Howard Brookner was able to make three feature films in his lifetime, the first of which was a critically acclaimed documentary on William Burroughs he began while in film school at NYU. He showed great potential from an early age, winning a New England prep school award for an avant-garde play he wrote as a young student at Phillips Exeter, which centered on a toilet. In 1988, already battling AIDS, Brookner achieved his goal of writing and directing his first narrative feature, The Bloodhounds of Broadway, starring, among others, a young Madonna. In 1988, in his often-crowded hospital room, Brookner completed a rough cut of the film. Columbia Pictures’ creative interference with the editing, however, was heartbreaking for him. His lover Brad Gooch said, “It was a very clear decision. Suddenly the movie wasn’t the movie he wanted to stay alive to see.” He died with his family around him, at the age of 34.

There’s so much beauty in the world. I suppose that’s what got me in trouble in the first place. – Howard Brookner
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