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BURROUGHS

USA, 1983 (MIFF 1984)

Director: Howard Brookner

William Burroughs, the noted American novelist, is the subject of this long documentary filmed aver five years and including material shot earlier, in black and white, by British film director Antony Balch.

In cinema verite style, director Howard Brookner in his first film, shows Burroughs as a private person, in his "Bunker" flat in New York, in St. Louis, London and Morocco, reminiscing about his inspirations and exploits, then as a highly entertaining showman, reading excerpts from his two best known books. "Naked Lunch" and "Nova Express", in nightclubs to young audiences. The notorious and tragic accident, in which the author accidentally killed his wife in William Tell-style, with an arrow, is discussed. He also performs for the camera in a grand guignol scene with gory special effects.

Some of Burroughs friends (including Allen Ginsberg and Francis Bacon) discuss the man and his influence on American letters, to round out this rich portrait of a most unusual individual. To call "Burroughs" a labour of love may be misleading, but at least it bears tribute to Brookner's remarkable endurance and cinematic sensitivity.

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