Smash the Control Machine at Talent Project Market
by Birgit Heidsiek
07/02/2013 - Interzone Pictures is the name of the new production outfit that German producer Klaus Maeck has started after his separation from his production partner Fatih Akin, with whom he produced art-house hits such as Head On, Soul Kitchen [trailer], Chiko [trailer] and Fraktus. Among Interzone Pictures' first projects is the documentary Smash the Control Machine, about the long-term collaboration between Howard Brookner and beat generation icon William Burroughs that the New York film-maker Aaron Brookner will pitch at the Berlinale's Talent Project Market.
"In Smash the Control Machine we want to bring back the spirit of Howard Brookner and visit New York and his friends at that time," said Klaus Maeck. The German writer, music and film producer has always been fascinated by the Naked Lunch writer. In 1984, he presented the Burroughs feature Decoder at the Berlin Film Festival, which recently caught the attention of Aaron Brookner. The nephew of Howard Brookner inherited 300 cans of film stock from the late New York bohemian, among them various outtakes from his first film Burroughs: The Movie, which he made as a NYU student in 1983. His sound man was Jim Jarmusch and the director of photography Tom DiCillo.
Among Burrough‘s contemporaries Brookner interviewd in the 80s were Allen Ginsberg, Francis Bacon, Patti Smith and Lauren Hutton. To restore this old footage, Maeck and Brookner's nephew launched a kick-start campaign and were able to collect more than $20,000 through internet crowd funding. "Smash the Control Machine is a film about the making of Burroughs: The Movie that we want to present on the occasion of Burrough's 100th anniversary in February 2014." Like a collage, this documentary will present Brookner's video diaries and excerpts from his unfinished feature film with Madonna and Matt Dillon, as well as shots from contemporary New York and statements from protagonists from that era who are still alive. At the Berlin Film Festival, Maeck and Brookner are looking for another partner who will join this European-American co-production.