789 Burroughs: The Movie

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swo17
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789 Burroughs: The Movie

#1 Post by swo17 » Wed Sep 16, 2015 11:40 am

Burroughs: The Movie

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Made up of intimate, revelatory footage of the singular author and poet filmed over the course of five years, Howard Brookner's 1983 documentary about William S. Burroughs was for decades mainly the stuff of legend; that changed when Aaron Brookner, the late director's nephew, discovered a print of it in 2011 and spearheaded a restoration. Now viewers can enjoy the invigorating candidness of Burroughs: The Movie, a one-of-a-kind nonfiction portrait that was brought to life with the help of a remarkable crew of friends, including Jim Jarmusch and Tom DiCillo, and that features on-screen appearances by fellow artists of Burroughs's including Allen Ginsberg, Herbert Huncke, Patti Smith, and Terry Southern.

SPECIAL FEATURES

• New, high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• New interviews with filmmakers Jim Jarmusch, Aaron Brookner, and Tom DiCillo, as well as William S. Burroughs's friends and fellow writers James Grauerholz and Stew Meyer
• Rare outtakes
• Footage from the 2014 New York Film Festival premiere of the film's restoration
• Thirty-minute experimental edit of the film from 1981 by inventor and photographer Robert E. Fulton Jr.
• More!
• PLUS: An essay by critic Luc Sante and a collage poster by artist Alison Mosshart

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Drucker
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Re: 789 Burroughs: The Movie

#2 Post by Drucker » Wed Sep 16, 2015 11:46 am

I had read about this last year, and my wife is a huge fan of Burroughs, so looking forward to this one.

Soothsayer
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Re: 789 Burroughs: The Movie

#3 Post by Soothsayer » Wed Sep 16, 2015 12:41 pm

This is great, pretty sure I saw this on IFC years ago. The footage of Burroughs discussing his childhood in St. Louis is fascinating.

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Roger Ryan
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Re: 789 Burroughs: The Movie

#4 Post by Roger Ryan » Wed Sep 16, 2015 12:47 pm

Soothsayer wrote:This is great, pretty sure I saw this on IFC years ago. The footage of Burroughs discussing his childhood in St. Louis is fascinating.
Possibly, but the story that's been going around is that the film had been considered lost for about two decades before a print was discovered in 2011.

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knives
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Re: 789 Burroughs: The Movie

#5 Post by knives » Wed Sep 16, 2015 12:51 pm

I'm curious if the more presently listed will include the shorts he and Ginsberg did with van Sant?

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GaryC
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Re: 789 Burroughs: The Movie

#6 Post by GaryC » Wed Sep 16, 2015 1:17 pm

Roger Ryan wrote:
Soothsayer wrote:This is great, pretty sure I saw this on IFC years ago. The footage of Burroughs discussing his childhood in St. Louis is fascinating.
Possibly, but the story that's been going around is that the film had been considered lost for about two decades before a print was discovered in 2011.
It may have been lost after then, but it wasn't in 1997 as the BBC showed it following Burrough's death. I saw it on its original broadcast in 1983.

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ellipsis7
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Re: 789 Burroughs: The Movie

#7 Post by ellipsis7 » Wed Sep 16, 2015 2:08 pm

And the story behind it (as related by Barry Miles in his William S. Burroughs: A Life)

By 1982 he (Howard Brookner) had sixty hours of film, and Burroughs was getting irritated because Howard had exclusive right to film him, and other more professional people were being prevented from doing so. Howard did not know how to complete the film. The BBC eventually solved the problem.In October 1982, at the Final Academy, a conference/celebration of Burroughs and his work in London, the BBC approached Burroughs to film the event or at least film him with Francis Bacon for their arts documentary series Arena. They were told they had to use Brookner's footage, to which they reluctantly agreed, and they flew Brookner to London to see the rushes and discuss it. Alan Yentob, Nigel Finch, and Anthony Wall filmed a new interview with Burroughs with BBC staffer John Waters in Lawrence, and filmed him with Francis Bacon. They did rostrum shots of Burroughs's books—which is why there are British -editions in the film--added a bit of honky-tonk music, and dropped in sections of Antony Balch's sixties footage from Towers Open Fire and The Cut-Ups. They transmitted it in February 1983. Brookner was so relieved to have the film completed that he used the BBC TV edit exactly as it was when he released the film for theatrical exhibition in the United States six months later.

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swo17
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Re: 789 Burroughs: The Movie

#8 Post by swo17 » Wed Sep 16, 2015 2:18 pm

So the theme of this month's release schedule really was poorly thought-out contractual arrangements!

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chaddoli
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Re: 789 Burroughs: The Movie

#9 Post by chaddoli » Wed Sep 16, 2015 9:58 pm

knives wrote:I'm curious if the more presently listed will include the shorts he and Ginsberg did with van Sant?
Not sure about Ginsberg's involvement, but several of the shorts he did with with Van Sant are on YouTube.

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Lowry_Sam
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Re: 789 Burroughs: The Movie

#10 Post by Lowry_Sam » Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:19 am

knives wrote:I'm curious if the more presently listed will include the shorts he and Ginsberg did with van Sant?
I rushed to Criterion's page hoping for this too (and it's the only Dec. title I'd buy)...only to see "More!" listed. If "Words Of Advice For Young People" & "Thanksgiving Prayer" are included, it'll be a Day one purchase for me.

