Factotum second time around (1 Viewer)

I'm not exactly a film guru, but I watch a lot of movies and I know what I like. Just saw Factotum again last night, and I still think it's a very good movie. It came across as possibly more European in style than Barfly. It's slow, there's a lot of long scenes where little actually happens. It's more like a collection of short stories then one solid plot, but this appealed to me. It also seems to have gotten positive reviews from European critics who really know their stuff. The humour came accross very well. I really liked it, and I think it'll stand up to multiple viewings.

PS- The deleted scenes are interesting; they cut loads of the captain story out.

yeah, I've watched it 3 times now and liked it more with each viewing. sure it's a bit slow and rambling, but I like John Cassevettes films, so...
Dillon did his homework. compare the way he smokes with the cig and lighter in the same hand to that of Buk in the Bukowski Tapes. or the slow sibilant, head low, eyes mooning up, eyebrows raised manner of talking to Buk in Bukowski at Bellevue. nice job, obviously Dillon wanted to do a faithful portrayal, not the cartoon.
Oh, man, Cassavettes is an altogether different trip. He was so good it's heresy to compare him with Factotum :D

I'm not saying Dillon doesn't perform ok, but the movie has no spark at all. It's dull from beginning to end. And then you have little details that drive me mad: have you seen/read/heard/overheard that Bukowski EVER wrote a single line in a notebook in a bar? Come fucking on!
that's true but you can't expect a film to nail every little detail about a mans life. ITs not so much about bukowski as it is an attempt of a portrayal of a book. AND how many times has a film ever done the book justice? as for the film being dull and sluggish, wasn't the novel somewhat dull as well? I for one thought some parts LAGGED.

I don't really know how valid my points are though because I live in the US and haven't even seen the film yet. I just thought I'd throw my opinion out there because...well because I can.
cireteria i totally agree with you. while i don't detest the movie and actually enjoyed it for the most part, some of the sentimental stuff really annoyed me. the jazz music was totally off for one. it somehow missed on the humorous side of bukowski as well. i never saw him as such a brooding character in his books. i'm not talking about his real life, but of what i saw of him through his books. but even in documentaries he's much more adept at making wise cracks
I enjoyed it more on the second viewing. The first time I was just too critical, I think. It's a good movie. The hardest thing for me was Dillon as Chinaski, even when he tries to look rough he still seems well scrubbed and pretty boy to the core. But he did okay.
Well, don't forget Buk said that he had to look good enough to have the landlords(ladies) rent him a room, so he never allowed himself to be too run down. Even with his lifestyle.
hello ,

john cassavetes is a great film maker. this movie was the work of hacks. im not even certain they knew who bukowski was - at least i didnt see any evidence on the screen. i couldnt see the dillon connection. he was simply boring, lethargic - his voice didnt "work". the book - i reread it after seeing the movie - seemed to be all about travel duirng a time in america when there was a certain kind of freedom that just doesnt exist today. there was humor in the book. there was none in the movie. jesus. it was simply a piece of crap. ok - ill stop. i respect the art of film too much for my own good.

thank you for your time ,

its really boring for my taste
first time i saw it i watched it all the way through but thought the key elements of the bukowski persona were left out.

second time i fell asleep.
the words on paper are what count. don't watch the film and grumble.

nothing bad if the film brings in people to discover the essence, right?
too early for me

I rented Factotum and couldn't get past the first few scenes--not one of Dillon's better efforts. Will go back to it some other time when I've exhausted Buk's writings and the documentaries showing the real man. Matt Dillon doesn't do Buk justice.
I don't find the movie a very big shot either, but think Matt Dillon does a very fine job in it.

