John Krokidas, Writer/Director of Kill Your Darlings, Doesn't Want to Make Your Movie

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“I’m not rushing and I don’t want to do anything I don’t really like.” Adamant words from the director of Kill Your Darlings, but John Krokidas spent 10 years on this labor of love and “I don’t want to spend that long on something I’m doing just to do.”

Based on a script he co-wrote with his best friend Austin Bunn, “this is a film about firsts. It's my first feature, involves Allan Ginsberg’s first time (in bed), first time doing drugs, first time writing, it’s all about firsts,” but not just anyone's firsts, Kill Your Darlings is about the origin of last century's biggest counter culture movement, and according to Krokidas, it got a huge boost from its star: Daniel Radcliffe.

The Harry Potter grad was a major promoter of the script even early on. “I’m so grateful he spread such positive word about the script.” And clearly the ballyhoo had a huge effect, especially in casting.

But Kill Your Darlings coasted on more than indie cred to cast Michael C Hall, Ben Foster, Kyra Sedgewick, David Cross and Jennifer Jason Leigh, but any film about the murder kick started the movement that would be called “The Beats” should be busting with the energy it’s about. And for Krokidas, that meant music.

“I took a cue from Renee Zelweger. I wrote a script for her and she has this habit of making playlists with her movies, so Daniel and I made playlists, with a song for each scene.” Krokidas says his music supervisor talked him out of committing to a score in advance of production; he originally wanted all period music, but what you find in the film instead is a smattering of Sigur Ros, 80s inflected indie-pop and queercore. Krokidas isn’t trying to lure you with a history lesson; this “first time” exists for the sexy, dangerous thrill of it and makes you wish your freshman year of college had been hipper.

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