This explores the life and work of the greatest poet of the Beat Generation. Along with the usual biographical details, we also get to experience the poet’s readings of his work such as his masterwork, Howl. We also examine his work as a musician and a political activist who, amoung other causes, worked to end the Vietnam War.
This DVD features exclusive Interviews including Joan Baez, Beck, Bono, Stan Brakhage, William Burroughs, Johnny Depp, Philip Glass, Abbie Hoffman, Jack Johnson, Ken Kesey, Timothy Leary, Paul McCartney, Jonas Mekas, Thurston Moore, Yoko Ono, Lee Ranaldo, Ed Sanders, Patti Smith, Hunter S.Thompson, Andy Warhol, and more!
Hear William S. Burroughs read Naked Lunch: “Burroughs makes teeming amalgam of allegory, sci-fi, and non-linear narration, all wrapped in a blend of humor-slapstick, Swiftian, slang-infested humor. What is Naked Lunch about? People turn into blobs amidst the sort of evil that R. Crumb, in the decades to come, would inimitably flesh out with his dark and creepy cartoon images. Perhaps the most easily grasped part of Naked Lunch is its America-bashing, replete with slang and vitriol. Read it and see for yourself.” -Amazon.com
In David Cronenberg’s superbly shot, unnerving warp on the Burroughs novel, the novelist himself becomes a main character (played in an implacable monotone by Peter Weller), with elements from Burroughs’ life–including the shooting of his wife during a “William Tell” game, and bohemian friends Kerouac and Ginsberg–added to frame the book’s wild visions. This is, ironically, a somewhat rational approach to an unfilmable book (and it makes a hair-curling double bill with Barton Fink, another look at writerly madness, with both films sharing Judy Davis). Cronenberg is a natural for oozing mugwumps and typewriters that turn into giant bugs, of course. But in the end, this is really his own vision of the artistic process, rather than Burroughs’s hallucinatory descent into hell. -Robert Horton
A box set collection of the four AK Audio Howard Zinn CDs, together with a deluxe booklet featuring a previously unpublished interview with Professor Zinn, as well as tributes and commentary from his friends, colleagues and comrades. Ranging over six discs, America’s best-loved historian ruminates and illuminates in his downbeat, witty and avuncular style, over our forgotten social, economic and political history, the struggles waged by the dispossessed, ignored, vilified and just plain regular folks. History is what’s happening, and this is how it sounds.
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