Factotum (movie)

Discussion in 'Video, audio, film and other media' started by fancyladd, Jun 6, 2006.

  1. Hi mjp,
    If you follow his postings, it is very clear. He starts out by asking when the soundtrack will be released and then starts pimping it hard.

    Shameful, really that he has not perfected his art of selling past spam-like postings on a forum.

  2. What a painstaking and highly ineffective method of trying to promote a C.D.

  3. Hi, I just saw the movie in the theater and I am brand new to this forum, and I can't resist replying. Why would I have watched it? Because it sounded interesting. I knew Bukowski was a famous writer -- I am a writer -- therefore I am interested.

    Could I appreciate what was happening? Sure, I am no idiot.

    I think the movie makes it pretty clear, in several areas when "Hank" makes reference to poverty, the poor & downtrodden, or that kind of life in general -- "you don't know sorrow, but I do" for example, but he says this kind of thing many times both in dialogue and in the quotes they used. The movie makes it pretty clear, why he is living that kind of life, (he is a writer, trying to get by, he has to work, but doesn't really want any of those s--t jobs, of course!). Also the movie makes it pretty clear, what the struggle is -- and besides anyone who has ever heard the phrase "struggling artist" or "starving artist" is not exactly new to the concepts in the movie.

    It did not come off as pointless. To me, it reminded me how easy I have it. I have a good job, and it reminded me, I have no excuse for not writing. He can send off stories even at his lowest, so what's stopping me? It also made me think about the fact that maybe my life is too easy... so I think the point hit home very well.

    I came to this forum because I wanted to see what "true fans" (as opposed to a newbie; I am only just now learning Bukowski's great body of work) would say about the movie.

    Disappointingly, as is the ususal occurrence with fan sites, most people can only protest the "popularization" of their hero. They can't see the great parts of the movie, the successes of it, and forgive it its imperfections.

    I'm here to tell you that getting out a movie like this, helps more people to become interested in Bukowski (like me). Something to think about.
  4. If that's the impression you get from this forum, I can only guess that you haven't read much of it yet. This is hardly a hero/fan site. There is a lot of critical discussion and outright myth-busting going on.

    Obviously the most active participants are "fans," but I don't see a whole lot of weeping and wailing over Bukowski's increased popularity. I'm pretty sure that most of us expected that he would become more well known as time went on, and that's exactly what's happening. The more people who come to his work, the better. I, for one, don't really care how they get there.

    As for movies, I have yet to see one that can capture the essence of a book. How could they? Being disappointed by the movie based on a book that you like is not a phenomenon limited to Bukowski readers.

    Welcome aboard, stick around, keep reading, maybe your initial impression will change.
  5. yeah I agree with mjp. as far as I'm concerned, Charles Bukowski is the most famous-infamous writer that ever lived. lol i dunno if that makes any sense to you, lossst, but yes, however people find out about his work is their business.

    The only thing that bothers me is when he is cast into a false light because of these films. Like mjp said, there really hasnt been a film to come along and capture the essence of any of his novels. I'm pretty sure also, that there never will be a film to do any of Buks work justice just for the sheer fact that they are two majorly different ballparks. who would rather watch a film when they can read a book?

    read around the forums a little more lossst, some of the people on this forum possess way more knowledge about Bukowski than you would think.

    TRUE FANS? What is a "true fan"?
    We are scholars.
    We are sifting through the madness that is Charles Bukowski.
  6. Factotum is one of the best films ever made and Dillon's portrayal of Chinaski is superb.
  7. Bernstein did you mean to say that Factotum is one of the best films made based on Bukowski's work? I don't think culturally, critically or academically it rates as "one of the best films ever made" nor should it really....
  8. Dillon received a special award for his career at the San Sebastián film festival last weekend. He didn't mention Factotum nor Bukowski.
  9. Bukfan

    Bukfan "The law is wrong; I am right" Men of Mayhem Unholy Ones

    I wonder why ;)
  10. Well you couldn't be more wrong
    culturally the film was a great success as it shows the plight of the everyman from a variety of perspectives (working life, relationships, battling against addiction, and striving for artistic expression) all which cohere into a magnificent new alternative vision of Chinaski. Not Buk's beat generation vision but one that is brought into the twentieth century showing the continuing relevance of Buk's work.

    Acade3mically and critically speaking the movie was technically excellent, with the choice of music by Kristin Asbjornson evoking that feeling of grim despair and of a man living life on the edge. The sequencing was spot on, diverging from the order of the book in way that was perfect for the movie format. The acting was first rate (was Dillon really drunk in one or two scenes?) and the casting was carried out with precision. Lily Taylor and Marisa Tomei and Fisher Stevens were just right to bring their respective characters to life and ably portrayed.

