Filmmaker: Gus Van Sant

Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28, 1986 by William S. Burroughs

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

According to Open Culture,

“Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28, 1986” first appeared in print in Tornado Alley, a chapbook published by William S. Burroughs in 1989. Two years later, Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting, My Own Private Idaho, Milk) shot a montage that brought the poem to film, making it at least the second time the director adapted the beat writer to film.

Ballad of the Skeletons by Allen Ginsberg

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

This is basically a glorified music video from 1997, directed by Gus Van Sant — but with music by Philip Glass and Paul McCartney, and spoken word by none other than Allen Ginsberg. I got a charge out of seeing him dressed as Uncle Sam, though by the end of the video I was beginning to tire of the poet-as-prophet schtick.

Incidentally, Howl, the movie, directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, is set for release in September. That should breathe some new life into the Ginsberg cult.