Sacred Fix - a look into the life of Sinclair Beiles, Beat Poet.
DURATION: 24 MINS. (1994)
A beautiful and intimate tribute to Beiles, made two years before his death, the ghostly Sacred Fix is a little work of art in itself as it changes color, shifts focus and melts Yeoville into New York into Paris in a clever mix of archive material, wonderful old photographs and the surrealistically tinged life of this unrepentant poet still raging through his last days. Filmed immediately after Independence in South Africa.
He saw the best minds of his generation destroyed by madness, starving, hysterical, naked. But just as they dragged themselves through the streets at dawn, looking for an angry fix (recorded in a million moments of cultural ecstasy in Allen Ginsberg's Howl) South African Beat poet Sinclair Beiles searched for the Sacred Fix. Did he find it, laboring under an interesting life where he came to accept that more people are dying of old age than Aids?
Beiles was an intrinsic part of the 'Beats'. Descended from Lithuania, born in Kampala and raised in South Africa, he was banished from Cape Town docks by intellectual parents who resented his affair with a medical students' wife. He resided in that angelic space that was the Beat Hotel in Paris, worked for Maurice Girodias' Olympia Press and wrote pornography under a Chinese pseudonym. Taking over from Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg who, earlier in Tangiers, had tried but gave up, he edited the NAKED LUNCH from the dogs' breakfast presented to him by William Burroughs into something publishable.. NAKED LUNCH went on to become one of the most influential texts of the sixties and subsequent post-modern literature in general.
He took drugs with the best of them and worked with Bryon Gysin in the Beat Hotel on the first Dream Machine, as well as publishing the first cut-up writing along with Burroughs, Gysin and Gregory Corso. He found time to wrote poetry, published as Ashes of Experience, which won him the first Ingrid Jonker Prize in 1969. Seven years later the Lord Byron Award was bestowed upon him in honor of four collected verse dramas, Sacred Fix, written largely in Greece.
His last days in Johannesburg seemed crowned by the earlier life among American literary dissidents of the 1950's and 60's, walking talking living proof of an earlier revolutionary counterculture. Beiles is now immortalized in his own filmic cutup sequence. the filmmaker has taken the subject to heart, mind and nakedness in this insightful documentary, adopting the very techniques that made the beats so desired and reviled - a jazz mass of fascinating music with the phrase bass rhythm of Beiles speaking.
South African filmmaker Anton Kotze' was tutored by his filmmaker-photographer father from an early age. He has has worked for over twenty years in the feature film and television industry, mostly covering the arts and education.
He started his professional life as a newspaper crime reporter and photographer at the age of nineteen before leading a nomadic life around southern Africa for a number years, during which he was jailed for five months in an African dictator-state under suspicion of being a spy.