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Buttery Jeb
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Re: 789 Burroughs: The Movie

#11 Post by Buttery Jeb » Sat Oct 03, 2015 12:54 am

Sorry for all the people hoping for the Van Sant shorts. Here's the revised specs:
New, high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
New audio commentary by filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, who was a sound recordist on the film
Audio interview with director Howard Brookner from 1985, conducted by William S. Burroughs biographer Ted Morgan
New interview with Brookner’s nephew, filmmaker Aaron Brookner, who oversaw the film’s restoration
Rare outtakes
Footage from the 2014 New York Film Festival premiere of the film’s restoration, featuring a Q&A with Jarmusch, Aaron Brookner, filmmaker Tom DiCillo, and Burroughs’s friend and fellow writer James Grauerholz
Thirty-minute experimental edit of the film from 1981 by inventor and photographer Robert E. Fulton III
PLUS: An essay by critic Luc Sante and collage artwork by artist Alison Mosshart

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HerrSchreck
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Re: 789 Burroughs: The Movie

#12 Post by HerrSchreck » Thu Oct 08, 2015 3:18 pm

Heh heh . . this is awesome. Now I can junk that spliced/scotch taped VHS copy that's been eaten, sent through a blast furnace, and passed through purgatory of a parade of old players. I love this doc.

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manicsounds
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Re: 789 Burroughs: The Movie

#13 Post by manicsounds » Tue Dec 08, 2015 11:23 am


Robin Davies
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Re: 789 Burroughs: The Movie

#14 Post by Robin Davies » Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:52 pm

The first line of that Eye for Film review made me laugh:
"Few writers are as reclusive as was William S Burroughs".
Few writers have been interviewed as often.

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HerrSchreck
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Re: 789 Burroughs: The Movie

#15 Post by HerrSchreck » Wed Dec 16, 2015 1:03 pm

Robin Davies wrote:The first line of that Eye for Film review made me laugh:"Few writers are as reclusive as was William S Burroughs".Few writers have been interviewed as often.
I'm sure that's not anywhere near true.

beamish13
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Re: 789 Burroughs: The Movie

#16 Post by beamish13 » Wed Dec 16, 2015 1:19 pm

HerrSchreck wrote:
Robin Davies wrote:The first line of that Eye for Film review made me laugh:"Few writers are as reclusive as was William S Burroughs".Few writers have been interviewed as often.
I'm sure that's not anywhere near true.
Burroughs was an extraordinarily public person. Hell, there were conventions dedicated to him during his own lifetime-and he even attended them!

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R0lf
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Re: 789 Burroughs: The Movie

#17 Post by R0lf » Tue Dec 29, 2015 5:32 am

Feel good extra of the year goes to the New York Film Festival interview where James answers what happened to Burroughs cats after he died.

kristophers
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Re: 789 Burroughs: The Movie

#18 Post by kristophers » Tue Dec 29, 2015 11:44 am

R0lf wrote:Feel good extra of the year goes to the New York Film Festival interview where James answers what happened to Burroughs cats after he died.
Maybe it's just me, but that whole segment felt so awkward and poorly edited.

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knives
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Re: 789 Burroughs: The Movie

#19 Post by knives » Thu Apr 07, 2016 3:38 pm

I'm rather surprised this got its own individual release as this is a pretty fluffy documentary and would have fit very well as an extra on Naked Lunch. Anyone with even a basic knowledge of Burroughs won't get anything new here though the reenactments are pretty fun. There's little to differentiate it from that Bill Plympton doc they released on Mala Noche for example. I suspect even they realize that as the extras really are trying to compensate for the feature turning it into more a disc about the man then the film (which I guess is a smart move on their part and I wouldn't be surprised if this turned into one of their highest grossing releases from this year).

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Gregory
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Re: 789 Burroughs: The Movie

#20 Post by Gregory » Thu Apr 07, 2016 4:49 pm

Every one of the extras is directly tied to the film and is not just supplementary content on Burroughs.

beamish13
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Re: 789 Burroughs: The Movie

#21 Post by beamish13 » Thu Apr 07, 2016 5:16 pm

Surprised that Jarmusch recorded an entire commentary for this film. Just curious-did he and Tom DiCillo have a rift after Stranger Than Paradise or the first part of Coffee and Cigarettes? DiCillo was conspicuously absent from the Criterion of the former.
Last edited by beamish13 on Thu Apr 07, 2016 6:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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hearthesilence
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Re: 789 Burroughs: The Movie

#22 Post by hearthesilence » Thu Apr 07, 2016 6:12 pm

There is no rift, both of them actually appeared together at a screening of Burroughs at Anthology Film Archives.

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knives
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Re: 789 Burroughs: The Movie

#23 Post by knives » Thu Apr 07, 2016 6:57 pm

Gregory wrote:Every one of the extras is directly tied to the film and is not just supplementary content on Burroughs.
Since I guess I was unclear the extras help build a tapestry of Burroughs. That they are tied to the film or not wasn't part of my point.

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Gregory
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Re: 789 Burroughs: The Movie

#24 Post by Gregory » Thu Apr 07, 2016 8:19 pm

I thought you were saying that the rest of the disc was more about the man than the film and that this was smart on their part as it would widen the appeal of the release. Guess I misunderstood.

My go-to Burroughs film has always been Commissioner of Sewers (an interview mixed up with footage from Burroughs's readings and other recordings) and haven't gotten around to The Movie yet. I figure it's gotta be a lot more interesting than the more recent A Man Within at least.

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knives
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Re: 789 Burroughs: The Movie

#25 Post by knives » Thu Apr 07, 2016 8:45 pm

It's definitely better then A Man Within by a significant margin due to Burroughs being front and center so you get to experience him rather then hear about him. They also talk about Jr a little bit which is handled with a quiet respect that clashes in a good fashion with the other material which is handled fairly lightly (even Joan's murder). There's a few readings and staging of readings which are interesting though nothing as good as a SNL clip at the start of the film where he reads a passage of Nova Express.

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