Director Aaron Brookner and the cast and crew of 'Uncle Howard' discussed the film following a screening at the 54th New York Film Festival, where it played in the Spotlight on Documentary section.
While Aaron Brookner was working on the restoration of Burroughs: The Movie, his uncle Howard Brookner’s 1983 documentary about William S. Burroughs, he discovered an archive that Howard left uncatalogued. It encompassed unused footage, and much more: film and video diaries capturing the downtown New York, post-Beat mosaic of writers, filmmakers, performers, and artists in the 1970s and 1980s and the devastation of that community by AIDS, which took Howard’s life in 1989. A work of love and scholarship, Uncle Howard weaves contemporary interviews with this rediscovered footage: of the legendary “Nova Convention”; Robert Wilson rehearsing the aborted L.A. production of The Civil Wars; a twentysomething Jim Jarmusch, Howard’s NYU classmate, recording sound on Burroughs; and Howard’s lyrical video self-portrait, made near the end of his life.
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