I guess there are differents approaches to the work or the "church" of Charles Bukowski (1920-1994). Some people love him sincerely, some people hate him cos is rough and some people just don't like he has become popular making their cult too mainstream. Me? I have yet to met the gentleman in the paper. Haven't read him but I just might do it.
Anyway, this is about the movie, "Barfly" (Barbet Schroeder, 1987) with Mickey Rourke and Faye Dunaway. My brother has been sending me Bukowski poems for years now but i guess i didn't read them without something else in mind or i just left them for later and later is still to come.
Nerdie as this may sound I know more about literature then about drinking, so right now when it comes to poets that write about booze I can recall the chinese poet Li Po (701-762) about who, as legend has it, drowned drunk trying to embrace the reflection of the moon. And my dear Omar Khayyam (1048-1131) the persian sufi writer, but it could be that he was talking about some mystic wine instead of the real thing.
I'm mentioning this because the script of this movie is quite poetic. Now, if you gonna judge a book by it's cover or, as in this case, a movie by it's plot and you happen to be on the wrong side of the political correctness as well, you are gonna miss a wonderful film, since this one is just so sharpy and sometimes vulgarly quotable that either will make you think or laugh (with an open mind,both). Because this film is basically some semi autobiographic important short period during the younger years of our wino american poet. And if you get close this one smells like those last night unfinished cans of beer with dead fags floating inside. But heck this movie is good!
Dunaway, Buk and alter ego Rourke
A movie about alcoholics that is not a drama. A movie that starts and ends with a bum being bloddy beaten and he is our poetic heroe as well. And what about a heroine that says "Listen, I drink. And when I drink, i move in the wrong direction..." after going to be with the "bad" guy for some bourbon.
Both hate people and he make it clear mumbling "I don't , but i seem to feel better when they are not around".
The dirty Mickey Rourke and a washed up but still beautiful Faye Dunaway play the couple in question . For the trivia crowd, the forementioned "bad guy" is none other then the most famous human Sylvester little bro: Frank Stallone. A big deal of the rest of the cast is filled by real alcoholics from the neighbourhood in l.A. And all was filmed totally in stinking locations. The result is simply one of a kind.
Bukowski wanted Sean Pean for the part to star the picture but Pean wanted Dennis Hopper for director. But Bukowski didn't like Hopper considering him a Hollywood phony (or so goes the story) and wanted Schroeder.
Watch out for a brief Bukowski cameo (in a bar, drinking)
Oh, yeah! Sean Pean could have been a contender here. Sure. I could even imagine Brando or DeNiro (better not think about how the newyorker would prepare for the roll) but the indisputable truth is that Mickey Rourke doesn't show less talent at all and here simply is the living definition of underrated actor. Salud! To all my frieeends!