Oscilloscope has picked up North American rights to Yony Leyser's doc "William S. Burroughs: A Man Within." The 2010 Slamdance Film Festival debut is a portrait of the Beat figure featuring never-before-seen archival footage of the author of Naked Lunch. Oscilloscope will release the film theatrically in the Autumn of 2010 followed by a DVD and digital release, ad the feature will also have a broadcast premiere as part of the PBS "Independent Lens" series during the 2010/2011 season.
Josh Braun and Jason Janego of Submarine negotiated both deals with David Fenkel on behalf of Oscilloscope and Lois Vossen on behalf of Independent Lens. George Rush provided legal services on behalf of the filmmaker.
Featuring interviews with colleagues and confidants including John Waters, Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Gus Van Sant, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Sonic Youth, Laurie Anderson, Amiri Baraka, Jello Biafra, and David Cronenberg, the feature is described as a "probing, yet loving look at the man whose works at once savaged conservative ideals, spawned countercultural movements, and reconfigured 20th century culture." Peter Weller narrates the film, with a soundtrack by Patti Smith & Sonic Youth.
"Yony has managed to make a film that captures so much of what Burroughs was about and what he means to so many people," said Oscilloscope's David Fenkel in a statement about the film. "Oscilloscope manages to balance releases that are not only artistic, but also socially conscious and culturally relevant, and PBS's Independent Lens series is an inspiring venue for new voices in world cinema. I'm excited that this film is being released by them, and I think Burroughs would be too," added Leyser.