Factotum (movie)

#1
I just finished watching a pirated copy of the movie Factotum. I'm glad I watched a pirated copy because I would have been even more disappointed had I actually paid to watch it. The movie was very empty. If you had not read the book previously I don't even know why you would have watched it or if you would really have been able to appreciate what was happening. Not at any point in the movie do you get a sense as to why Hank Chinaski is choosing to live the sort of life he lives. All the director has done is put to picture some of the events that took place in the book; however, without the accompanying commentary it comes of as empty and pointless. The characters lack any kind of dimension and, as a result, you don't care one way or another what happens. I just don't understand why this movie was made. It is not at all like Barfly, which was a good movie. I also thought Matt Dillion was a poor choice to play Chinaski, mostly because he is too handsome. Chinaski was ugly. That was a good part of what made him interesting and endearing to readers. To take that away from his character cheapens the whole movie. Another thing that irked me was that the director coped out and didn't shoot the movie in the time period of the book. This would have been much more effective and would have made Chinaski's character more believeable. Who wears brill cream in this day and age? I would not recommend paying money to see this. Download it if you can. That way you won't be too disappointed.
 

Erik

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#2
fancyladd said:
Chinaski was ugly. That was a good part of what made him interesting and endearing to readers.
Hmmm, this statement got me thinking. Does Factotum (or Post Office for that matter) make a point of describing Chinaski as ugly? - or is this a case of us mixing Buk with Chinaski? I'm not sure myself. I know Ham on Rye describes the ugliness though...

So: How is Chinaski actually described in Factotum (and other texts)? Does he look ugly or are just his actions/lifestyle ugly...?
 
#3
Based on what Buk wrote in other books, we know that Henry Chinaski is ugly (at least conveniontally speaking). The subject isn't featured prominently in Factotum, but it is mentioned: Gertrude moved her body to the music, moved her head to the music, and looked into my eyes.
"You have a really strange face," she said. "You're not really ugly."
 

Erik

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#4
A long hard slow endurance

fancyladd said:
Not at any point in the movie do you get a sense as to why Hank Chinaski is choosing to live the sort of life he lives.
And what does Factotum (the book) say about this? Perhaps that Chinaski doesn't:
fancyladd said:
[...] care one way or another what happens.
Getting below the surface of the Buk-myth is what this movie is about, I think. A myth is a powerful thing, but after a while you understand that there are plenty of pockmarked, ugly ppl in the world, who just don't give a damn, but very, very few of them endure and still keep trying to make sense of it all. THAT is Buk's project. That's the beauty of it: a long hard slow endurance; that's what makes him "endearing" to readers who stick with him long enough to get past the "fuck-it-all-let's-get-drunk" image. Mst ppl who dismiss Buk, never get past that first stage. That's the drawback of the myth...
 

Erik

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#6
He also wrote something like: "I started to like what I saw in the mirror - handsome in a Bogart sort of way..."
 

zoom man

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#7
Egads, Our MAN is getting more popular

Anyone see this?,
Matt Dillon was on the front page of Parade
(Sunday insert Mag)
And this pic and 1-liner about the movie included...
(BTW-> Somewhere someone brought up 'dumb board games'....
My addiction is the NY Times Crossword, especially the Sunday Version)

factotumParade.jpg


(sorry about the ungodly massive and blurry pic)
[Edit: Resized image - mjp]
 
#11
i thought it was a pretty bad film, it being set in the now made it worse, and there was no typewriter in the film at all as far as i could see, a pretty weird omission.
 

mjp

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#12
emef said:
...there was no typewriter in the film at all as far as i could see, a pretty weird omission.
Same with Barfly. Maybe Hollywood considers filming a typewriter to be bad luck. ;)
 

hoochmonkey9

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#13
did Buk include a typewriter in his screenplay of Barfly? I can't remember, it's been a while since I read it.
 

