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Askew Review 15

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GANG OF SOULS: A Generation of Beat Poets
(MVD) 1989. Documentary/interviews. 57 minutes. Sitting in front of a white screen, a bunch of poets/writers/spoken word artists talk about their work, influences, and other related junk. Those interviewed: William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Marianne Faithfull, Richard Hell, Lydia Lunch, Henry Rollins, Jim Carroll, and a few others.
   Directed by fetish filmmaker Maria Beatty, Gang of Souls doesn’t come close to being like the work that has made her famous: fetish films. Filmed in 1989, those living look mighty young and those dead (Burroughs, Ginsberg, Gregory Corso) look very alive. If you’re into any of these people or the beat scene, then you’ll enjoy the 57 minutes. The gang tends to talk and discuss the same circle of names giving the feeling of a clique going on while leaving out some heavy names from beat poetry scene. Most of the time is taken up with the speakers answering an unheard question with some poetry readings and a performance or two. If I had known of Lydia Lunch back in the late 80s, I would have hunted her down and made her my own. I would have. The DVD opens with brief biographies of each participant, while one of the extra features offers some follow up to the 1989 info. – Denis Sheehan



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