This drama centers on Hank Chinaski, the fictional alter-ego of "Factotum" author Charles Bukowski, who wanders around Los Angeles, CA trying to live off jobs which don't interfere with his primary interest, which is writing. Along the way, he fends off the distractions offered by women, drinking and gambling.
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Henry Chinaski never cared for the American dream, the thought of needing to become 'something' and fit into the system disgusts him. He believes that life is free and yours to live like you see fit, and if that in some cases involves copious amounts of whiskey then so be it. Henry spends his days drinking and listening to the radio, and he spends his nights drinking and fighting against Eddy who he thinks personifies shallowness and shameless self promoting. Sometimes in the middle of this he finds the time to jot down a few lines of poetry or a short story. After fighting Eddy and winning for a change Henry is thrown out of his regular bar where Eddy is a bartender. This leads him to seek another watering hole where he happens to find Wanda who is a barfly, in her own words "if another man came along with a fifth of whiskey, I'd go with him". Henry is not fazed by this thou and moves in with her. Of course Wanda immediately goes off and sleeps with Eddy, but after some clothes ... Written by
Erik Wallen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The apartment building where Wanda's apartment was located was an actual building where Charles Bukowski and his lover Jane Baker Cooley, the real-life counterparts to Henry and Wanda, had lived. No one knew this until Bukowski, who was watching the filming, remembered. See more »
Henry calls an ambulance and gives address of apartment building as 334, while in scene earlier that day building is clearly marked 360. See more »
And as my hands drop the last desperate pen, in some cheap room, they will find me there and never know my name, my meaning, nor the treasure of my escape.
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Tender and surprisingly straight to the heart romantic-comedy that features Mickey Rourke (in one of his best roles) as Henry, a partially hump-backed middle-aged man is proud to be a part-time poet and full-time drunk who finds himself in a short-time, drawn to a fellow alcoholic, Wanda (Faye Dunaway) and a civilized publisher, Tully (Alice Krige).
Director Barbet Schroeder patiencely takes the movie, which is based on the work and maybe, life of not-so-sober poet Charles Bukowski, and transforms it into a meaningful movie. Even the bar where Henry normally hangs out at, "The Golden Horn", has the same dreary, smoke-filled atmosphere that you'd find at any tavern, bar, or pub. A fitting tribute to anyone who goes to any bar.
That part of the movie that works wonders is the camera work of Robby Muller ("To Live and Die in L.A.", "Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai"), that captures the typical scene in a bar. You don't have to look too close to see the conversations and arguements.
"Barfly" is a different movie and it's worth watching on a rainy day or on the weekend.
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