Thursday, August 6, 2020

He drank, smoked and wrote

Given the sheer rottenness of the current moment, what could be better than a movie about Charles Bukowski, the author whose novels and poetry set new standards for the literature of the down-and-out? You Never Had It  — An Evening with Bukowski consists mostly of footage supplied by journalist Silvia Bizio who spent an evening in 1981 drinking wine and smoking cigarettes with Bukowski and his then-girlfriend Linda Lee Beighle. (They later married.) The movie consists mostly of videotapes that Bizio excavated from her garage a couple of decades after Bukowski died in 1994. No lost cinematic treasure, the film nonetheless offers exposure to the candid, growling Bukowski whose poetry includes volumes with titles that tip you off to the life a man who did his best to avoid anything that might be considered a literary life: Love Is a Dog From Hell being one of the better known. Bukowski expresses his unwavering commitment to reality as he saw it and a low tolerance for flourishes that  wavered from hard truths. Fitting, I suppose, for a former postal worker who preferred bar stools to salons and who tells us that the world is a hate-filled place. Listening to Bukowski talk about writing, sex and life make You Never Had It must-viewing for the ever-growing legion of Bukowski devotees. Best seen through blood-shot eyes.

No comments: