Burroughs: The Movie


The author at home in his Bunker.

When I was writing last August about Yony Leyser’s new Burroughs documentary William S Burroughs: A Man Within I mentioned Howard Brookner’s 1983 film, Burroughs, a 90-minute study of the writer’s life and work that as a film biography remains definitive. Brookner was fortunate to capture all the surviving Beats (including Ginsberg and Gysin) and also family members like Burroughs’ son, William Jr. (who died shortly after filming), and his brother, Mortimer. If you’re interested in Burroughs and have never seen Brookner’s film it’s essential viewing, so it’s good news that Ubuweb has turned up a blurry copy (which they’ve titled Burroughs The Movie) taken from the BBC’s Arena screening shown after the writer’s death in 1997. As I recall, the beginning is slightly re-edited to make it an obituary piece but the rest of the film is complete.

Update: Ubuweb no longer hosts the film now that a reissue has been announced. The links have been removed here as a result.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The William Burroughs archive

3 thoughts on “Burroughs: The Movie”

  1. I was thoroughly bored with A Man Within. Maybe because I’ve seen Burroughs dozens of times over the past 30 years? It is by far the most superior documentary on Burroughs ever. I mean, really, why bother making another doc on him after that?

  2. To all of you interested in Burroughs The movie, we are starting a campaign to re-store and re-release the documentary directed by Howard Brookner and we will include found footage never seen before. If you want to know more about the kickstarter campaign to be launched December 11th 2012 please email us on smash@pinballonline.co.uk

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