A serviceable documentary, mostly comprising talking heads and footage taken towards the end of his life, Burroughs being a sounding board for rock stars and artists over several decades. The most affecting details come from the conversations between Ginsberg and Burroughs, music over life, art and love. There is little insight into William's written works, though, what made him such a unique and polarising writer.
This man's story provides a remarkable entrée to the sixties generation, in truth to the whole century. I already knew his work and a lot about his life, but learned a lot more from this film. In the end, a courageous life, remarkably unconventional yet in some ways intellectually quite rigorous. The film captures it well.
I like Burroughs' work and he certainly was an interesting character but i thought this documentary was kind of boring especially because most of the interviewees were just bad. They had hardly anything interesting to say and some of them even said some quite stupid things.
A fantastic introduction to the man that has had such a gigantic influence not only on western literature, music and film of the 20th century, but even today. Burroughs was a true literary outlaw, so obsessed with the deconstruction of labels and social constructs he didn't even recognise himself as being part of the his own movement. A movement that everyone would agree he pioneered.
This documentary accurately places Burroughs in the context of post-WWII cultural history. The anecdotal evidence portrays the author as a man of strong, but sometimes conflicting convictions. While the film dragged towards the end, those interested in the Beat Generation will find it worth their time. Afterwards, a desire to read more of Burroughs' work is unavoidable.
Analytical and dry. Even with such a polarising figure as Burroughs at its center point, i felt bored quite fast and couldn't bear to sit through it completely. I never really liked some of the radical ideas and opinions from Burroughs, so i thought of giving him a second / third chance. Nothing changed. If you're into the beat movement and Burroughs, this is probably an interesting watch.
Certainly interesting, but largely forgoes exploration of Burroughs' work in favor of anecdotal stories from celebrities and a rehashed effort to place him into a cultural history which he himself rejected (though this is admitted in the film). The result may be a good primer for anyone unfamiliar with Burroughs, but nothing new for the initiated.
It's a very recommendable movie, making good use of historic audio and video material, joins it with a biographical narration and shows how influental Burroughs' works have been especially during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. But for my taste it is too much based on anecdotes from people who like to hear themselves talk.
Vorreiter einer Bewegung zu sein, von der man sich eigentlich schon vor Beginn distanziert hat - ein Etikett, das Burroughs zu Lebzeiten angeklebt wurde und bis heute dort haften bleibt. Eine Dokumentation über einen Schriftsteller, der viele (eigens begangene) Fehler irgendwann zu einem großen Richtigen zu akkumulieren wusste. Und damit unbewusst zum Dreh- und Angelpunkt einer ganzen Generation wurde.
I've been interested in Burroughs for years. I think when I first used opiates, he was someone who I thought was brave. Now that I can look back on those years of my life, this film really made me think about my past more humanely, rather than regretfully. "Wherever I go and whatever I do I am always in the strait-jacket of junk, unable to move a finger to free myself." The ultimate control.
3/5 - 4 stars "I have never been gay a day in my life and I'm sure as hell not a part of any movement", said the same man that wrote 'this' queer novel because he was the only one who could write it and because he had "a duty to do these things". Burroughs was a deconstructor of labels and that's what especially calls my attention to him.
Unlike the Hunter S. Thomson documentary, this film kinda lives up to the insanity of it's main subject. In the beginning, it's a bit dull and overall, it's just scratching the surface of Burroughs' complexity – but then again: It's not trying to be more. Just a nice entry drug who wonder who was this man who inspired so many American artists.