The Beat Hotel – A documentary film [First screening in the United States upcoming]

(Photos: Screenshots from and

9, Rue Git le Coeur, Paris, France. That’s the now famous address where people like William Burroughs, Ian Somerville, Brion Gysin and others from England and elsewhere in Europe lived in a hotel. The Beat Hotel.

It was between 1957 and 1963 when the beat poets of the United States (Allen Ginsberg, Burroughs and others) changed the way of writing and then literature. That was west of the Atlantic. But Paris had “The Beat Hotel, as it came to be called […]”

British photographer Harold Chapman recalls, “an entire community of complete oddballs, bizarre, strange people, poets, writers, artists, musicians, pimps, prostitutes, policemen, and everybody you could imagine.” And in this environment, Burroughs finished his controversial book Naked Lunch; Ian Somerville and Brion Gysin invented the Dream Machine; Corso wrote some of his greatest poems; and Harold Norse, in his own cut-up experiments, wrote the novella, aptly called The Beat Hotel.” [source]

So what’s the movie about?

It’s directed by writer, folklorist, photographer and filmmaker Alan Govenar and had it world premiere at the Danish Film Institute in Copenhagen on December 8, 2011. Now it’s time for the first US screenings.

The film recalls the time Chapman lived in the hotel, and according to Ginsberg “didn’t say a word for two years” because he wanted to be “invisible” and to document the scene as it actually happened. So it features original photographs and new interviews.

Watch a trailer below.


For more information visit the movie’s facebook and for latest news check out the official website.

And here’s the updated ultimate timetable on what’s up next:

March 30th, 2012: US Premiere with a week long run at the Cinema Village afterwards. There will be a Q&A during the first weekend.

New York Press Screening
Wednesday, March 14th at 11 a.m.
Cinema Village
22 East 12th St. (b/t University Pl. & 5th Ave.)

Wanna go there? Tell us below.

82 minutes, 16:9, digital, stereo, English, Documentary
Producer: Documentary Arts
Director: Alan Govenar
Editor: Alan Hatchett
Cinematography: Didier Dorant & Bob Tullier
Original Music: Daniel M. Cavanagh & Daniel Cicourel Hanley
Location Sound: Alan Govenar & Pierre Aziza
Drawings: Elliot Rudie
Animations: Alan Hatchett & Blas Garcia



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