An aging artist sees a beautiful young woman drowning near the beach and helps her. They become lovers. At first he is smitten by her youth, beauty and free spirit but soon he starts worrying that she might actually be insane.
The story about a couple who do not want to have children of their own, and a pregnant, single woman who needs a home for a while, the relationship between the three protagonists is strange, at the very least.
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.
A writer returns home from World War I. He has developed a very bad case of post traumatic stress disorder. He contemplates suicide, but becomes interested in the 12 year old niece of the innkeeper at the place where he is recuperating.
After a lecture where a poem is read out to a group of bored students, the alcoholic and sex addicted poet, Charles Serking, meets a young girl backstage. Then he travels to Los Angeles, and has sex with bizarre women. When Charles meets the gorgeous self-destructive prostitute Cass in a bar, he finds his soul mate and falls in love for her.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
In one of several of Charles Bukowski's book of letters, he noted that, before production began, Ben Gazarra had great eyes. After the movie came out, however, he didn't have much good to say about it. See more »
Tales of Ordinary Madness is the first film to be based on a book by Charles Bukowski and focuses on the story of one man as he descends into a life of loose women and alcohol. I have not read the book that this is based on so I don't know how it compares to the source material; but as a movie, it's very good and I was surprised to find that the writer himself did not approve of the film. The plot is fairly straight forward in the way that it focuses on just a single character; but the film changes often and this odyssey is a long way from a commercial movie and thus is not for all tastes. Our central character is Charles Serking; a writer who also happens to be an alcoholic. He goes out looking for booze and women and finds both inside a seedy Hollywood. The story really starts when Charles meets a prostitute with a penchant for cutting herself named Cass. He brings her home to meet his ex-wife and have sex; but it's not long before he begins on a downward spiral of depression and turns to the drink for comfort.
This film presents a completely downtrodden view of the world and director Marco Ferreri completely succeeds in creating a dirty and sleazy atmosphere for everything to take place in. There's plenty of full frontal nudity and sex in the film and it's all portrayed as being very dirty and thus is not erotic at all. The style of the film is excellently matched by a stunning performance from Ben Gazzara in the lead role. The actor fits into this role amazingly well and always convinces as the central character. The film doesn't hold back when it comes to showing things such as nudity either, although it's all done in such a 'matter of fact' way that sometimes the film is not even shocking. The female lead is taken by the stunning Ornella Muti, who is a real beauty and convinces alongside Gazzara. The film feels too smart to not have a point, and while the substance comes from the central character and his plight; there's not really a defining point to the film. Overall, Tales of Ordinary Madness is a film that is well worth seeking for the cult fanatic and I can recommend it.
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