William S. Burroughs: A Man Within στο In-Edit

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136_22_Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg by Hank O'Neal
William Burroughs και Allen Ginsberg (φωτ. Hank O’Neal)

Let's be completely impartial: this documentary has it all. To start with, it has the protagonist: William S. Burroughs, the American counterculture icon, father of the beat generation, nemesis of the U.S. government (Naked Lunch was banned until 1966), pioneering writer (he spoke about heroin and faggots when nobody talked about heroin and faggots), unrepentant junkie with exceptional longevity, handgun fanatic and accidental assassin of his own wife (and responsible for abandoning his own son.) A kind of hideous God of the Old Testament, half monomaniac bastard, half heartless monster, half-alien (among other things, Burroughs does not sweat, nor feel affection, like most people), half advanced being from another galaxy. Had they put a camera in the hands of a blind lobotomized man, they would no doubt have produced an interesting film from the raw material. Instead, director Yoni Leyser, specialized and interested in issues beyond the mainstream, manages to piece together a hyper-realistic portrait of the strange man. All this is sublimated by archives (partly unpublished), various recitals and conversations with Burroughs, music created especially for the project - Patti Smith and Sonic Youth — and a cast of pundits which include John Waters, Genesis P-Orridge, Amiri Baraka, Laurie Anderson, Iggy Pop, Gus Van Sant, Jello Biafra, David Cronenberg and more; including the arms dealer who supplied him with weapons for several decades. A full-bodied film, you’ll see, and a chilling portrait of one of the most censored, albeit influential artists of the century. Incidentally, the film is narrated by the English actor Peter Weller, who played Burroughs in the cinema version of Cronenberg’s The Naked Lunch. You’re welcome man; that’s why we’re here.

136_23_WSB & Patti Smith by Allen Ginsberg
WSB και Patti Smith (φωτ. Allen Ginsberg)

Η ταινία: William S. Burroughs: A Man Within (2010)

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