Skip to content
The Whitsell Auditorium and the Northwest Film Center Equipment Room are closed to the public in an effort to further stem the spread of COVID-19. All classes canceled until further notice. Stay connected to art, film, and more by signing up for our newsletter.

Directed by Howard Brookner

United States 1983 86 mins.

Brookner’s feature debut—which began as his senior thesis film at NYU with friends Jim Jarmusch and Tom DiCillo—is a devout, unflinching portrait of the late writer William S. Burroughs (1914-1997) shot and edited over several years in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Burroughs, at the time teaching at City College but once again addicted to heroin after temporarily kicking the habit, leads us through old haunts. Interviews with Allen Ginsberg, Patti Smith, Francis Bacon, and others also help peel back the layers of Burroughs’ persona for all to see. “Rarely is a documentary as well attuned to its subject.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times.



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.