. Words of Advice William S. Burroughs on the Road Lars Movin & Steen Møller Rasmussen Denmark, 2007, 74 min.
The idea of making a film about the American writer William S. Burroughs (1914-97) came to us during the making of another documentary, Onkel Danny – portræt af en Karma Cowboy (2002), a portrait of the Danish writer and cult figure Dan Turèll (1946-93). We knew that Burroughs was one of Turèll’s literary heroes, and during our research we discovered that the only encounter between the two men (in Copenhagen on October 29th 1983) had been documented on video. The tapes, however, had been missing for more than twenty years. We set out searching for them, and what we found was much more than we could ever have imagined – ten video tapes with more than three hours of recordings, altogether a historic document which also in an international context was quite sensational. Rather than just incorporating small fragments of the material in our portrait of Turèll we decided to keep it secret for the time being and then at a later time unfold the material more thoroughly in a separate film. In 2003 we travelled to the United States, to New York and Lawrence, Kansas, where we shot new material to create a framework for the historic footage. On this trip we interviewed a number of people, among them John Giorno, poet and director of the record company Giorno Poetry Systems, and James Grauerholz, secretary for Burroughs for the last twenty years of his life and today in charge of his literary estate. Both were close friends of Burroughs, and both were members of his entourage during the Copenhagen visit in 1983. Our aim with the film has first and foremost been to preserve the excellent historic recordings of Burroughs and to make them available for a wide audience. And then we hope to give some insights into Burroughs’ unique talent as a performer, and to offer some tools to enter this vastly interesting, but also complex and at times quite demanding oeuvre.
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