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factotum - bent hamer
by: fingerchimp 31 march 06
took a while to finally see this as the cinema release was pretty patchy in 17th century albion where i live. i make no bones about it, im a massive bukowski fan. hes a misogynist and an egotist but i like his writing. its raw, it has power.
this is my first review of this film. in the interests of fairness im going to give it another go over the weekend and write another. it strikes me as the kind of film which may require time to appreciate and may reward repeated watching.
from the opening shot i wasnt impressed. matt dillon is the wrong physical type for chinaski. he should be lanky, rangy, swaggering. what we get is dillon looking like a sedated bear. i think to hide his normally toned physique he just ate a lot. chinaski should not be flabby. this is a guy who survived on schlitz and boiled eggs.
the pallette for the film is also off kilter. id like something a little more oppressive. it looks like a fine autumn day all the way though the film. i kept thinking of someone watching who had never heard of bukowski and not enough is explained in the narrative of the film. the drinking, always at the forefront of bukowskis writing, seems to be played down. its never clear that jan and henry are alcoholics.
dillon seems to lack presence. chinaski was young and angry, an anti-social drunk in his twenties. the film never gets beyond being a series of vignettes. hamer doesnt seem to know whether or not to use a narrative, in the parts where he does it really works. more of bukowski's writing should have been used as a voice over.
at the moment i think the film just serves to prove that bukowski's stuff works perfectly in writing.
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