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The title of the film comes from Bukowski's poem, "Dinosauria, we", which was published in his book, "The Last Night Of The Earth Poems". Published in 1992, it was the final book of poetry released while the poet was still alive. See more »
Genius, alcoholic, misogynist, poet, borderline psychopath. These are some of the words and labels branded on 'Beat' poet and author Henry Charles Bukowski Jr. during this extremely detailed and informative account of his life and work. For those unacquainted with his blue- collar genius, Bukowski started out drifting through meaningless jobs across America in the 1940's, drinking and writing all he could in his spare time. It wasn't until the 1960's when a collector of 1st editions and manager of a printing company offered to publish a collection of his works, when his career took off. He wrote possibly thousands of poems and was asked to write a novel. This work was Post Office, an deadpan account of his 16 years working for the U.S. Post Office.
Although he was, and still is, recognised as a 'Beat' writer (alongside the likes of Jack Kerouac and Alan Ginsberg), he was very much a man of his own style. Where Kerouac wrote about his personal journeys in a structured, detailed way, Bukowski wrote about mundane things in a straightforward way. It was very much poetry for the blue collar workers. In this documentary, John Dullaghan pieces together interview footage shot by the likes of Taylor Hackford and Barbet Schroeder, as well as pieces conducted by Italian and Belgian TV, to create a portrayal of a very complex and misunderstood man (there are also interviews with the likes of Sean Penn, Bono, Tom Waits and Harry Dean Stanton).
Like A Man Within (2010), which focused on fellow beat writer William S. Burroughs, Born Into This tries to tackle the various attributes that made the man. While telling a relatively chronological story of Bukowski, it covers the subjects of his childhood abuse at the hands of his father, his alcohol abuse, his treatment of women, his reaction to fame, and how this led to an influx of women begging for his 'purple onion' (as he called it). Running at 130 minutes, this is an incredibly (and necessarily) detailed documentary that really gets to the heart of the man who created some incredibly pieces of literature. I remember reading Post Office and Factotum when I was younger, and being blown away by its simplistic beauty and honesty. A must-see for any fans.
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