As you all know, alongside Sundance there's Slamdance, and Cinematical has just received this exclusive poster for William S. Burroughs: A Man Within, which is part of Slamdance's Documentary Competition. Yony Leyser's doc details Burroughs' life as a Beat author and icon, and includes not only never-before-seen footage, but also a narration by Peter Weller, a soundtrack by Sonic Youth and the Patti Smith Group, and interviews with a whole lot of interesting folks like John Waters, Patti Smith, David Cronenberg, Amiri Baraka, Gus Van Sant... You can see the whole list on the poster in the gallery below, which includes not only the interview list, but of course -- a cat. As fans know: "A cat's rage is beautiful, burning with pure cat flame, all its hair standing up and crackling blue sparks, eyes blazing and sputtering. "
Burroughs at Slamdance + Ginsberg at Sundance ... it's a good, Beat-filled month to be in Utah. The film is screening Friday, January 22, 5:30 PM at the Main Screening Room, and Wednesday, January 27, 7:30 PM at the Gallery Screening Room.
Check out the full synopsis after the jump.
William S. Burroughs: A Man Within is a feature-length independent documentary by director Yony Leyser, in collaboration with BulletProof Film, Inc.
The film paints a tender portrait of the Beat author and American icon, whose works at once savaged conservative ideals, spawned vibrant countercultural movements, and reconfigured 20th century culture.
It features never-before-seen archival footage of Burroughs, as well as exclusive interviews with colleagues and confidants including: John Waters, Patti Smith, Genesis P-Orridge, Laurie Anderson, Amiri Baraka, Jello Biafra, Sonic Youth, Iggy Pop, Gus Van Sant, David Cronenberg, with narration by actor Peter Weller and an original soundtrack by members of Sonic Youth and the Patti Smith Group.
Born the heir of the Burroughs' adding machine estate, William S. Burroughs struggled throughout his life with addiction, control systems and relationships. He was forced to deal with the tragedy of killing his wife and the repercussions of neglecting his son. His novel, Naked Lunch, was one of the last books to be banned by the U.S. government, until the courts eventually overturned their decision in 1966, ruling that the book had important social value. It remains one of the most recognized literary works of the 20th century.
William Burroughs was one of the first writers to cross the dangerous boundaries of queer and drug culture in the 1950s, and record his experiences. Eventually he was hailed the godfather of the beat generation and influenced artists for generations to come. However, his friends were left wondering, did William ever find happiness? This extremely personal documentary breaks the surface of the troubled and brilliant world of one of the greatest authors of all time.