William S. Burroughs: commissioner of sewers

Germany, 1986

Film
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Arguably Burroughs is the greatest talent to emerge from the “Beat” generation. In his novels, poetry, films and performance he has created an oppositional and profane aesthetic which continues to inspire contemporary artists and writers who refuse to - or cannot - work within the mainstream. This video features footage of Burroughs reading his poetry, excerpts from films by Gus van Sant, Antony Balch and Klaus Maeck, as well as a long interview where the writer explains his ideas on artistic inspiration; his belief that language is constituted as a virus; his use of “cut-up” and “fold- in” to represent contemporary experience of space and time; and the value of dreams for inspiration. Abrupt, unapologetic and disturbing this documentary reveals Burroughs as possessed of a profound intelligence, and as having the genius to translate his questioning and doubt into innovative and powerful art.

Credits

producer/director

Klaus Maeck

production company

VAP

Maeck

Language

English

Duration

00:55:00:00

Colour

Colour

ACMI Identifier

38380

Subject categories

Advertising, Film, Journalism, Mass Media & TV → Beat generation

Economics, Philosophy, Politics, Religion & Sociology → Beat generation

Literature → Beat generation

Literature → Burroughs, William S., 1914-

Music & Performing Arts → Beat generation

People → Burroughs, William S., 1914-

Sound/audio

Sound

Holdings

VHS; Access Print (Section 1)

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If you would like to cite this item, please use the following template: {{cite web |url=https://acmi.net.au/works/82486--william-s-burroughs-commissioner-of-sewers/ |title=William S. Burroughs: commissioner of sewers |author=Australian Centre for the Moving Image |access-date=18 January 2021 |publisher=Australian Centre for the Moving Image}}