Burroughs: The Movie
Directed by Howard Brookner and starring William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Lauren Hutton, and Patti Smith
On the centennial of William Burroughs’ birth, Janus Films has unearthed and restored this buried treasure, literally hidden in a bunker for 20 years. It is a vivid, gritty, surprising account of Burroughs as told by Burroughs.
Burroughs: The Movie explores the life of the famous writer along with his many contemporaries including Allen Ginsberg, Brion Gysin, Francis Bacon, Herbert Hunke, Patti Smith, and Lauren Hutton. Refined yet revealing, the film was directed by the late Howard Brookner as a senior thesis project at NYU before he expanded it into a feature. Two future directors helped out: Jim Jarmusch, Brookner’s friend, recorded sound, and the film was shot by Tom DiCillo.
Brookner managed to obtain unparalleled access and enthusiastic participation from William S. Burroughs. As a result, the film intimately documents the writer’s controversial and productive life. We travel with Burroughs from the American Midwest to North Africa through defining moments in his life including several personal tragedies, ultimately charting the development of his unique literary style. Janet Maslin wrote in The New York Times: “The quality of discovery about Burroughs was very much the director’s doing, and Mr. Brookner demonstrates an unusual degree of liveliness and curiosity in exploring his subject.”
Director: Howard Brookner
Cinematographer: Tom DiCillo Editors: Ben Morris, Scott Vickrey
Cast: William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Lauren Hutton, Patti Smith