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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Celebrating a ‘junky holiday’ with William Burroughs

    Fans of the Beat Generation writers of the ’50s should mark their calendars for this Monday, when the local art house heroes at The Loft Cinema will be hosting an event in honor of the late, great William S. Burroughs.

    “”Usually when we show a film connected to an interesting writer we like to do something special,”” said Jeff Yanc, program director at The Loft.

    The night will open with a series of short films related to the author responsible for such revolutionary works as “”Naked Lunch”” and “”The Soft Machine,”” along with an open mic invitation to anyone who wants to get up and read some of their favorite Burroughs poetry or novel excerpts.

    “”Whoever wants to come read can read,”” said Yanc, who was confident that the turnout would produce some excellent readers.

    “”Last month we opened the film Factotum, about [Charles] Bukowski. We had about 25 people do readings then, so I’m not really worried about people not reading,”” he said.

    The event got rolling when The Loft secured a rare 35 millimeter print of the movie “”Drugstore Cowboy””, which, though not based on any of his works, features Burroughs in one of his rare on-screen appearances as a priest.

    “”We don’t know how long [the print] will be around,”” Yanc said. “”If people want to see it this is probably one of the few chances for them to see it on film.””

    The short films preceding the movie include a variety of material from and about the author who has worked with everyone from Gus Van Zant to Kurt Cobain to Tom Waits.

    “”We’ll probably show about five short films. There will also be a Burroughs slideshow, with him and his art, before the movie,”” he said.

    Burroughs, who has been quoted as saying “”write about what you know,”” is the revered author of surrealistic masterpieces like the aforementioned “”Naked Lunch”” and the semi-autobiographical “”Junky,”” which was inspired by his experiences as a morphine addict and small-time drug dealer.

    With well over two dozen novels and stories as well as a number of recorded material, he is seen as an integral part of the Beat Generation, along with writers Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, both of whom often edited his writings.

    The amount of material that The Loft has collected in preparation for the event has prompted Yanc to consider the option of holding another event in the near future.

    “”I’d like to show ‘Naked Lunch’ (the 1991 David Cronenberg adaptation of Burroughs’ novel) sometime and then hold another one,”” Yanc said.

    The “”multi-media Burroughs extravaganza,”” as Yanc called it, will be held this Monday at the Loft Cinema starting at 7p.m. Admission is only $5 and everyone is encouraged to bring their own favorite Burroughs piece, although a collection of works will be available on site.

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