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Bukowski on DVD & and a few of his favorites

by _Tyler_
Bukowski on DVD & and a few of his favorites by _Tyler_
Documentaries, films based on his writing, and a few of his favorite films (#9 on this list was his absolute favorite). “The movies are just as bad. I will listen to or read the critics. A great movie, they will say. And I will go see said movie. And sit there feeling like a fucking fool, feeling robbed, tricked. I can guess each scene before it arrives. And the obvious motives of the characters, what drives them, what they yearn for, what is of importance to them is so juvenile and pathetic, so boringly gross. The love bits are galling, old hat, precious drivel. I believe that most people see too many movies. And certainly the critics.… Read more

Documentaries, films based on his writing, and a few of his favorite films (#9 on this list was his absolute favorite).

“The movies are just as bad. I will listen to or read the critics. A great movie, they will say. And I will go see said movie. And sit there feeling like a fucking fool, feeling robbed, tricked. I can guess each scene before it arrives. And the obvious motives of the characters, what drives them, what they yearn for, what is of importance to them is so juvenile and pathetic, so boringly gross. The love bits are galling, old hat, precious drivel.

I believe that most people see too many movies. And certainly the critics. When they say that a movie is great, they mean it’s great in relation to other movies they have seen. They’ve lost their overview. They are clubbed by more and more new movies. They just don’t know, they are lost in it all. They have forgotten what really stinks, which is almost everything they view.

And let’s not even talk about television." —Charles Bukowski, The Captain Is Out to Lunch and the Sailors Have Taken Over the Ship.

  • * * *

Here is an excerpt from Howard Sounes’ biography Charles Bukowski: Locked in the Arms of a Crazy Life:

“Bukowski demonstrated his dislike for mainstream movies, and their stars, when he met Arnold Schwarzenegger in September, 1985, at a birthday party for Michael Montfort’s wife. For no particular reason, other than he felt like picking a fight, Bukowski told Schwarzenegger he was a piece of shit. “Hank was certainly not overly impressed with any of it,” says Harry Dean Stanton. “He didn’t care much for many movies, as I don’t. Anybody who is perceptive is not going to talk about the thousands of great movies. It is relative to any art form. Excellence in any field is always a rarity.’”

From The Charles Bukowski Tapes:

“Anybody that can see the opposite of what’s going on, I think is exceptional. Any place you go, if you see 50 people standing in one line and 4 people standing in another, you know which line to get into, dontcha baby? The masses are always wrong. Wisdom is doing everything the crowd does not do. All you do is reverse the totality of their learning and you have the heaven they’re looking for. It’s a basic wisdom, whichever way the crowd goes, run the other direction. Through centuries they’re always wrong, and they will always be wrong.”

  • * * *

As with John Cassavetes, I know that Bukowski liked Kurosawa but I don’t know specifically which films, so based on their theme, quality, and when they were made, I made a few probable selections.

NOT LISTED: Crazy Love / L’Amour Est un Chien de l’Enfer (Deruddere, 1987); Charles Bukowski: Bukowski at Bellevue (1995); Charles Bukowski Live: The Last Straw (1980); Poetry in Motion (Ron Mann, 1982); Charles Bukowski Live: There’s Gonna Be a God Damn Riot in Here! (1979)

  • * * *

Finally, a poem. Flipping through an old nature magazine one day I came across two photos: on the left page, a picture of a bright bluebird; on the right, a picture of a bleak mountain road. Immediately I was reminded of one of Bukowski’s most famous poems.

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I’m not going
to let anybody see
you.

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I pour whiskey on him and inhale
cigarette smoke
and the whores and the bartenders
and the grocery clerks
never know that
he’s
in there.

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say,
stay down, do you want to mess
me up?
you want to screw up the
works?
you want to blow my book sales in
Europe?

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too clever, I only let him out
at night sometimes
when everybody’s asleep.
I say, I know that you’re there,
so don’t be
sad.
then I put him back,
but he’s singing a little
in there, I haven’t quite let him
die
and we sleep together like
that
with our
secret pact
and it’s nice enough to
make a man
weep, but I don’t
weep, do
you?

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