This engaging 1983 documentary was directed by Jim Jarmusch's classmate Howard Brookner. In it, we see the author Burroughs revisiting his childhood home in St. Louis. He is strolling with a cane. The neighborhood is leafy. And the house once owned by his family is huge and made of brick. Burroughs mentions (or mumbles—he never really talks) something about the art of calling toads and also about how the son of his parents' black gardener played the violin. Later, he is interviewed in a living room with this gardener, who appears to have retired. Burroughs brings up the gardener's son. What happened to him? He used to play violin, the gardener confirms, but he also died young in the early '50s. Burroughs never explains why he was so interested in the violinist. We can only guess it was his first crush. Nevertheless, you will find nothing in Junky, Burroughs's most famous book, and the only one I can honestly say I was able to finish (it was loaned to me by a junkie who lived in the flat above mine during the time I spent in Docklands in London, 1988), half as compelling as watching Burroughs talk with the father of the dead violinist. by Charles Mudede
Showtimes & Tickets
Howard Brookner
Patti Smith, Lauren Hutton, Francis Bacon