Erik

If u don't know the poetry u don't know Bukowski
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#14
emef said:
i thought it was a pretty bad film, it being set in the now made it worse, and there was no typewriter in the film at all as far as i could see, a pretty weird omission.
Isn't Factotum supposed to be from the period when he printed all his manuscripts? IS there a typer in the book?:rolleyes:
 
#15
During the first part of 1975 Hank and I were exchanging letters, and he was writing Factotum, although at the time he refered to it just as "the novel". He was using his old typewriter to write all his letters, so I assume he typed it.
 

bright

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#16
fancyladd said:
I just finished watching a pirated copy of the movie Factotum. I'm glad I watched a pirated copy because I would have been even more disappointed had I actually paid to watch it. The movie was very empty. If you had not read the book previously I don't even know why you would have watched it or if you would really have been able to appreciate what was happening. Not at any point in the movie do you get a sense as to why Hank Chinaski is choosing to live the sort of life he lives. All the director has done is put to picture some of the events that took place in the book; however, without the accompanying commentary it comes of as empty and pointless. The characters lack any kind of dimension and, as a result, you don't care one way or another what happens. I just don't understand why this movie was made. It is not at all like Barfly, which was a good movie. I also thought Matt Dillion was a poor choice to play Chinaski, mostly because he is too handsome. Chinaski was ugly. That was a good part of what made him interesting and endearing to readers. To take that away from his character cheapens the whole movie. Another thing that irked me was that the director coped out and didn't shoot the movie in the time period of the book. This would have been much more effective and would have made Chinaski's character more believeable. Who wears brill cream in this day and age? I would not recommend paying money to see this. Download it if you can. That way you won't be too disappointed.

totally agree,the "film" had maybe 10min with something like atmosphere,the rest is some kind of incoherend,sterile collage.
 

hank solo

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#18
Do you mean the short film "Horseshoe"? I enjoyed that. Also some of the deleted scenes were good - I wish they'd left the amphicar in the final cut.
 

HenryChinaski

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#19
here are some of the best voice over quotes from the movie because I have that kind of time on my hands. maybe you guys can tell me which ones actually come from Buk himself...or if any do for that matter.



"As we live, we all get taught and torn by various traps. Writing can trap you. Some writers tend to write what has pleased their writers in the past. They hear accolades and believe them. There is only one final judge of writing and that is the writer. When he is swayed by the critics, the editors, the publishers, the readers, then he's finished. And of course when he's swayed by his fame and fortune, you can float him down the river with the turds."

"Even at my lowest times, I can feel the words bubbling inside of me...and I have to get the words down or be overcome by something worse than death. Words, not as precious things but as necessary things. Yet, when I begin to doubt my ability to work the word, I simply read another writer and know I have nothing to worry about. My contest is only with myself, to do it right, with power, and force, and delight, and gamble."

"A poem is a city filled with streets and sewers, filled with saints heros, beggers, madmen, filled with benality and booze, filled with rain and thunder and periods of drought. A poem is a city at war. It's a baber shop filled with cynical drunks. A poem is a city. A poem is a nation. A poem is the world."

"Amazing how grimly we hold onto our misery. The energy we burn, fueling our anger. Amazing how one moment we can be snarling like a beast then a few moments later forgetting what or why, not hours of this, or days, or months, or years of this, but decades, lifetimes completely used up, given over to the pettiest rancor and hatred. Finally, there is nothing here for death to take."

.....

Jan: "The bible says love thy neighbor..."
Hank: "That could also mean, leave him alone."



yes yes, I know I've already watched the movie three times.
Do you think I have a problem?
 

hank solo

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#20
The first two are taken from "The Captain Is Out To Lunch..."

Then you have "a poem is a city" from "The Days Run Away Like Wild Horses..."

Finally "everywhere, everywhere" from "What Matters Most Is How..."

I think all the voice overs are original Bukowski lines, although they've been re-editted from the published versions.
 

HenryChinaski

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#22
and another question, whats the last poem that he reads at the very end?

for some reason i thought it was the laughing heart but i was wrong. I know it's one Bono reads in Born Into This
 

Erik

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#25
Isn't Factotum supposed to be from the period when he printed all his manuscripts? IS there a typer in the book?:rolleyes:
Check out the following quote from Factotum:
After losing several typewriters to pawnbrokers I simply gave up the idea of owning one. I printed out my stories by hand and sent them out that way. I hand-printed them with a pen. I got to a be a very fast hand-printer. It got so that I could hand-print faster than I could write. I wrote three or four short stories a week, I kept things in the mail. I imagined the editors of The Atlantic Monthly and Harper's saying: "Hey, here's another one of those things by that nut."​
:p
 
#29
The soundtrack from the movie has 4 Bukowski poems put to music;
--If you're going to try - from Roll the Dice
--Slow Day - from Wind the Clock
--I wish to weep from - orig. No Title
--and My Garden
 

mjp

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#30
Hey BukLivesOn, a cynical person might think you are associated with the record company and are only here to pimp the soundtrack...