SIFF 2016: Uncle Howard **1/2

By Dennis Hartley

(Originally posted on Digby’s Hullabaloo on May 14, 2016)

https://i1.wp.com/www.eyeforfilm.co.uk/images/newsite/UncleHoward_still2_HowardBrooknerArchive_CansontheBowery_BurroughsBunker_NYC__byRyanMuir_600.jpg?w=474

Maybe I’m jaded from having seen one too many documentaries about the NYC arts scene; from the people (the Beats, Warhol’s Factory alums, the Velvets, Patti Smith, the punks, Mapplethorpe, Haring, Basquiat, the Club Kids, etc.) to the haunts (SoHo, TriBeBa, the Chelsea Hotel, CBGB’s, Studio 54, etc.) it’s all been pretty well strip mined by filmmakers. Perhaps that explains why we’re now reduced to a documentary, about a documentarian, who once made a documentary about William Burroughs. If you’re stuck for an angle…go meta (a credo that frequently saves my ass). Still, this heartfelt tribute to Burroughs: The Movie director Howard Brookner (who died of AIDS in 1989), by his nephew Aaron Brookner is not wholly unwatchable, and ultimately quite moving.

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