Burroughs: The Movie

Beat icon William S. Burroughs (Bull Lee in Jack Kerouac’s On the Road) was a queer raconteur, a heroin addict, a world traveler, and the author of such brutally honest books as Junkie, Queer and, most notably, the game-changing Naked Lunch. He famously shot his common-law wife, Joan Vollmer, in the head, William Tell-style, in 1951, and palled around with Lucien Carr, Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg during the mid-century beat era.

Howard Brookner’s 1983 documentary Burroughs: The Movie, which covers that picaresque and often dark life, was made in cooperation with Burroughs, and includes extensive interviews with everyone from Ginsberg and Herbert Huncke (who is said to have coined the term “beat”) to artist Francis Bacon and musician Patti Smith. But in more recent years, it had pretty much disappeared from public view — until Brookner’s nephew financed its digital restoration for release coinciding with the late author’s 2014 centennial celebration.

Today at 2 p.m., the Sie FilmCenter will host a one-time-only screening of the fascinating restored documentary for local beat fanatics and other curious film-goers; for more information and tickets, $7 to $10, visit denverfilm.org/filmcenter or call 720-381-0813.
Sun., Jan. 25, 2 p.m., 2015

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd