Let It Come Down: The Life Of Paul Bowles

  • 1998
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Biography, Documentary

"You don't make anything much out of that which is false," observes expatriate writer Paul Bowles with a dry flick of his faintly reptilian tongue, then proceeds to evade, obfuscate and deflect every question put to him. Not for nothing does old acquaintance William S. Burroughs snipe that Bowles' biography Without Stopping should have been called Without...read more

Where to Watch

Available to Stream

  • Watch on
Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
Rating:

"You don't make anything much out of that which is false," observes expatriate writer Paul Bowles with a dry flick of his faintly reptilian tongue, then proceeds to evade, obfuscate and deflect every question put to him. Not for nothing does old acquaintance

William S. Burroughs snipe that Bowles' biography Without Stopping should have been called Without Telling: The vogue for self-revelation passed Bowles by without so much as ruffling the hairs on the back of his neck. Born in New York City in 1910, Bowles' eccentric family was ruled

by a horror of religion and a perverse child-raising philosophy: The Bowles children were always encouraged to voice the precise opposite of what they felt. Bowles first aspired to a career as a composer, with some success: His theatrical compositions in the Gershwin/Copland/Bernstein vein

accompanied such productions as Tennessee Williams' Sweet Bird of Youth. After marrying writer Jane Auer, Bowles abandoned music and moved to Morocco, where he penned his first novel, The Sheltering Sky, and inspired beat writers without ever considering himself one of them. He also

takes gentlemanly umbrage at being called homosexual, though he and his wife both expended most of their erotic energy on same-sex relationships while remaining devoted companions. Bowles crossed paths with a cross-section of 20th century writers and painters, including Gertrude Stein, Allen

Ginsberg, Truman Capote and Francis Bacon, apparently without considering any of them friends. Bowles emerges from this documentary a clever and supremely remote man: There are fascinating tidbits to be gleaned from its interviews with the writer and his contemporaries, but his polite refusal to

discuss his work is frustrating. "I have absolutely nothing to say about writing," he declares, and like a true gentleman he's as good as his word.

Cast & Details See all »

  • Released: 1998
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: "You don't make anything much out of that which is false," observes expatriate writer Paul Bowles with a dry flick of his faintly reptilian tongue, then proceeds to evade, obfuscate and deflect every question put to him. Not for nothing does old acquaintan… (more)

Show More »

Trending TonightSee all »