First of all: we have to remind, that Bukowski was the VERY BEST BUKOWSKI EVER and we, knowing so many of his appearances, should be aware of that, whenever watching other people doing 'the Buk'. There will NEVER be anybody, doing justice to the real one. We have to relative due to that (or come to the conclusion, that Nobody should ever have the right to do any performance on him).
2nd: I don't agree, there are No horrors in it. There is one very long, slow scene - where Henry leaves Jane - that justifies the whole movie. It's so sad, without being pathetic. I love it.
3rd: talking of 'slowness' - the whole movie is very slow in a European, even Scandinavian way (you ever seen any movie by Aki Kaurismaki?). The whole style is different from Hollywood-style, and in some way, this suits the subject. The whole matter of this movie, and the style it's done in, appears in the song at the end:
"It's just a slow day moving into a slow night
It doesn't matter what you do ...
( - Buk: 'wind the clock' in: 'What matters most', p.87)
That sums up the thing.
Give it another try and watch it again, with this in mind.

And now the most heretic one:
I don't find the novel to be very great either.

I think a lot of the problems, that occure with this movie come from the choice to adapt that novel. It's a lose episode-film with no dramaturgic plot or continuity, and tho it may look like this is secondary - it isn't. The whole structure (and this is something that comes from the book) is DISSATISFYING. Maybe I'm thinking too much about dramaturgy, like 'Mr. Hitchcock, what've you done' or something. Just my opinion.

I don't know about the status, the novel has in the US, but in Germany, (I know from a survey), for many fans, 'Factotum' is considered to be one of his weakest novels. And personally I go with that. (sure it has many fantastic scenes; and sure it beats lots of novels of other so called writers, but that's not my point.) I even asked Bent Hamer about the weakness of this novel, but, he disagreed with me, finding it a very good one. (and btw. had very good reasons to name for his oppinion!)

Anyway. My contribution so far.
Hi Roni.
Having read your interview with Hamer (thanks for posting those Yearbook excepts) I think the problems with the movie are explained by two things: Budget. Time.
As Hamer says, "It's a low budget movie, we all worked for very little." And "We shot it in 24 days."
So its a shame, but under those constraints, things obviously had to be altered. And the obvious change is that a book about travelling to lots of places and doing lots of jobs becomes a film about getting fired a lot and not really going anywhere...
The book is episodic sure, but some of the episodes are just magic. Maybe because it was my first contact with Bukowski's writing it has a special place in my heart. But having read much more since then, and re-read Factotum several times and seen those stories reworked along the way, it still stands up for me as a good book.
Taking roni's and hank solo's posts into account, I don't think the movie was all that bad. The first time I saw it at a movie festival (with Hamer and Stark making comments and answering questions after the movie), I was VERY disappointed, mainly because it was SO slow, but after having watched it on DVD at home I've grown more positive. Dillon's Buk may not be perfect but it's the best so far. Hamer and Stark said to the audience beforehand that it was a slow movie without a plot, but with some humour in it. Anyway, It's not THE movie on Buk but will such a movie ever be made? I have my doubts and it did create new Buk readers. I mean, how much can you expect from a low budget movie made in 24 days...
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I loved it. I think the hangover morning scene when he leaves Jane is cinematic genius. Gets under your skin. I'm sure a lot of people here have been there.

And this: "What's your novel about?"
"You mean, for example it's about cancer."
"And my wife."
"She's in there too." (from memory)
Laugh out loud funny.
I loved it. I think the hangover morning scene when he leaves Jane is cinematic genius.
That was the scene I was reffering to also.

Yes, it is not only moving, it's also done very well in the cinematic sense.
Have you noticed, that the whole scene is ONE single shot?
It must have taken at least half a day to shoot this one. The slightest mistake or problem would make necessary repeating everything. A shot that long gets on your nerves! (been working in filming commercials in the 90s, so I know.)
So who would make the best Bukowski as an actor (and to make it interesting) living or dead.
Apologies if this question has come up before.
There will NEVER be any Bukowski even close to the Bukowski we know. It's impossible.
But it's possible to do at least a decent job. (Matt wasn't that bad.) For an older Bukowski, say a movie on the basis of 'Women', how about Jack Nicholson?
Call this one Factotum third or fourth time 'round.

