The Japanese Sandman

Directed by Edward Buhr
2007
USA
12 mins

Both wry travelogue and heartbreaking tale of love lost, The Japanese Sandman adapts a letter William S. Burroughs wrote to Allen Ginsberg in 1953. Told in Burroughs’ caustically funny voice, cocaine-snorting in Panama and post-prom handjobs in 1931 St. Louis dissolve into a meditation on memory and loss.

Actor/performance artist John Fleck leads a stand-out cast through Burroughs’ recounting of scoring opiates and boys in Panama and, in the letter’s P.S., a love affair with farm boy Billy Brandshinkel in the Ozarks of his youth. Imperial Teen’s Roddy Bottum provides the lively and compelling score.

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