Monday, March 9, 2009

The Junky’s Christmas – Nick Donkin, Melodie McDaniel (1993)

This is a 21 minute stop motion clay-mation. So, what makes it special? For one thing it is “presented” by Francis Ford Coppola... But most importantly, it is written and narrated by William S. Burroughs, the Beat hero, grandfather of punk, el hombre invisible and several other titles I cannot remember. So, how did this happen? Burroughs was a multi-talented artist, who had his bony old hands in almost all of the arts. As it happened he recorded an album with a group called The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy. The album was called Spare Ass Annie and Other Tales, “Spare Ass Annie” being a story from his book Interzone. The thirteenth track in that album, The Junky’s Christmas (yet another story from Interzone) was turned into this 21 minute animation. It was apparently made as a music video for VH1, featuring the music of The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy. It starts with the images of Burroughs, reading the title story, which is about Danny the carwiper, trying to find a fix on the Christmas day. When he finds the so-longed-for fix and is about to score in a cheap hotel room, he hears some moaning from the next door and he sees a young man who is also in desperate need of a fix. In a quite Burroughsian way, Danny discovers the Christmas spirit and gives his fix to the young man while he himself remains sick. The movie ends with Burroughs and his friends having a Christmas dinner complete with Burroughs slicing the Turkey (with a switchblade) and singing Merry Christmas with his deadly Texan voice. Not a masterpiece but I enjoyed watching it.

From Sonic Splendour #4

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