“Naked Lunch!” Banned Books Week Has “Cult Movie Monday!” This Banned Book Turned Into “Unfilmable” Film!

David Cronenberg Directs The “Unfilmable” Movie!

I’m taking part in “Banned Books Week” by focusing on great works of art that have been banned – and in this case, prosecuted for obscenity as well.

I will be sharing links so you can learn more, but first, let’s take a look at a controversial masterpiece that was banned 60 years ago!

“Naked Lunch” by William S. Burroughs

You can see from the cover what Newsweek thought of the book – this is a Grove Press book I bought when I was much younger…look at the $2.95 cover price for this paperback!

“Naked Lunch” follows the narration of junkie William Lee, who takes us on many journeys as well as various aliases: from the U.S. to Mexico, eventually to Tangier and the dreamlike Interzone.

The book is structured as a series of loosely connected vignettes. Burroughs stated that the chapters are intended to be read in any order.

The book’s subject matter deals with drug use, sexually explicit acts and obscene language, which is why it was banned!

Burroughs states in his introduction that “On The Road” Author Jack Kerouac suggested the title.

“The title means exactly what the words say: naked lunch, a frozen moment when everyone sees what is on the end of every fork.”

“Naked Lunch” is considered Burroughs’ seminal work. It was controversial in both its subject matter and its use of obscene language – what Burroughs recognized and intended.

The book was banned in Boston and Los Angeles, one of the more recent American books over which an obscenity trial was held.

My paperback includes coverage of that trial:

The book was banned in Boston in 1962 due to obscenity, but that decision was reversed in 1966 by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

The Appeals Court ruled that the book had redeeming social value.

It has become an iconic work of literature, and of course, Hollywood came calling…no wait, it was Canadian Director David Cronenberg who decided to tackle it!

A terrific special edition blu-ray release of the 1991 film “Naked Lunch” actually helps shine light on the original masterwork.

Here is the mesmerizing trailer – which includes Burroughs and gives a lot of information about the banned book as well!

As the intro to the Criterion Collection Blu-Ray says:

“In this adaptation of William S. Burroughs’s hallucinatory, once-thought-unfilmable novel Naked Lunch, directed by David Cronenberg, a part-time exterminator and full-time drug addict named Bill Lee (Peter Weller) plunges into the nightmarish Interzone, a netherworld of sinister cabals and giant talking bugs. Alternately humorous and grotesque—and always surreal—the film mingles aspects of Burroughs’s novel with incidents from the writer’s own life, resulting in an evocative paranoid fantasy and a self-reflexive investigation into the mysteries of the creative process.”

So this “Cult Movie Monday” gives you a chance to see how one great Artist takes another work of art and turns it into something unique…

A banned book on “banned books week” was turned into a uniquely original film.

Two of my fellow Bloggers have taken the lead in speaking out against book censorship..click on either link and you will see the current list of banned books across the country and it’s shocking what is included!

https://cadburypom.wordpress.com/2019/09/22/banned-books-week-2019/?c=46372#comment-46372

These links offer up many interesting details, and I went to each one, because the comments section is also worth reading as well…

https://eclecticali.wordpress.com/2019/09/22/this-is-bannedbooksweek/

If you enjoy these posts, why not subscribe and never miss out? It’s easy, and there are NO ads of any kind, just stuff I like…click on the main page and “follow” me on the upper right…


https://johnrieber.com

Leave a comment if you are supporting “banned books week!”



Categories: Art, Books / Media, Cult Movies, Great Films, Memoirs, Movies, Obscure Movies, Politics, Pop Culture, Talent/Celebrities, Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

12 replies

  1. As always both interesting , informative… I learn much I just don’t know from you, John. Keep it coming I love it!

  2. What a fantastic way to kick off Banned Books Week John! I read the book years ago and thought it was brilliant, but I still need to watch the movie. Thanks for linking to my post.🤗

  3. I am not a believer in banning books, John. A warning on the cover about explicit content or language or triggers is reasonable, but people should be allowed to make their own decisions. I have never stopped by boys from reading any book they chose too. As a young girl of ten, I read Salem’s Lot, The Shining, Lace (very wicked in those days) and Princess Daisy. I am pretty normal [more or less – smile]

  4. Great to feature a banned book, John.
    I have never read it, but I did go to see the film when it came out. Great cast, and strangely unsettling to watch. I have never been sure if I would want to watch it again.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • Yes Pete, it’s difficult material just as the novel is, but to be banned and prosecuted because of some words that are now said on primetime TV…we’ve come a long way but its also shocking to see the books currently being banned!

