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Native son William S. Burroughs was America's answer to the Old Man of the Mountain, an enigmatic figure who lurked on the periphery of the major underground cultural movements of the twentieth century. Godfather to the Beats, icon to the punks, guiding light of America's literary avant garde, friend to cats, hardcore homosexual gun nut and an on-again-off-again junkie, Burroughs' influence is widespread and pervasive. Many have tried to document the life and work of El Hombre Invisible, but all have fallen by the wayside. Yony Leyser, all of 25 years old, succeeded where these people failed, unearthing unseen archival footage of Burroughs and scoring interviews with collaborators such as Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Gus Van Sant and David Cronenberg. Leyser's William S. Burroughs: A Man Within is the first full-scale documentary of the literary outlaw. The film screens at 7:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday (October 22 through 24) at Webster University's Moore Auditorium (470 East Lockwood Avenue; 314-968-7487 or, and tickets are $5 to $6.
Oct. 22-24, 2010

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