Apostrophes episode (1 Viewer)


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anyone has seen this one? it's not available anywhere in the net, as far as I can tell.
is it included in any of the documentaries on B, such as the one by the BBC, the Swedish one or Born Into This?

browsing the net, I found this info:
"The Ordinary Madness of Charles Bukowski - Documentary from 1993 with the drunken appearance of Buk on French TV. 50 min."

I do have this BBC documentary (a low-quality rip from the VHS), but I've never watched it. Does it really include the Apostrophes episode?
cirerita said:
Does it really include the Apostrophes episode?
Yes. But it's short episode. All document has 50 min so Apostrophes is 3-5 min with Barbet's commentary.

I have The Ordinary Madness from p2p and it is horrible vsh rip. omg.
No video, but here are some still images from the program.







my favourite moment is right after the last screencap you posted, when Bukowski places his hand atop the man's bald head, probably mumbling something like: "it's okay, you French frogs, I'm leaving this goddamned place now!"

those caps are from The Ordinary Madness of C.B., available on ebay and the P2P networks, all of them in very poor quality.
Any video of Bukowski is watchable. A person like me has absolutely no access to the kind of rare material that is flooding onto this forum. Hell, just the other day, when I saw the trailer for Born Into This - that's the first time I've ever actually seen Buk in motion!

So, don't hesitate to provide, no matter how bad the quality.
Point taken Charlie. That reminds me of the first time I heard Bukowski's voice...I was shocked. I expected something very different, and I'm sure I'm not alone there.
I like the old-type quality of the older videos. Its like I'm seeing it back when it was taped. Dont get me wrong, the nicer the quality, the better. But it doesnt really matter what it looks like. If Bukowski depended on his looks rather than his words, nobody would know who teh hell he was. AGREE?

And I dont have any of the footage of Bukowski's Ordinary Madness or any of that. Is there any way I can get a copy of it, other than ebay? Perhaps by somehow obtaining a copy from somebody on here? I'd pay some $ for it.


I guess not. After reading the Laughing with the Gods interview, I have a strong desire to get ahold of a copy of the apostrophe episode.
In the interview, Linda goes into great detail about the events of that evening and Buk doesnt have much to say because he didnt really remember much. They gave him a bunch of wine and everybody else was tryin to talk and Buk wanted to be star of the show.
HenryChinaski said:
Is there any way I can get a copy of it, other than ebay? --- I guess not.
The VHS copy I have is unwatchable, meaning it's so many generations down the line from the originals that the tracking doesn't even work, so there's nothing to see but half a screen of snow with a wiggly top.

Otherwise, if I had a good copy I'd be happy to dupe it for you. That's not the kind of thing I'd have any problem with people here trading, since it isn't some commercially available product.
Can you make these videos available on the website, Mj? I mean, I'm no publishing expert, but putting those manuscripts of published poems must be technically illegal, but you've clearly escaped any lawsuits by saying it is for education and archival purposes.

Why not do the same with the videos? I mean, like you said, its not like they are commercially available.
I don't know anything about ripping video for computer use, so there's nothing I can do there...

As for avoiding lawsuits, I have permission from BS/Linda B. to 'publish' a given number of works on the site, and the copyright infringement aspect of the manuscripts was actually in question at the time I took them down. But Martin asked me to remove them, and after considering it for a while, I did remove them. Technically, I may not have had to, but I bought into his argument, and took them down.

As you can see I've changed my mind about making them available, however, if Linda (who is the copyright owner now) asked me to take them down, I would do so again. I have removed photographs from the site at the request of a photographer, but Michael Montfort gave me permission to use his images, which make up the bulk of the published images of Bukowski anywhere.

As the creator of literary and artistic "product" myself, I'm certainly in favor of copyright, and I don't really want to infringe on anyone. But I also consider the manuscripts to have literary and scholarly value. If they didn't, universities wouldn't pay tens - or hundreds - of thousands of dollars for collections and papers. So I'm conflicted.