  5. The books that have been banned say a lot about the groups and organizations that are banning them.

Trackbacks

  1. Banned Book Week Tastes Forbidden “Candy!” “Wednesday’s Bookmobile” Has Fascinating “Candy Men” To Talk Obscenity And Literature! – johnrieber
  2. #BannedBooksWeek! “What The Friday!?!?!” Shocking List Of Booking Banned Today! – johnrieber

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Joy Lennick

Writing and Reading

Kenny's Camera, Cooking & Crazy Confessions!

It's photography, recipes and madness. It's laughter, it's lessons, it's life...

Captain's Quarters

Exploring sci-fi, fantasy, and young adult novels.

Roberta Writes

How you see life depends on how you look at things

Thirsty Journeys

Quenching your thirst for travel

Robbie Cheadle

Books | Poems | Reviews

Robbie's inspiration

Ideas on writing and baking

Just muddling through life

The ups and downs of a working mum

Darlene Foster's Blog

dreamer of dreams, teller of tales

Diary of A Movie Maniac

A Personal Journey Through Cinema & Television

Urban Suburban Girl

(adj.) cul – de – sac couture

You can always start now

exploring possibilities

Realweegiemidget Reviews Films TV Books and more

You can take the girl out of Glasgow. Entertainment Reviews from a Wee Scottish Wife and Stepmum living in Finland.

I didn't have my glasses on....

A trip through life with fingers crossed and eternal optimism.

Through the Shattered Lens

Where mainstream meets grindhouse, exploitation, otaku and gamers

The Planking Traveler

Affordable Travel, Enjoyable Movement, And Healthy Living Inspiration

Laura's Books and Blogs

Writing tips, giveaways, reviews, essays, and more!

Pages, Places, & Plates

Reviews of books, eateries, experiences, and travel.

Binging on a Budget

"Help Me, I'm Poor."

Sunshine with Savannah

Writer aiming to cultivate kindness. | Exploring, learning, scribbling, finding sunshine wherever I go.

Notes from the U.K.

Exploring the spidery corners of a culture and the weird stuff that tourist brochures ignore.

A Rambling Reviewer

Here be rambles and reviews.

Drew's Movie Reviews

Movie reviews from your average dude

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Wrangling literary arts for writers: words for people!

The Annual Bloggers Bash

The Official Website for the Best Blogging Event of the Year!

But I Smile Anyway...

Musings and memories, words and wisdom... of a working family woman

Colline's Blog

A potpourri of books and things

Travel with Intent

A photographer's view of the world - words and images to inspire your travels and your dreams

Movie Reviews 101

Daily Movie Reviews & ABC Film Challenge

Cindy Bruchman

Films. Travel. Photography. Books. Let's talk.

From Michigan to Germany

A family from Michigan living abroad in Germany.

JR-Sploitation!

The world's wildest movies from an era of "everything goes!"

Eclectic Alli

A bit of this, a bit of that, the meandering thoughts of a dreamer.

fancypaper

Little Things Make Us Happy

Rust Belt Girl

reading and writing the Rust Belt

Cult Of The Cinema

Exploring Cinematic Diversity

Retired? No one told me!

Tonight I Dream. Tomorrow I Do!

beetleypete

The musings of a Londoner, now living in Norfolk

Suzie Speaks

The Adventures Of a Thirty-Something Life

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Musings on cats, travel, gardens and life

The BookWorm Drinketh

Give Tea to the Tillerman, But Booze to the Bookworm!

Tranquil Dreams

Watching, Reading, Cooking & Travelling

An Historian About Town

History in the Making

Susie Lindau's Wild Ride

Come for Adventure. Stay for the Ride!

%d bloggers like this: