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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Self-declared aspiring writer Hank Chinaski has neither qualifications, ambition nor ethics. Any dead-end job he lands is soon lost through laziness or mischief. His relationship with fellow deadbeat Jan gets strained to crisis through her insecurity, so he even gives up betting on horses which brought in easy money. Written by
It is difficult to describe to non-fans of Bukowski the power and meaning behind his words. It is much more difficult to create a movie based on one of his novels. Bent Hamer has done just that and done it well. Often there is a sharp contrast between a writer's identity and their day to day persona. With Bukowski, that contrast is nearly non-existent. He lived every raw word he wrote and Hamer brings it to life on the screen. Did Bukowski live to write or was he writing to live? The likely answer is yes to both. However, the movie leaves this question for the viewer to answer.
Kudos must also go to fine performances by Matt Dillon, Lily Taylor, and Marisa Tomei for bring the Buk's fictional alter-ego Chinaski and his women to life.
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