Independent Lens 1999 | TV Show Watchlist

Season 12, Episode 14 William S. Burroughs: A Man Within

First Aired: February 22, 2011

A profile of influential "Naked Lunch" author William S. Burroughs (1914-97), featuring archival footage and remarks from musicians Jello Biafra, Iggy Pop and Patti Smith; and filmmakers Gus Van Sant and John Waters. The film examines how being openly gay in a closeted age affected him; his use of drugs; and the events that shaped his life, including the accidental death of his wife Joan Vollmer during a drunken "William Tell" game in 1951 Mexico, which he said led him to take up writing.

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  • Premiered: August 9, 1999
  • Rating: TV-PG
  • Premise: Independent filmmakers are spotlighted in this anthology, which concentrates on documentaries, but occasionally features artist profiles and offbeat fictional films. (more)

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