To Stay Alive: A Method  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

To Stay Alive: A Method is a 2016 Dutch documentary film directed by Erik Lieshout, Arno Hagers and Reinier van Brummelen. It is based on Michel Houellebecq's 1991 essay "To Stay Alive", about struggling artists, the role of the poet, and mental health problems. It features marginal artists as well as Houellebecq and the rock singer Iggy Pop, who reads from the original essay.


Michel Houellebecq and Iggy Pop first met in 2009 after having admired each other's works for a long time. Houellebecq been a big fan of The Stooges since he was a teenager and Pop ended up recording two albums in French as a consequence of his encounter with Houellebecq. The director Erik Lieshout had first met Houellebecq when he interviewed him for Dutch television during the promotion of the novel The Possibility of an Island, and ended up directing Last Words, a behind-the-scenes documentary for Houellebecq's own film adaptation of the novel.

To Stay Alive: A Method was produced by Serious Film with co-production support from AT-prod and VPRO. It was completed in April 2016.

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