Why We Love the Internets part 72 – “Burroughs – The Movie” and “Flicker: Brion Gysin’s Dream Machine”

The internet!  – There’s just so much material out there, with content growing exponentially by the day that it’s pretty much overwhelming, but there’s still nothing like finding something you’ve been looking for for ages, and finding it. At long last we have a chance to see Howard Brookners long-out-of-print Burroughs the Movie from 1983. {2011 update – not any more! You Tube full-length movies come and go! ]  –  John Giorno had released it on VHS in the mid 80s, but then it just seemed to disappear.  We weren’t even able to find a decent jpg of the cover anyplace to post here, so without going to Allen’s Collection at Stanford and scanning the cover, that fuzzy thing above will have to do. The film’s got hilarious scenes with Terry Southern in the Bunker, Burroughs taking a stroll through his childhood St. Louis neighborhood, and conversing with his disapproving brother, as well as interviews with Lucien Carr, Patti Smith, and of course Allen Ginsberg, among many others. [ 2015 update – the movie has been lovingly restored and re-released by Aaron Brookner, Brookner’s nephew – see here ]

While were posting films, thought we’d toss in this one by Canadian filmmaker Nik Sheehan on Brion Gysin’s Dream Machine, titled Flicker, based on John Geiger’s book Chapel of Extreme Experience: A Short History of Stroboscopic Light and the Dream Machine. Not our favorite film by any stretch, but it’s definitely worth watching. It’s got great interviews with the likes of Leila Hadley Luce, Jean-Jaques Lebel, DJ Spooky, Marianne Faithful & Genesis P. Orridge, and some fantastic moments with Iggy Pop. It’s pretty much the only documentary out there ( currently,2010) that focuses on Gysin and his work, [ – and this one is still up on You Tube when last we looked] so hop on the couch and have a watch.


  1. Outstanding! Burroughs calling toads in his St. Louis backyard, fantastic. One is reminded, in viewing some of this film, how refined, even aristocratic, Burroughs was. He exudes a style and demeanor that belongs to the distant past, yet he comes across as completely authentic in the postmodern world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *