By James Calemine
“I don’t hate people. I just feel better when they aren’t around.” — Charles Bukowski
Bukowski: Born Into This counts as the first comprehensive documentary on the hard-drinking writer Charles Henry Bukowski. He wrote memorable books such as Post Office, Women, Love Is a Dog From Hell, Ham On Rye, Hollywood and Pulp.
This interesting documentary chronicles Bukowski’s struggles and triumphs as a writer. He worked at the post office for years. Later, Bukowski became the real life model for the part Mickey Rourke played in the 1987 movie Barfly.
Artists such as Harry Dean Stanton, Tom Waits and Bono go on the record for Born Into This. Waits reads Bukowski’s poem “The Laughing Heart” on film. Waits also read the Bukowski poem “Nirvana” on his the Anti-Records collection Orphans.
The film contains interviews, live performances and Bukowski’s final home movie footage from 1992. Bukowski died at 74 in 1994. Born Into This delivers an undiluted message as testimony to Bukowski’s own brand of first-rate storytelling. If you’ve never read him–do it now.
This first one’s on the house…