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Paul Bowles: The Complete Outsider
A Film by Catherine Hiller Warnow & Regina Weinreich

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Filmed in Morocco and featuring exclusive interviews with cultural icons such as Allen Ginsberg, Paul Bowles: The Complete Outsider explores the esoteric life of the man who wrote the The Sheltering Sky, one of the most provocative and influential novels of the 20th century.

As an icon to the Beat Generation, Bowles’ writing and life have influenced everyone from William Burroughs (whose Naked Lunch was inspired by Bowles), to David Cronenberg’s film of the same name, to Bernardo Bertolucci, whose film adaptation of The Sheltering Sky was a critical and popular hit.

Bowles led an enigmatic existence on the outskirts of accepted moral behavior in harsh but beautiful Morocco. Despite being married (to fellow author Jane Bowles), Bowles and his wife had numerous homosexual affairs. The film explores not only his development as a writer and composer, but also his complicated personal life.

In a series of intimate conversations, Bowles speaks candidly about his writing, his music, his use of drugs and his array of friends – including W.H. Auden, Tennessee Williams, Aaron Copland, Gertrude Stein, and Allen Ginsberg. Interwoven with rare archival footage, photos and interviews, The Complete Outsider reveals a man who has always made his own rules.

What the Critics are Saying

"Paul Bowles brought distant realms of landscape and mind close to the heart of American literature." -The New York Times

"A tantalizing sketch of the legendary expatriate!" -The Los Angeles Times

"A fabulous film! You want to see it over and over again!" -Washington Post

"For fans of Bowles, the film is a juicy nugget of biographical info; for those unfamiliar with the writer, it might inspire them to check out the source." -Austin Chronicle

"A wonderfully intimate, irresistible film!" -Dennis Schwartz, Ozus’ World Movie Reviews

Recommended Reading

The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles

Without Stopping: An Autobiography by Paul Bowles

Paul Bowles, Magic & Morocco by Allen Hibbard


  Buy the poster from Posteritati

Features and Specifications

Bonus materials:

  • New Interview with Ned Rorem
  • New Interview with Filmmakers
  • Filmmaker Biographies

Format: DVD
Running Time: 57 minutes plus bonus interviews
Color: Color & B/W
Language: English

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