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.
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
I haven't read the book this movie is based on (yet), but as a movie it contains all that is likable (and reprehensible) about Buk. Matt Dillon does an excellent job, really good feeling into his character, although the one flaw is that despite the dishevelled look he still appears too young and handsome for the part. I can't think of someone who could have done it better though. Cynicism, loss, alienation, booze, sex and art - it's all there, the pain and the adventure. You don't have to agree with Henry Chinaski's philosophy to be able to empathise with where his broken soul is coming from. Worth watching repeatedly, like a good book. Buk is in a class of his own, and not really a "beat" writer as he tends to be (mis)classified.
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