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William S. Burroughs: A Man Within

"Like his subject, Leyser strives to disengage from the conventional, while still being lucid. He succeeds admirably. "
Additional Details

Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know

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Director: Yony Leyser
Country: United States
Year: 2010
Runtime: 87 mins
Genre: Documentary

Alongside his Beat contemporaries, Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs was one of the first writers to break the boundaries of 20th century literature. Addressing queer and drug culture in the 1950s, his novel Naked Lunch became one of the most recognized and respected of contemporary literary works, and has influenced generations of artists. The intimate documentary breaks the surface of the troubled and brilliant world of one of the greatest authors of all time.

Featuring never-before-seen archival footage of Burroughs, as well as exclusive interviews with colleagues and confidants including John Waters, Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Gus Van Sant, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Sonic Youth, Laurie Anderson, Amiri Baraka, Jello Biafra, and David Cronenberg, William S. Burroughs: A Man Within is a probing, yet loving look at the man whose works at once savaged conservative ideals, spawned countercultural movements, and reconfigured 20th century culture. The film is narrated by Peter Weller, with a soundtrack by Patti Smith and Sonic Youth.

Special Features
  • Deleted scenes featuring Burroughs' shotgun art
  • Burroughs' home movies with Patti Smith, Steve Buscemi, Allen Ginsberg, Sonic Youth and others
  • Readings by Burroughs and Patti Smith
  • Naked Lunch 50th anniversary celebration
  • Q&A with director Yony Leyser at BFI London Film Festival 2010
  • Bill and Anna: a short film by Yony Leyser
  • Theatrical trailer
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