After a lecture where a poem is read out to a group of bored students, the alcoholic and sex addicted poet, Charles Serking, meets a young girl backstage. Then he travels to Los Angeles, and has sex with bizarre women. When Charles meets the gorgeous self-destructive prostitute Cass in a bar, he finds his soul mate and falls in love for her. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
What's your name?
Did you enjot it, Vera?
Yeah, like being raped! When I got off the bus, I thought you'd lose your nerve. Most men are cowards in the broad daylight.
[Smoking a cigarillo]
I want you to be mean to me. Next time I want you to... use your belt.
I don't wear a belt. You're gonna have to lend me one.
[She gives him a wide black belt and exhales deeply on the cigarillo]
Come on, Tiger, whip me. I want you to beat me before you stick it in me!
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An extraordinary movie with an utterly brilliant performance from Ben Gazzara. Disturbing, poetic and very beautiful.
Just about everybody seems to hate 'Tales Of Ordinary Madness' even Charles Bukowski himself. I can't see why. For me it's an extraordinary movie just as good, if not better than, 'Barfly'. Director Marco Ferreri also made the unforgettable 'Blow-Out' ('La Grande Bouffe') another overlooked gem. Both movies are disturbing, poetic and very beautiful. Cassavetes fave Ben Gazzara is the perfect choice to play Bukowski substitute Charles Serking. He gives an utterly brilliant performance, his best along with 'The Killing Of A Chinese Bookie', another love-it-or-hate-it movie. Ornella Muti plays Cass, a self-destructive prostitute he falls in love with. Now Muti is just about the most beautiful actress I've ever seen in my life so I can see why someone would have a problem with her being cast in such a role. It may be unrealistic but she's convincing in a difficult part, and she's just mesmerizing to look at! An added bonus is cult fave Susan Tyrrell ('Fat City', 'Bad', 'Flesh & Blood', 'Cry-Baby',etc.) in the supporting cast playing a typically bent character for her. 'Tales Of Madness' is slow and meandering and anecdotal so people who prefer straightforward, simplistic Hollywood movies will hate it. But if you enjoy Bukowski's work or Hubert Selby Jr's check this movie out as I'm sure you'll be impressed.
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