Burroughs: The Movie

Yesterday in US – Next Week February 14th in Turkey at IF Filmfestival Istanbul.


Much has been written and filmed about the american beat generation writer William S. Burroughs. But any trace of 1983’s “Burroughs: The Movie,” considered to be the definitive documentary on his life and work, had been considered missing.

The movie’s director, Howard Brookner, died tragically of AIDS in 1989 at the age of 34, just as his career was taking off. Three years ago, his nephew, filmmaker Aaron Brookner, hoping to preserve Howard’s legacy, searched exhaustively for a negative of “Burroughs: The Movie” that could be digitally restored. A 16mm print was discovered in storage at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, and was loaned out for his restoration project.

Brookner started filming the doc in 1978 as an NYC film school project with some fellow students. His soundman was Jim Jarmusch, his cinematographer was Tom DiCillo (“Living in Oblivion”), and he had unprecedented access to Burroughs.

The Movie is the first and only documentary to be made about and with the full participation of writer William S. Burroughs. In a collaboration between Burroughs and director Howard Brookner the film explores Burroughs’ life story along with many of his contemporaries including Allen Ginsberg, Brion Gysin, Francis Bacon, Herbert Huncke, Patti Smith, Terry Southern, and Lauren Hutton.

Brookner managed to obtain 5 years of unparalleled access and enthusiastic participation from William S Burroughs. As a result Burroughs: The Movie documents Burroughs’ long, controversial and productive life in great detail. The film travels from the American Midwest to North Africa, through defining moments of his wildly unconventional life, including several personal tragedies, ultimately charting the development of Burroughs’ unique literary styl

Burroughs: the Movie (1983) features William S. Burroughs along with Patti Smith, Allen Ginsberg, Brion Gysin, Francis Bacon, John Giorno, James Grauerholz, Lauren Hutton, and Terry Southern.

14 February 2015 12:00
Cinemaximum Fitaş Salon 1 – Istanbul

Thomas Büsch

Filmmaker, Founding Member and Secretary General of diyalog, promotion of cultural exchange with Turkey. Since 2012 he is also project manager of InEnArt.

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