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Merry Christmas from William S. Burroughs

It was Christmas Day and Danny the Car Wiper hit the street junksick and broke after seventy-two hours in the precinct jail. It was a clear bright day, but there was warmth in the sun. Danny shivered with an inner cold. He turned up the collar of his worn, greasy black overcoat.

This beat benny wouldn’t pawn for a deuce, he thought.

The Beat Generation has its own twisted take on the sentimental Christmas movie in Nick Donkin’s claymation rendering of “The Junky’s Christmas.” Originally a story in William S. Burroughs’ Interzone, the tale of Danny the Car Wiper’s search for a Christmas fix has become a favourite among fans of the Beats.

Beginning with the traditional author-by-the-fire image, the short film slips quickly into claymation and follows the story of our hero, Danny, as he tries to scrape together the cash for some holiday smack. The movie has an odd take on kindness and giving, and includes perhaps the first “immaculate fix.”

At the end of the movie we are presented with footage of Burroughs at home in Lawrence, Kansas, with his friends. He is carving a turkey on Christmas day, bringing an odd feel-good moment to an odd feel-good short film.

Take a look for yourselves…