be much applauded.”

A graduate of Yale University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Bunn is an Assistant Professor in the Performing and Media Arts Department at Cornell University.

KILL YOUR DARLINGS
Written by Austin Bunn and John Krokidas; Directed by John Krokidas
(United States, 2013, 104 minutes, color)

Based on events featured on the front page of The New York Times during the summer of 1944, Kill Your Darlings portrays the early lives of several important Beat Generation figures, including Allen Ginsberg (played by Daniel Radcliffe), Lucian Carr (played by Dane DeHaan), William Burroughs, and Jack Kerouac. The film was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance (2013) and was shown at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.

Writing in The Guardian, Damon Wise called Kill Your Darlings “the real deal, a genuine attempt to source the beginning of America’s first true literary counterculture of the 20th century…a story perfectly of its time and yet one that still resonates today.”

For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.