Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Bukowski: Born into This (2003)


 I know didn't I already write an entry on Bukowski?  Yes, but there is so much about him that I think a review of the DVD "Born into this" is something worth noting.  Released in 2003 and directed by John Dullaghan the documentary is worth seeing if you know nothing of the man and his work.  The film is also pretty much a warts and all about Bukowski.  The good and the bad, and as the filmmaker says in the film it was just as well that Bukowski never saw it because some of the footage would have made Bukowski uncomfortable.   Seeing this footage shows us how Bukowski is such an interesting and worth while artist and a one of a kind.  His wife Linda Lee Bukowski gave the film it's blessing and the filmmaker worked real close with his wife and had access to a lot of footage that Charles Bukowski left behind.

The most interesting documentaries show us the human condition good and bad.  After all we all have things in our closet that we are not proud of, but what makes us us.  Being an artist and laying bare all your faults and your genesis is something that I admire.  Bukowski was a work in progress and to pigeon hole him as a writer would be a disservice to his memory.  For example the scene where he has a fight with his then fiance  Linda shows a very ugly side to the man, and yet through that scene we see Bukowski's weaknesses and the demons that really drove Mr. Bukowski.  Every artist has them and this documentary really gets under Bukowski's skin, and we see a little glimmer of what made him tick and why he was such a prolific writer.  

Bukowski wrote from his soul, and bared it all to us.  Almost like a chain of thought, but what Bukowski saw nobody else saw.  Even the filmmaker who fully admits that he just went out and began shooting his documentary and in time it grew and evolved into what it was.  Much like a Bukowski novel the filmmaker delves right into Bukowski, and what we see first is a caustic, and bitter man.  There is no narration discussing Bukowski's origin.  Instead we hear it from the man himself.  How he was abused by his father, and how his parents showed no love to him, and his writing.  How he was so conflicted as being an artist and having a job.  He was an everyday man who knew the realities of the world, and had some contempt for the world of art.  All he knew was that he had to write, and that he had to feed the demon everyday.  Ever day life became poetry and his life experiences became books.  To read his novels is like peeking into his soul and what made Bukowski Bukowski.

I highly recommend the film, and it is worth seeing just to admire Bukowski's talent, and his tenacity towards his work and life.  The filmmaker should be given high praise for his work also, and to think Mr. Dullaghan had no idea where to start and how to approach his subject, and yet he does a great job.

If you're a writer, and you feel frustrated.  Pick this DVD up, and give it a viewing.  I think you'll find some inspirational things here, and you'll see how  genesis and madman can be applied in the same sentence when describing Bukowski.

The film is a great look into a writer who is complicated and passionate about his work.  Worth viewing.

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