Herbert Huncke’s Birthday

Herbert Huncke reading at Cafe Nico, New York, March 12, 1994 – video by Laki Vazakas

Herbert Huncke“American hipster” – hustler and saint, poet and story-teller, central source for the Beats, “the man who turned on William Burroughs” –  Today would have been (he made it to his 81st) Huncke’s 98th birthday.

Our 2011 post with comprehensive Huncke links is here.

We’ve featured it before but here again is a link to Francois Bernardi’s film, Original Beats, from 1996 (featuring footage of two quintessential Beat scallywags – Herbert Huncke and Gregory Corso).

and here is something we’ve never featured – 3o minutes of extras, out-takes from Bernardi’s film

One final piece of rare Huncke-ana (Huncke-ana?) – The Burning Ghat – filmed on location in Huncke’s then-apartment on Henry Street in Brooklyn in 1990 (written and directed by James Rasin and Jerome Poynton, edited by Bernardi (shot by Michael Slovis) and featuring Huncke’s long-time companion, Louis Cartwright)
“Although conceived and scripted as a dramatic short, the film incorporates documentary elements reflecting the real-life relationship between Huncke and Louis”.
“O Rare Herbert Huncke live on film! The Burning Ghat features late-in-lifetime old partners Huncke & Louis playing characters beyond themselves with restrained solid self-awareness, their brief masquerade of soul climaxing in an inspired moment’s paradox bittersweet as an O.Henry tale’s last twist”, wrote Allen, reviewing the footage. Yes, that is a surprise ending.

Oh – and why oh why is this wonderful book  (edited by our good friend Ben Schafer) currently out-of-print?

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