Where are the rest of the films and Brion Gysin's performanc
St. Jerome | orange county, USA | 08/11/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Don't let the 3/5 stars throw you. This is a nice collection if only for the "psychick television" edited Ghosts @ #9 film (53 minutes, plus two minutes of credits) and Towers Open Fire (10 minutes). However, given the quantity of information that DVDs can contain, it would've been really nice to have had the remaining hour from the previously released video, Burroughs / Gysin / Balch / Sommerville: The Films 62/63 included here, but hopefully they'll see their own DVD release soon. The live footage is taken from videotapes (and therefore the quality of the sound/image is a little dodgey) of the 1982 event of the same name--the Final Academy--which must've been one of the first big events so documented at Factory Record's legendary Hacienda club in Manchester. Perhaps the justification for why the other films from that collection are not here was that the films that are included were those screened prior to the main events. The live material included here is of the John Giorno band and William S. Burroughs. Giorno's stuff rawks, and Uncle Bill was ALWAYS ON, but again, however, there seems to be something missing. In the Thames & Hudson monograph on Brion Gysin there are photos of his performance at this event, but his reading accompanied by a guatarist is not to be found here. Perhaps this material was also missing from the 1984 dual-cassette IKON Video release, but one gets the impression from the Gysin book that this was not the case. So, all in all, though there seem to be some gaps in the documentation, it's still worth it for fans of these writers and of experimental filmmakers, but for the uninitiated it may be a better idea to try the various documentaries on Burroughs first.
3 stars for missing the opportunity to complete this set with the other hour of films and Gysin's performance which might've made up for the unavoidable quality of archival video."