Burroughs and His Friends


Howard Brookner’s 1983 documentary Burroughs: The Movie, now out on Blu-ray and DVD, offers an unparalleled glimpse into the life of legendary author William S. Burroughs. Brookner began filming in 1978 and spent nearly five years documenting the Beat Generation hero, and the resulting film is in an incredibly intimate portrait of the man and his mythos. Burroughs’s life was a revolving door through which passed many other brilliant minds, all with their own complex relationships to him and his work, as evidenced by the appearance in the film of a wide variety of the writer's friends and fellow artists.

The clip below features Herbert Huncke, John Giorno, James Grauerholz, Patti Smith, Lucien Carr, and Allen Ginsberg, offering their musings on Burroughs’s noted eccentricities and lasting cultural influence. Burroughs also makes an appearance, materializing from the ether to regale us with the story of his life.

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