Thursday, December 19, 2013

Naked Lunch

1991 Canadian/British/Japanese Feature

Cast: Peter Weller, Judy Davis, Ian Holm, Julian Sands, Roy Scheider, Monique Mercure, Nicholas Campbell, Michael Zelniker, Robert A. Silverman and Joseph Scorsiani
Writer/Director: David Cronenberg, based on the novel by William S. Burroughs

Part-time exterminator and full-time drug addict William Lee plunges into the nightmarish netherworld of the Interzone, pursuing a mysterious project that leads him to confront sinister cabals and giant talking bugs.



  • DVD/Blu-ray: Available
  • Soundtrack: Available
  • Book: Available


  • Genie Awards for Best Motion Picture, Direction, Supporting Actress (Mercure), Cinematography, Art Direction/Production Design, Sound and Sound Editing.
  • London Critics Circle Film Award for Actress of the Year (Davis).
  • National Society of Film Critics Awards for Best Director and Screenplay.
  • New York Film Critics Circle Awards for Best Supporting Actress (Davis) and Screenplay.

  • William S. Burroughs' novel Naked Lunch was originally published in 1959. Since then, numerous filmmakers considered adapting Burroughs' "unfilmable" novel for the screen. Rather than attempting a straight adaptation, David Cronenberg took elements from the book and combined them, along with other fiction by him, with elements of Burroughs' life, creating a hybrid film about the writing of the book rather than the book itself.
  • Several characters are loosely based on people that William Burroughs knew. Hank and Martin are based on Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg (who assisted Burroughs in compiling the original novel), Tom and Joan Frost are based on Paul and Jane Bowles, and Kiki was the name of a young man Burroughs had an affair with in Tangier while writing Naked Lunch. 
  • Naked Lunch was released on DVD and Blu-ray as part of The Criterion Collection in 2003.

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  • The real event that inspired the "William Tell" scenes in Naked Lunch is dramatized in Beat.

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