    So basically I just proved you don't know what you are talking about. Maybe you should try watching the film? Ha.
  11. I still think it's a pretty bad flick... down there with Barfly... I simply couldn't believe my eyes when I saw Dillon scribbling notes -a poem?- in a public place -was it a bar? Unfuckingbelievable!
  12. All you proved is that you enjoyed it, that doesn't mean everyone else has to consider it one of the best films ever made. These things are subjective. To you it's the best film ever made. That doesn't mean the people who think it's crap are wrong. Some people think Citizen Kane is crap. I think Matt Dillon said that once...

  13. Matt Dillon is definitely not getting an OSCAR nomination for his portrayal as BUk, ridiculous! He was better as Pony-Boy in Rumle Fish, or Tex... whatever that movie was... Actually I'd take re-watching THE OUTSIDERS over FACTOTUM any day!
  14. i also liked him very much in "DrugstoreCowboy"

    ...burroughs was quite entertaining in this flick,too..
  15. DRUGSTORE COWBOY is a great film, probably Dillon's best role/performance. Although FLAMINGO KID was pretty entertaining......
  16. Bernstein, certainly the film takes on some great themes as you suggest (working life, relationships, striving for artistic expression), after all, these are the themes BUK writes about in his books. I don't agree with you about the battling against addiction. It seems the addiction in BUK's work is not necessarily unwanted. What I meant by culturally was simply that the film did not produce alot of interest and noise. There were enough people to sustain an average run in many smaller theaters throughout larger cities in the US, but it didn't make any kind of large impact into the bigger culture of film goers the way a film like Darren Arnofski's "Pi" or Quentin Tarantino's "Reservoir Dogs" did. My point being that if "Factotum" was one of the "best films ever made", one would hope that it would resonate somehow with some majority of people somewhere.

    Academically, I would suggest the technical degree of the film was rather messy. Hamer was certainly influenced by Gus Van Sant's work circa "Drugstore Cowboy" and "My Own Private Idaho", (some scenes are very similar to scenes in those films), however he doesn't have the same photogenic sense that Van Sant has. In addition, in many of the scenes, Hamer tends to opt for artificial, noir-like lighting which to me is so annoying it's almost comical. I suppose I could go on and on, but suffice it to say, "Factotum" is not technically Hitchcock's "Rope" or the Cohen's "Blood Simple", which it doesn't need to be to be an average film based on a novel by Charles Bukowski. But I would certainly expect the film to reach some degree of success in this arena if it were to be considered one of the "best films ever made".

    Critically, the reviews have been mixed and as a film based on Bukowski's work, it's been hailed by the critics as quite good. However, it has not been singled out as an exceptional film by any other means. If I ever hear the name Kristin Asbjornson again, I think I'll break out into an uncontrollable fit of laughter (see previous posts from Bukliveson ), but really her "voice" only bookends the film, it's not featured throughout. I don't know if I agree about the acting, Marisa Tomei is far from a convincing drunk and Liliy Taylor seems to play different aspects of the same character in a lot of the roles she's cast in. But in the end, the lack luster ensemble really does not add up to one of the "best film ever made"

    I suppose I would buy the DVD(not the soundtrack) and watch it occasionally, but in the end, it's nothing special aside from the fact it's a film based on the work of an author I really like. I'm glad it really resonated for you, but again, I don't think that's enough to make it count as one of the "best films ever made".

    I think you said it best when you said "I just proved you don't know what you are talking about.[/quote]". If you feel you've got to prove anything about the film to anyone, there's a good chance the film hasn't done that itself. In this case, I would also suggest it's a good indication that perhaps the film is a little less than stellar in the grand scheme of things.

    However, if "Factotum" for you is the be all, end all of films, then I guess I would say go forth and enjoy! I don't necessarily agree, but on the other hand, I suppose it's better than worshiping "Harry Potter" or "Lord Of The Rings"....:D
  17. Bruce,

    I did not say that this film was the be all and end all. Certainly it is not my number one film of all time (that being a toss between Casablanca and Kiss Me Deadly.) Moreover I did not suggest that in order for the film to be a success culturally it needed to be a 'hit' with some kind of herd-like majority audience. Stupid people unfortunately outnumber intelligent people and in this respect most hollywood films that gross big at the box office tend to pander to the base tastes of the morasse of uneducated dullards that flock to cinemas to see anything their favourite TV networks recommend. Buk is an acquired taste. Many people would be unable to grasp the sense of painful bleakness and the plight of the despairing poet, forced to work menial, dead-end jobs in order to subsist as an artist. Thus, the fact that Factotum was not popular with a majority is prolly testament to its success as an original work in its own right.

    If you liked the novel in its original historical context and feel aggrieved about the setting being updated to contemporary LA then I feel you have a problem with being closed minded and unwilling to accept a fresh new perspective that introduces Buk's themes and concerns to a new generation. Even in today's world people are doing all kinds of jobs just to make ends meet. Dillon plays the role with grace and imparts dignity and self-possession onto Chinaski in a way that modern fans would more readily identify with. The beat generation may baulk at the modernisation of their hero but we are now living in the 21st century and this film proves the need to address issues Buk wrote about that are still relevant today. In this sense it achieves a certain success, way better than Barfly. You mentioned Blood Simple. Factotum is better than Blood Simple too. The aims of the Coen's were to bring freshness and originality to the noir/private detective genre. It failed.

