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
Hamer is a wonderful director and is well suited to adapt a life so besoffened as Henry Chinaski's is, with its peculiar humour. That said, the full potential of Bukowski is not realized and probably would never be outside of the books. Its still close though. Some sequences, like for instance, the pickle factory is very funny in true spirit of Buk's work.
What may scare most fans away from this though, is pretty face Matt Dillon. He does not have the personality, understanding or the looks to match Chinaski. This is the main hindrance of this movie. Lili Taylor and Marisa Tomei comes better off, giving solid performances.
If you're a fan of Buk, go check it out. If you're a fan of good cinema, check it out as well. Bent Hamer is a man of vision.
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