Commissioner Of Sewers – William S. Burroughs (Documentary)
C Sound: C+ Extras: D Program: C+
weeks, someone asks me what I think about David Cronenberg’s 1991 film of
William S. Burroughs’ Naked Lunch,
which is more like a weekly thing since Criterion did a deluxe DVD of it. This is all the more reason I am glad a DVD
of the actual author is available. Commissioner Of Sewers (also 1991) is a
series of interviews and lectures that show his point of view explicitly that
is not as abstract as the film of his book people still talk about.
refers to once-governor Ronald Reagan saying he would not want to be president,
so Burroughs reasons why he would like to be the commissioner of a sewer
system. A Honeymooners/Ed Norton fan maybe, it is at the crux of the way he
sees life, without pretense. You may not
always agree with he says, and sometimes he runs into sounding
pseudo-intellectual when he is not, he has a point of view and we do not hear
many attempting that now, so it is welcome talk.
program consists of old monochrome film footage, experimental video,
experimental talks on location in video, and stills, which evens out to an
average presentation. This is all full
frame. The Dolby Digital 2.0 is a mix of
stereo and monophonic sound, but is not bad.
There are no extras.
the abstract movie and book we began with, this Klaus Maeck “film” is good in
showing the humorist Burroughs turns out to be.
I just wish it was longer than it was, but then I still have not seen
that Criterion Naked Lunch yet, so
that and a few books by the man seem a suddenly more interesting proposition.
- Nicholas Sheffo