Charles Bukowski’s alter ego Hank Chinaski (who is the Raoul Duke to Bukowski’s Hunter S Thompson) bums around LA trying to find a job but is constantly fired as the futility of the jobs wear him down.
I have seen quite a few clips of CB and I have to say that Matt Dillon captures him very well despite being a bit too handsome to fully encapsulate the role. If you are a fan of story and plot Factotum is not for you but if you appreciate poetry and humour and drinking whiskey then you can’t go far wrong here. The real star is Bukowski’s peerless writing. It is difficult to transfer his work to film as it is his unquestioning authenticity that makes his work so lauded and original but there is a lot of narration during Factotum that allows CB’s work to shine through. I have never been that big a fan of actress Lili Taylor even though she is in loads of stuff I really like (Four Rooms, High Fidelity, Six Feet Under) but I enjoyed her in this, probably because she isn’t playing an annoying sugary sweet nice girl. Factotum is more than just a curiosity for CB fans and would be a good starting point for anyone else.