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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Almar is stranded on the shore of an island in the Mediterranian sea, when his ship leaves without him. There he befriends the somewhat dodgy vagabond Windy, and falls in love for the first time, in the local young girl, Marta.
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 would seem that Henry Chinaski takes Polonius' advice to heart. This adaptation shows a character who is always true to himself, no matter the consequences. Matt Dillon's portrayal of Chinaski is solid; his self-effacing style makes him way more likable than might be otherwise. Lili Taylor does a lovely job as his sometime girlfriend Jan. Their scenes together are always interesting (with or without bandages), with the characters being constantly developed.
The dialog has lots of pop. Somewhat a film noir, somewhat a comic book, the film has a nice feel with the first person narration of Chinaski taking us on his tour. It could have been in black and white but is nicely filmed in color. One of those slightly rare movies as at home at a film festival (Cleveland's, in this case) or at your local theater.
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