New Release: William S. Burroughs: A Man Within DVD

Oscilloscope Laboratories released William S. Burroughs: A Man Within on DVD on Feb. 15, 2011. The 2010 feature-length documentary on the controversial writer and essayist carries a suggested retail price of $29.99.

Written, directed and produced by first-time filmmaker Yong Leyser, A Man Within presents a vibrant portrait of the life and work of the Beat Generation icon, William S. Burroughs. He was one of the first writers to break the boundaries of queer and drug culture in the 1950s, and his most popular novel, Naked Lunch, remains one of the most recognized and respected literary works of the 20th Century.

A Man Within features a slew of never-before-released footage of Burroughs, as well as exclusive interviews with many of his friends and collaborators, including filmmakers John Waters (Polyester), Gus Van Sant (To Die For) and David Cronenberg (Videodrome), as well as musicians Laurie Anderson, Iggy Pop, Thurston Moore and Jello Biafra.

The film also features a soundtrack by Patti Smith and Sonic Youth, and the disc has exclusive essays by David Byrne and Richard Hell.

Bonus features on DVD include the following:

  • a Naked Lunch 50th anniversary celebration
  • deleted scenes featuring Burroughs’ art
  • home movies featuring Patti Smith, Steve Buscemi, Allen Ginsberg and others
  • more of Burroughs’ shotgun art
  • Sonic Youth visits Burroughs in Lawrence, Kan.
  • “Rub Out the Word” music video
  • “The Last Words of Hassan Sabbah”
  • Patti Smith reads “Psalm 23 Revisited”
  • and a Q&A with diretor Yong Leyser at BFI London Film Festival 2010.


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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.