Dead Love: Strange Stars for W.S. Burroughs

“Perhaps all pleasure is only relief.”

—William S. Burroughs

Beastie Boy rapper Adam Yauch is releasing a documentary about William S. Burroughs. Burroughs, a Beat with amazing staying power, despite crimes, misdemeanors and major addictions … he died in 1997 … was revered by some and reviled by others. He wrote eighteen novels and novellas, six collections of short stories and four collections of essays, but he’s probably best known for his drug habit; for shooting and killing his wife, Joan Vollmer, in a drunken parlor game; and for his darkly disorienting novel, Naked Lunch. In 1991 Canadian director David Cronenberg brought Naked Lunch to the big screen in a fiction-biography hybrid that weirdly conjures both Burroughs’ intoxication and his art. Peter Weller stars as the Burroughs character, William Lee, and even though this is a totally trippy film, it doesn’t lose the viewer … well not completely. I give it five very strange stars.

The Adam Yauch documentary—William S Burroughs: A Man Within—features cultural icons like Iggy Pop and Patti Smith as well as Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo is an indie production (from Yauch’s production company, Oscilloscope) that might be hard to find, though it will be coming out on DVD too.

—Erin Orison, DEAD LOVE/The Daily Slice

  • boldlow

    Saw Naked Lunch – I agree with the rating – 5 STRANGE stars – as it kept this viewer intrigued from start to finish…like the Slice. 5 Stars for both content and stamina. How do you keep up the great work? Next!!