Nov 12, 2008

Ah Pook is Here

Ah Pook is Here is an animated short film directed by Phillip Hunt in the year of 1994. It was based off of a William S. Burroughs novel of the same title. William S. Burroughs' deadpan reading of this short was derived from his recordings on a compilation known as Dead City Radio. The result is a wonderfully cosmic tale of the last gods struggle with the deterioration of the common man. Besides, what kind of man is a man without junk?

The fleshy-organic creature of Ah Pook is a deliriously unwelcome looking creation. A stitched demi-god of cataclysmic sorrow and doubt. His likeness is mysteriously similar to Nightmare Before Christmas' Oogie Boogie. Willam S. Burroughs' voice is a gravely patch of burden stretched across this beautiful animated film. The vast complexities are endless and each viewing supplements your taste for knowledge.

"In the scattered remains of a burnt out cosmos, the last god, “AH POOK” debates with his alter ego the trembling balance between life and death. An animated stream of consciousness in Burroughs' idiosyncratically mesmeric voice breaks delivers us a requiem for the carcasses of Armageddon, nihilistic ramblings of "the last god" searching for meaning in his universe, and finally a bitter manifesto of enlightenment, and liberation."

The original recording in Dead City Radio contained the line "Bryon Gysin had the all-purpose nuclear bedtime story... the all-purpose bedtime story, in fact: Some trillions of years ago, a sloppy, dirty giant flicked grease from his finger. One of those gobs of grease is our universe on its way to the floor... Splat." This line was apparently in the theatrically released edit of this short film, but for some reason, it's absent from the commercially released print replaced with "No More Hitler's, No More Stalin's".

When I become Death, Death is the seed from which I grow…

Itzama, spirit of early mist and showers.
Ixtaub, goddess of ropes and snares.
Ixchel, the spider web, catcher of morning dew.
Zooheekock, virgin fire patroness of infants.
Adziz, the master of cold.
Kockupocket, who works in fire.
Ixtahdoom, she who spits out precious stones.
Ixchunchan, the dangerous one.
Ah Pook, the destroyer.

Hiroshima, 1945, August 6, sixteen minutes past 8 AM.

Who really gave that order?

Answer: Control.

Answer: The Ugly American.

Answer: The instrument of Control.

Question: If Control’s control is absolute, why does Control need to control?

Answer: Control… needs time.

Question: Is Control controlled by its need to control?

Answer: Yes.

Why does Control need humans, as you call them?

Answer: Wait… wait! Time, a landing field. Death needs time like a junkie needs junk.

And what does Death need time for?

Answer: The answer is sooo simple. Death needs time for what it kills to grow in, for Ah Pook’s sake.

Death needs time for what it kills to grow in, for Ah Pook’s sweet sake, you stupid vulgar greedy ugly American death-sucker.

Death needs time for what it kills to grow in, for Ah Pook’s sweet sake, you stupid vulgar greedy ugly American death-sucker… Like this.

We have a new type of rule now. Not one man rule, or rule of aristocracy, or plutocracy, but of small groups elevated to positions of absolute power by random pressures and subject to political and economic factors that leave little room for decision. They are representatives of abstract forces…

Ah Pook picks up a double-barrel shotgun and opens the breech, where two shells are chambered. It closes the breech.

…who’ve reached power through surrender of self. The iron-willed dictator is a thing of the past. There will be no more Stalins, no more Hitlers. The rulers of this most insecure of all worlds are rulers by accident…

Ah Pook is caressing the shotgun.

…inept, frightened pilots at the controls of a…

Ah Pook puts the shotgun into its mouth, and its voice continues: …vast machine they cannot understand, calling in experts to tell them which buttons to push.

Ah Pook pulls the trigger.

— William S. Burroughs

Ah Pook is Here is a specially crafted art short. It houses endless meaning within its minuscule runtime. The results are a feverishly analytical piece of the collapse of everything - the downfall of society and religion. The fallibility of God is neigh. Ah Pook is Here is everywhere near as important as any children's classic. A mandatory viewing for any fan of Burroughs or surrealist animation.


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