Well, now that I’m Seeing It, What Is It?
Writer/Director David Cronenberg translated William S. Burroughs’ “unfilmable” book Naked Lunch
in a (ahem) novel way, creating an intensely hallucinogenic, psychosexual trip that’s more about the writer himself than the writer’s cultural lightning rod of a book. Cronenberg incorporates bits of the book, but infuses his film with a profound statement on the artistic process, and especially the inner turmoil that fuels many artists’ best work. Cronenberg’s movie sees Naked Lunch
the novel through Burroughs’ shame and torment over being a homosexual and his consuming drug addiction. Other aspects of the author’s life are also interwoven into the film’s narrative with the most notorious being that he was married to a woman, Joan, who Burroughs shot and killed during an intoxicated “William Tell Routine.”