A famous cult documentary made with the help of the BBC, which was shot over a five year period to be completed in 1983, is now being restored by the filmmaker’s nephew, who is also making his own documentary revealing footage from the extensive archive his uncle left behind.
The film, shot initially by Howard Brookner, was the first long feature film made about William Burroughs and has been lost for decades after Brookner died of Aids in 1989.
After the completion of Burroughs: The Movie Brookner made two other films: Robert Wilson & The Civil Wars and Bloodhounds of Broadway, starring a young and already famous Madonna.
Burroughs was the first long feature documentary about the iconic writer who was one of the most radically subversive literary figures of the 20th century and Godfather to the Beat poets such as Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg.
“After a long search I found the only print of Burroughs: The Movie in good condition and embarked on a project to remaster it and make it available to the public. It is part of the work I want to do to preserve my uncle’s legacy. The re-release of Burroughs is a first step towards recovering what he made while he was alive.”
Burroughs: The Movie features the writer’s close circle of friends including Patti Smith, Allen Ginsberg, Brion Gysin, Francis Bacon, John Giorno, James Grauerholz and Terry Southern. The film premiered at the 1983 New York Film Festival to rave reviews.
First posted: Thursday, December 27th, 2012.