I spoke with an intellectual properties expert when I was corresponding with Martin, and I was told that I would be within the letter of the law to keep the manuscripts on the site so long as they were not "publicly available." And you can do that by protecting them with a password, but ironically you can post that same password publicly, so none of it makes any sense to me.

This is something I think about, and I admit that I do not have permission to use every scrap of data on the site. But if the owners of anything ask me to remove it, I always do.
cirerita said:
browsing the net, I found this info:
"The Ordinary Madness of Charles Bukowski - Documentary from 1993 with the drunken appearance of Buk on French TV. 50 min."

I do have this BBC documentary (a low-quality rip from the VHS), but I've never watched it. Does it really include the Apostrophes episode?

Cirerita, is there any way you can copy that for me? I can pm you my address and I can send you a money order for shipping costs. I really need this.
sorry, I actually can't because I'd need 2 VCRs for that. Besides, the quality is really crappy. Go get a copy from the P2P networks, it's the same one. Don't pay any money for that.
Did a quick net-search, to try and find a french site showing the apostrophes episode, without any luck. BUT: it does seem that the incident is included as an extra on the european version of the "Born into this" DVD. Looks like its been available since september:

R?alisateur: John Dullaghan
Acteurs : Charles Bukowski, Linda Lee Bukowski, Bono, Sean Penn, Tom Waits, Harry Dean
Dur?e : 90 minutes
Suppl?ments : Apostrophes de Bernard Pivot, interviews de Bono, de Taylor Hackford, de John Martin, de Linda Bukowski, interview du r?alisateur, lecture d'un po?me par Bono, par Tom Waits, derni?res images de Bukowski datant de 1992.
Date de sortie DVD : 20 sep 2005
download the BBC documentary on B; it includes quite a long snippet from the Apostrophes episode.

by the way, the European version of B:BIT includes the full Apostrophes episode, but there are not subtitles for the linguistically challenged :p
That kind of sucks that they wouldn't include it in the U.S. release. What's the point of different "special features" in different regions? Not everyone in Europe speaks French. Who cares if you can understand it. It's the spectacle we're after, god damn it! THE SPECTACLE!

I saw the extras DVD this weekend, finally after a couple of weeks of struggling to have some time off my research, and finally sat down with a few brews to see it through.

The Apostrophes episode was boring as hell. I didn't expect at first to have Buk being dubbed over, but then I remembered how subtitles aren't used in France, Spain or Italy like we do in Portugal. Here we have everything subtitled. Much better. I mean, there's probably scores of people who never actually heard, say, Sean Connery's real voice :p...

So having only 3 years of French, I found it a bit hard to keep up, but I managed to get most of it.

Well, it's plain to see Buk is plastered. He is drunk and shy, and uncomfortable, and he really can't stand to be there. The woman Catherine Paysan, looks like a demented nun. She creeped me out, the way she was constantly ticking away, not looking at people with her wry smiles and thin lips and beady eyes... *cringes*

Bernard Pivot didn't act very well either. You'd expect saying 'Bukowski... SHUT UP' over and over to a drunk Buk would have earned him the right to host the rest of the show in a destroyed set.

Unfortunate yes, but from what I've heard around the web, I was expecting much more. People talked about this like he'd acted up like hell on wheels, and I only saw him leaving very subdued, smiling, really acting probably more drunk than he really was, to excuse himself.

The rest of the discussions were just pretentious and it felt like that woman enjoyed the sound of her own voice very much.

Bukowski was brought in there by Pivot to be the monkey in the cage.

Screw that.
notice bukowski fiddling with the control to his earpiece. presumably his french translator was as annoyingly loud as the english one; one can hardly hear buk above it. annoying!
To bring this thread back to life, are any English speakers interested in seeing a subtitled version of this clip? I think I could do it and repost it to youtube, perhaps with some help from the other French speakers in the forum...
Allright, if I've got time I might give it a go next week.

There seems to be some material cut out, so it may be a bit jilted. I think I remember seeing the entire program sometime, but can't remember where.

