William S. Burroughs: A Man Within is a new documentary by Chicago Director Yony Leyser, in collaboration with BulletProof Film, Inc. Complete with footage and interviews with luminaries such as John Waters, Iggy Pop, Gus Van Sant, and indie rockstars Sonic Youth. Peter Weller, who played Burroughs in David Cronenberg’s fairly decent adaptation of Naked Lunch (I loved Cronenberg’s talking and noshing typewriter and his unapologetic homoerotic, sci-fi tone from the novel), provides the narration.
Central to the documentary, of course, is Naked Lunch, Burroughs’ seminal novel and the subject of a government ban when it was published in the U.S. in the 50’s. Crazy to think our government would intercede in the arts on such a minute level, claiming indecency as its main argument.
Nice to think that in 2009, Naked Lunch has gone from fringe to canon.