"A week later Jan moved out of my place and shacked up with some rich guy."

I guess I'm a little slow, but I only now noticed that the guy we see Jan greet on the doorstep at the end of the film is that putz Chinaski choked out at the racetrack. Fug.
I just watched 'factotum' lastnight entirely by accident and I was disappointed. I didn't have any expectation, but as it progressed, it was just dull and flat, not even in the poetic sense of ennui. This just had no spirit. And it was even more apparent when Dillion narrated the poems, he slaughtered them, with a dulcet droll. Not like the Bukowski textured growl. The whole thing made me cringe a little. It seemed like carboard.

I saw 'Factotum' a few times in the theater and just ordered the DVD and I think for me, it gets better with each viewing. To one of roni's points, it does move at a very slow, deliberate pace much like Aki Kaurismaki's "Match Factory Girl" or even Michelangelo Antonioni's "The Passenger", which I think is great. One of the few American directors who I think can and does move at the same pace is Gus Van Sant, in particular his latest films like "Elephant" and "Last Days". And speaking of Van Sant, I found that Dillon's performance was quite good, very similar to the erratic Bob character he played in Van Sant's "Drugstore Cowboy".

I would certainly suggest the film's "dullness and flatness" are not without their poetic sense. I think the great thing about the slow moving pace, is the way it emphasizes the monotony of the everyday life, jobs and relationships that seek to weave a cage around the central character. To Olaf's point, I think a lot of the Factotum novel is about trying to resist the cardboard realities of the 9 to 5 world. Something that I think the film does so well is to create the clastrophobia of that world and something that Dillon does well is to create a character that is truly uncomfortable in that setting.
the more I watch Dillon as Chinaski,he does a good job,some takes better than others and I say this from having been there.having never meet the man face to face,upon his passing I felt moved,no one can bukowski like bukowski..all hail the Buk
I'll certainly rewatch it.

When Dillon narrated the poems I really do think
they lacked the kind of wise tone the bukowski
had. that lifted them from dull prose to some
wise observation.

Like I say, I'll watch it again, eventually...
Well, I think if you don't compare it to the book too much it's a pretty good film. And it's pretty tough to make a movie out of a book like Factotum. And Dillon isn't all that bad. I had a stupid smirk on my face through the whole flick. I liked it.
Oh shit, didn't even remember I've posted here. Weird. I must've been drunk or stoned or on some odd chemical...
I have to disagree a little with myself which is unusual. I think Factotum has messed up stuff pretty badly. (it's playing right at the moment) Still, I like the atomosphere of the movie. Music isn't bad either. Much is wrong with the flick and I understand what you people are saying. I agree with Olaf about Dillon reading the poems. It's hard to say anyways, because I didn't know Hank personally.
The movie is unusual and the atmosphere is kind of weird, that's why I still like it.

I loved it. I think the hangover morning scene when he leaves Jane is cinematic genius. Gets under your skin. I'm sure a lot of people here have been there.

And this: "What's your novel about?"
"You mean, for example it's about cancer."
"And my wife."
"She's in there too." (from memory)
Laugh out loud funny.

my favorite
can't get any
better comedy
from buk like

watched it 5x and love it
what does jazz fit into
any pt of bukowski ????

he like classical not jazz
I've only seen it once at the cinema. I didn't like it. I found it hard to get past Matt Dillon being so pretty. I've been putting off seeing it again. I will though. As someone else mentioned - writing in a notebook in a bar? what's that about!!!
I've only seen it once at the cinema. I didn't like it.

I felt the same way when I saw it at a cinema. It was just so slow and boring. Later on I got it on DVD and then I liked it! Maybe it has to do with watching it in the privacy of your own home or maybe the fact that I now knew it was a slow film...
PS- The deleted scenes are interesting; they cut loads of the captain story out.G.

My version doesn't have any deleted scenes...
Got it in right now.

Does anyone have an American version with the deleted scenes?
If so,
mine is going on e-bay tomorrow
And I'll find the other.

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