I probably will take you up on your kind offer, Ambreen. If I have questions, je t'envoyerai un PM. Any other francophones want to join in the fun?
Oui, je voudrais essayer de traduire. Mon pere est francais, il etait ne en Martinique et j'ai etudie le francais pour quatre ans dans mon lycee quand j'etais un adolescent, donc mon francais n'est pas perfecte...Je peux lire meilleur que je peux ecrire, mais cette affaire de "Apostrophe" m'interesse beaucoup.
That's a fine idea, pessi!

[...] There seems to be some material cut out,[...]

I could serve you with the whole show, if you're interested. But it's a full hour! So maybe that'll be too much work to do. (or maybe you'll only subtitle the important passages, but let the video itself intact as a whole.)
i realize it must be a tremendous undertaking, but can anyone type an English transcript of what was said on this broadcast? that would be fantastic, as I have never seen such a thing.
Prompted by reading by Miles' and Sounes' versions of this episode, I just watched a couple of 10 minute (highly edited) grabs of the show on YouTube and what I saw of Buk's stumbling exit from the set was totally at odds with what I expected from the written descriptions. Pivot and his guests seemed highly amused by Buk's antics. I saw/heard no evidence of the tiny studio audience "cheering and yelling" as reported by Miles and, unless some key minutes were cut from the ending, I saw no evidence of Pivot having "lost control of the show".

Watching Buk's performance reminded me of the time that British talk show host Aspel had Oliver Reed on his pre-recorded show. Ollie was plied with complimentary booze beforehand in the green room and naturally he performed his drunk act on cue.

As someone said earlier, Buk was Pivot's caged monkey.
When you watch the whole show, you can see, there are mainly two problems:

one is the classic 'Lost-in-translation' - Buk always works on his headphone, not quite getting what the others say. (besides, it is hard to translate a vivid conversation between 4 people to the speaker of another laguage. They certainly had to leave things out. So Buk couldn't really 'get' the converstation.)

second: after his own interview at the very beginning, Buk was more or less 'out-of-the-show'. Partly because of the mentioned translation-problem. But also because these other people didn't make the slightest attempt to include him in their discussion.

So he was sitting there, for a long time, not getting the conversation, not being able to participate, being totally ignored or called to shut up - all he could do was drink. I was surprised, he didn't leave earlier.

That show was a shame.
I saw/heard no evidence of the tiny studio audience "cheering and yelling" as reported by Miles and, unless some key minutes were cut from the ending, I saw no evidence of Pivot having "lost control of the show".
I didn't hear much in the way of audience reaction either, because there wasn't much. But any time someone gets drunk on your television show and gets up to leave before it's over, you, as the host, have definitely "lost control of the show."

Miles' book is shit. I'm not sure why is everyone dancing around that fact and debating its merits in another thread around here. Same goes for the Baughan bio. Anyone who read Cherkovski's and Sounes' bios and Bukowski's books could have written those. And if you've read those and read everything in this forum, you could write a better book than either Miles or Baughan.

Though Matt Dukes Jordan attempted to do that with Bukowski's Hollywood and ended up with what is without doubt the worst book ever written about Bukowski, so I may have to take that back...
Roni's got it. They also pissed off Buk by bringing up Henry Miller. It was all down hill from there...

Pivot: The French critics compare you to Henry Miller, they say you're bit of a successor. Does that please you?
Buk: No, let's just forget all that. Go on to the other guests.

Still trying to figure out Kino, but I will post a subtitled version, someday.
Well, Bernard Pivot is still a literary institution in France, his "Apostrophes" remaining THE reference in matter of literary emission and being regretted by people nostalgic of a time where literature had a place on French TV. According to the extracts from different "Apostrophes" episodes I saw on youtube, Pivot was usually respectful with his guests. It's a pity that he acted so badly with Hank for a question of audience ratings. He didn' t loose control one second, it was just a "mise en scéne" (you know, like a show where everything is anticipated in advance), he did want Buk to react like a drunkard, I've even read that some bottles had been provided to him by the staff...

As for François Cavanna, the guy who told Hank to shut the fuck up and threatened him with his fist, he apologized himself one or two days later within his own newspaper ( "Charlie Hebdo").

Pessimist, if you need some help, I'm here ;)
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