    And what is wrong with Kristin Asbjornsen? Her music is great and it appears throughout the film, serving to enhance the grimness, despair, and loss that Chinaski suffers through the course of the narrative. The music is apt and sensitive.

    Now, go watch it again then tell me what you think...:)
  18. She became a running joke when a minion from the record company that put out the soundtrack started posting creepy spam in here, like, "I loved that soundtrack featuring the smokey voice of Kristin Asbjornsen. I'm going to buy it tomorrow! Here's a link to their web site!"
  19. LOL! I guess that guy was just a lonely, misguided publicity merchant canvassing for a promotion! Anyway, but that's not a reflection of Kristin or her work. I still insist that her music was a great contribution to the film and very appropriate.:cool:
  20. Bernstein,

    I think you may have missed something in your viewing of Blood Simple to consider it a failure, so you may want to consider watching it again and checking out what these chaps have to say about it: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/blood_simple/

    Also, I did get a chance to see Factotum a second time and I think we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one. But that's alright. The next time I see you at a bar, I'll be glad to buy you a drink, or at least a domestic beer anyway.....:D
  21. Not sure if I'm following you here, but I think you are suggesting that BUK is a hero of the 'beat generation'(*gasp:eek:*)? If so, you may want to check out or post to this thread: http://bukowski.net/forum/showthread.php?t=216&highlight=beat
  22. I have seen a pirate copy of "Factotum" and I love it. Ok, it's not an action-packed movie, but since when is life action-packed? This is a much better realized film of Bukowski's vision. Matt Dillon's performance is low-key the same way Bukowski seemed to be low-key most of the time. True, there is no Hollywood in this movie, and hurrah for that!!! Hollywood so rarely produces anything of value that you could burn it down and lose nothing. I get the same feeling watching this as when I watch Jim Jarmusch films. They are simple, un-pretentious, with moments of pain and humor, sometimes intertwined. THis tells the story of a man fed up with working, a man going from shit job to shit job, at best treated like a novelty by his employers. He finds women along the way, themselves damaged and messed up in some way (though Marisa Tomei... oh god, please come to me) If you want something more than what this movie has to offer, go watch your Hollywood movies and become brain-dead as you want.
  23. I haven't seen it yet. i've read it along with all his novels and a good deal of his poetry. I love the fact that most can't or won't relate to his work. fuck the crowd and their sheep-like tendancies. I don't need the radio to tell me who to listen to. but sometimes, late into the beer and whiskey, I can almost hear it, feel it, and bring it out. let the crowds have grisham and leave me and my drunken thoughts to my bukowski. banish the naysayers or don't, they mean little to me
  24. Completely unwatchable film...Matt Dillon doing a cornball Buk impersonation. Impersonating isn't acting.
  25. Gerard K H Love

    Gerard K H Love Appreciate your friends Men of Mayhem

    Hey Richard;
    Welcome to the Forum, you can introduce yourself in the New blood section.
    I for one am a fan of Matt Dillon but I can see your point. I still think he did a better job than Mickey Rouke, and that could get my ass kicked.
    Read the forum and grow.
  26. *cough* i don't see a very bright future...
  27. Gerard K H Love

    Gerard K H Love Appreciate your friends Men of Mayhem

    Yes, Richard do you go by "Dick" like -oh I get it " Dick Wagons".
    I am so dense. Duh!
  28. yeh, whatever "roni". You a kraut, R? Or is Germany just your "imaginary" location?

    GKHL, as far as Matt Dillon goes, I like him...but I don't feel he had the chops to pull off Chinaski (and any actor should remember they're playing Chinaski-NOT Bukowski).

    That being said...I liked Drugstore Cowboy okay.

    Oh, and the "Dick Wagons" double entendre wasn't intentional, but...it works...kinda. My full name is Richard Wagons Schroder.
  29. Gerard K H Love

    Gerard K H Love Appreciate your friends Men of Mayhem

    Richard? is that you? Dick Schroder didn't I sell cars with you?
    Hey well welcome to the forum at least we know you have some fight in you. Be nice "Roni" is a good guy who is really from Germany and I think he is somewhat of a resident expert on the great Bukowski. I think an apology to him would be in order and recomended. As for me, I don't matter. I shouldn't make fun of your name it's just that we see lots of spammers in here trying to make our- well you know.
    Tell us about yourself besides about Matt Dillion.
  30. I introduced myself in the New Blood section, if you'd like to read it. As far as "Roni" goes, he made a snide comment about me when I had a perfectly valid point. So, whether "Roni" is a popular member of this forum or not, I'll be damned and/or banned before I'll apologize.

    There's nothing less interesting or more lightweight than a snide internet cowboy...especially one who names himself after rice-dinner-in-a-box.

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