Cinema Review: Uncle Howard


Posted December 21, 2016 in Cinema Reviews

Uncle Howard

Director: Aaron Brookner

Talent: Aaron Brookner, John Giorno, Jim Jarmusch, Tom DiCillo

Released: 16th December

Uncle Howard is a documentary about the filmmaker Howard Brookner. Charting his film career, tragically cut short in 1989, it features a great deal of his role in directing the William Burroughs documentary (Burroughs: The Movie), a little about his second documentary (on theatre director Robert Wilson) and his final and only feature film, Bloodhounds of Broadway.

Uncle Howard artfully weaves hand written letters, diary entries, photos, interviews, archival and home video footage while maintaining its various narrative strands. It follows the attempts of director (and nephew) Aaron Brookner to track down lost footage belonging to his uncle and is also an intimate portrait of Howard, his family, friends and the creative and gay scenes of the 1980s. Through remarkable access to Howard’s contemporaries (the likes of Jim Jarmusch) he is shown to be a loveable, charming and roguish young man. His untimely death from AIDS gives rise to musings on what is valuable in life resulting in a considered, interesting and provocative documentary.

Words – Sarah Taaffe-Maguire

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