Filmmaker Andre Perkowski is working on a huge 3 hour plus adaptation of the novel ‘Nova Express‘ by William S. Burroughs. It’s a wild, ragged, disjointed, warped, damaged, serious and funny mashup of found footage, original film and Burroughs’ reading voice along with others. It’s got those incoherently combined sci-fi and thriller elements that Burroughs so easily manipulated as if in a delirium. The film is itself a kind of cutup, mirroring the technique Burroughs used that involved gathering unrelated bits and pieces of other books and newspaper articles to formulate sentences that somehow ramble on without necessarily leading anywhere specific. The novel is about exposing the secrets of those who attempt to control all thought and life with virus-like ideas, machines and drugs.
Perkowski is a filmic oddball who delights in making things that are messy. He draws and collages to create new images, purposely ruining his images to create the unexpected. I think his mental immersion into Burroughs is leading him through his wonderful film with great assurance. Apparently, Perkowski is constantly adding to the film and changing it. He has at least six different ‘drafts’ of the film. As he goes, he posts chunks of the film on his YouTube channel which I happen to think is a fantastic idea. There are similarities between the way he works and the way I work on films like my ‘Yellow Plastic Raygun.’ I have often told people that I suspect the video scrubber button in non-linear video editors that allows a filmmaker to fly through a full length feature film in seconds is perhaps the single most important cinematic tool of the last thirty years. It is this little tool that allows for the searching and matching of cinematic elements that could never have been found in a human lifetime before the non-linear editor. So it leads to entirely new form of cinema. That’s what you are watching here with Perkowski’s film. It is a powerful work of new cinema and may well be the best adaptation of a Burroughs work that I have ever seen.
Here’s a great interview with the filmmaker that focuses on this film.
Parts 3 – 10 after the jump…