William S. Burroughs' Blade Runner Movie

William S. Burroughs' Blade Runner Movie

Marc Arsenault

Shift cut tangle word lines–Word falling–Photo falling–Bill Paxton

Taking Tiger Mountain

In 1974 Alan E. Nourse – an American physician and author released a science fiction novel called The Bladerunner about black market medical services trading in a future world. Nourse wrote many other science fiction novels with catchy names, including Rocket To Limbo. He also authored many popular titles dealing with venereal disease.

In 1979 Blue Wind Press released William S. Burroughs screen treatment of Nourse’s novel as Blade Runner (a movie). The book was re-released by the same press in 2010.

Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy was a Beijing Opera about an incident in the Chinese Civil War; it was one of the very few permitted to be performed during the Cultural Revolution. A set of postcards based on the work inspired Brian Eno to title his 1974 solo album Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy).

William S. Burroughs’ Blade Runner script was adapted into a film starring a young Bill Paxton (Weird Science, Aliens) by Tom Huckabee & Kent Smith. The film took many years to complete. It was finally released as Taking Tiger Mountain* to very limited screenings in 1983. Nearly 30 years after its completion it was screened again at The Texas Theater in Dallas (where Lee Harvey Oswald had been apprehended) and at Spectacle in Brooklyn.

Get some deep history on the project from director Tom Huckabee on Screen Slate.

In other ‘unbelievable lost Burroughs gems that have come to the surface’ news, you may want to check out “The Lost Art of Ah Pook Is Here: Images from the Graphic Novel” and “Observed While Falling: Bill Burroughs, Ah Pook, and Me” by Malcolm McNeill from Fantagraphics Books.

Breakthrough in Grey Room

*All rights to the Blade Runner name had been sold to Ridley Scott, and that is that.

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