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Naked Lunch

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Cast
Peter Weller, Judy Davis, Ian Holm, Julian Sands, Roy Scheider, Monique Mercure, Nicholas Campbell, Michael Zelniker, Robert A. Silverman, Joseph Scoren
Released
1991
William Burroughs | aquatic brazilian centipede | black meat | hashish | heroin
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Blog entry

Writer Martin tells his writer friend Hank, “I don’t accept your Catholic interpretation of my compulsive necessity to rewrite every word at least 100 times.“ (0:04)

Exterminator Bill finds his wife Joan injecting insecticide into her breast.
Joan: “I’m shooting up your bug powder.”
”It’s a very literary high.”
Bill: “What do you mean, it’s a literary high?”
Joan: “It’s a Kafka high.” (0:07)

Detective O’Brien introduces his partner Detective Hauser and himself to Bill: “City narcotics... possession of a dangerous substance... a lot of drugs poured down the old vein.”
Bill tells them he is “straight.” (0:10)

Bill tells Joan, referring to bug powder, “I started hallucinating behind the stuff.”
”You’re acting like a full-fledged junky...”
Joan: “I do have a little bit of a habit...”
She shows him a cellophane packet of powder. Bill rubs some on her lips. (0:16)

Bill asks Dr. Benway, referring to Joan, “How do I get him to kick?”
Benway: “Kick?”
Referring to a vial of black substance: “It’s made from aquatic Brazilian centipede... It shuts down the brain’s response to the bug powder... The powder becomes irrelevant to the addict, and the addict then ceases to be addicted.”
Bill: “Side effects?”
Benway: “Nothing that will surprise the addict.”
Bill: “But, uh, before I... do your cure I’ve gotta score some bug powder.”
Benway: “Score?” (0:20)

Martin reads: “... addicts of drugs not yet synthesized... infractions denounced by bland, paranoid chess players... taken down in hebephrenic shorthand...”
Bill removes drug paraphernalia from a table. (0:23)

Bill draws liquid into a syringe from a spoon and injects his arm.
Joan tells him, “Hank’s on junk.”
Bill injects Joan’s ankle. (0:25)

Martin continues: “... tested on the sensitized cells of junk sickness...”
Bill accidentally shoots and kills Joan. (0:25)

Martin: “Listen, Bill, I told the police it was a drunken accident.” (0:31)

Hans tells the bartender, “He woke up in bed to find himself wedged between a Dutch transvestite and six Arab men.”
Hans tells Bill, “I am interested in selling a large stash of the black meat... of the giant aquatic Brazilian centipede.” (0:32)

Workers grind centipedes into black meat. (0:34)

Bill nods as he touches track marks on his forearm. He recoils when his typewriter appears to have turned into a talking beetle: “Good changes, Bill, fresh blood, sparkling insights...”
Homosexuality is the best all-around cover an agent ever had.”
Hurt me.” (0:36)

Bill sees a doppelganger of Joan. (0:41)

Doppelganger Joan’s writer husband Tom tells Bill, “If you get blocked again, I’ll let you try my Martinelli.”
”I mean, on the level of conscious intention, it’s insane, monstrous.”
”... about the medicines and drugs I’ve given her, about the constant nibbling away at her self-esteem and sanity... whereas Joanie finds that she simply cannot be as obsessively precise as she wants to be...” (0:44)

Bill tells Yves, “In fact, I don’t remember the O’Leary party, in fact, I don’t remember you.” (0:47)

Bill tells Yves, “The Lees have always been perverts... I walked the streets in a daze, like a man with a light concussion.” (0:48)

Tom tells Bill, “Deadly aphrodisiac, humor.”
Referring to Hans: “You knew he rad a drug factory...”
Bill: “What drug did he manufacture?”
Tom: “Majoun, I think. It’s a local hash resin almond paste.” (0:53)

Trembling, Bill peers at words typed with his typewriter: “I seem to be addicted to something that doesn’t really seem to exist. I have embarked upon withdrawal and I am very fearful of what the withdrawal symptoms will be.” (0:55)

Bill watches one of his talking typewriter beetles devour the other.
One of them tells him, “The opposition will be thrown into total confusion.” (0:57)

Bill tells Joan, “I suffer from sporadic hallucinations.”
”... addicts of drugs not yet synthesized...”
...”addicts of drugs not yet synthesized... denounced by bland, paranoid chess players.” (1:00)

Joan’s housekeeper Fadela: “Mrs. Frost, this is an evil and insane thing that you are doing.” (1:02)

Bill rubs the black meat on his neck then appears intoxicated. He has another conversation with the talking typewriter beetle.
Bill tells the beetle, “Save the psychoanalysis for your grasshopper friends.”
Beetle: “An unconscious agent is an effective agent, Bill.”
”You know this instinctively, Bill, and it’s your instincts that make you such a good operative.” (1:08)

Bill: “Jesus, Tom, are you nuts?” (1:12)

Bill, on seeing Hank and Martin: “I must be hallucinating.”
Hank: ”Yeah, man, it’s probably the first time you haven’t been hallucinating in a long time.”
Bill: “Everybody blacks out in Interzone.”
Peering in Bill’s sack, Hank sees drugs and paraphernalia.
Hank, referring to Bill’s book: “Yeah, the one you’ve been calling Naked Lunch.”
Martin tells Bill, “I think it’s time to discuss your philosophy of drug use as it relates to artistic endeavour.”
Bill offers Hank and Martin “... black meat, the flesh of the giant aquatic Brazilian centipede.” (1:14)

Hank tells Martin, referring to Bill, “He has a grip on a certain reality principle, yes.”
Bill tells Hank, “That reality principle thing could work for you too.” (1:19)

His new typewriter, the head of a mugwump, talks to Bill: “My predecessor felt you had an ambivalent relationship with him.”
Bill, referring to a liquid that oozes from utter-like protrusions on the mugwump’s head: “This stuff is very potent.”
Mugwump, referring to Benway: “The base of his pyramid is a drug called the black meat.” (1:24)

Bill tells Yves and Kiki, “It would get drunk, too, and have crying jags.” (1:30)

His mugwump typewriter: “I don’t like this mood, Bill.” (1:35)

Bill: “Tom, I’ve brought you a new typewriter which conveniently dispenses two types of intoxicating fluid when it likes what you’ve written.”
Tom, referring to Bill’s affair with Joan: ”Literate, complex and neurotic, I would imagine.”
”With Joanie, the courtship period could involve years of passionate ambivalence.”
Tom tells his assistant, ”Bill Lee has always been a man of powerful instinct, Hafid.” (1:36)

His beetle typewriter tells Bill that Joan is at “Hans’s old drug factory in the Medina.” (1:39)

Fadela tells Joan, “The effect of the drugs must be catalogued with painstaking accuracy.”
Bill asks Fadela, “I expected to see an operation all out for the black meat here. What’s with all the mugwump jism?”
Fadela: “The black meat concession turns out to have some unfortunate political strings attached.”
Benway rips off the Fadela disguise and tells Bill, “I’m afraid I was forced by the tenor of the times to prescribe that wretched black meat powder... Mugwump jism can’t be beat... ‘El Primo’ liked to walk the streets amongst his people in drag...” (1:42)

Bill repeats his shooting of Joan and grieves. (1:50)