A DRUG LUNCH. INTRODUCTION TO THE (UN)KNOWN FILMOGRAPHY OF WILLIAM S. BURROUGHS
The article concentrates on the connections between cinema and William S. Burroughs, an American novelist. As the author of a legendary Naked Lunch, Burroughs had an opportunity to work with a painter Brion Gysin and underground filmmaker Antony Balch. In the 1960s they made several avant-garde films in which they used the so-called “cut-up” method which was invented by Gysin at the beginning of the decade. The author refers to films and juxtaposes them with the American avant-garde cinema of the 1960s. He concentrates also on other film projects, which Burroughs participated in and had an impact on. As a complement to those analyses, the author outlines a historical background of Burroughs’s works. He emphasizes the signifi cance of other films — such as Conrad Rooks’s Chappaqua (1966), Muscha’s Decoder (1984), Gus Van Sant’s Drugstore Cowboy (1989) and more — in which Burroughs either starred and/or could be seen as a main inspiration to, due to his controversial biography of a non-stop drug addict and constant freedom defender. Many directors refer to Burroughs because of his relevance: his novels and public comments are connected with themes that are artistically interesting for filmmakers. The author sees Burroughs’s film work as an extension of his literature achievements; as an attempt at an ambitious search for the new language of art that could express the American writer’s method as significantly as possible.
Translated by Paweł Biliński