I can understand why some people prefer "Barfly" to this film. While I enjoy that film too, there's something about this film that gets things about Bukowski that Barfy doesn't. Ferreri is a stronger visual director then Schroeder. I think a big reason I love this film more is that it's more like Bukowski's poetry and "Barfly" is more like his novels and I like his poetry more then his novels. Gazzara's great.
I thought this was a great bukowski portrayal. I watched barfly about 10 years ago and loved it, but this seemed more natural, slow, real and without any polish or finesse. Stumbling by the sea, riding on a bus, staring at the sky. A movie made up of little moments like this, which reflects to me how his writing was. An appreciation of the everyday with an underlying sadness throughout. Plus Ornella is beautiful.