William S. Burroughs was a lot of things—a counterculture icon, a drug addict, a homosexual and, accidental or not, a killer—at a time when it was unsavory in this country to be any of them. In part because of his wife’s shooting in a drinking game gone awry, Burroughs also became a writer, one of the most influential in the second half of the 20th century. William S. Burroughs: A Man Within features interviews with artists, writers and lovers whose lives Burroughs helped shape, and in the process reveals the author as complicated and sometimes isolated. Home-movie footage of Burroughs shooting his guns (old habits die hard) and dining with Andy Warhol adds some flavor. This is certainly not the movie that’ll make a newcomer warm up to Burroughs: A Man Within is better used to fill in the gaps regarding what you know about the godfather of the Beat Generation.