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Charles Bukowski Box Set: One Tough Mother

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Box Set - Last Two Live Readings
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Product Description

In 2008, the last two Charles Bukowski live readings were released as individual DVDs, There's Gonna Be a God Damned Riot in Here! (Bukowski Live in Vancouver, 1979) and The Last Straw (Bukowski Live in Redondo Beach California, 1980). The two readings are different in tone from one another, but both were raucous, confrontational events, much of the action coming between the poems. Therefore, rather than cull out the formal poems, we offer the readings intact, as they are meant to be experienced. The 2008 releases were edited to avoid duplicate poems, but in this special 30th anniversary edition, they are offered uncut, in their raw entirety.Three New Featurettes & Then Some: Bukowski at the Huntington-In 2006 Bukowski's wife, Linda Lee, donated a considerable Bukowski archive to the prestigious Huntington Library. We offer selections from Celebrating Bukowski, an event presented by the Huntington officially welcoming Bukowski's papers. Features talks, reminiscences and readings by admirers, friends and family, as well as an interview with Sue Hodson, Curator of Literary Manuscripts. Behind the Making of Bukowski: Born Into This- An in-depth interview with filmmaker John Dullaghan, director of the definitive Bukowski documentary, about the making of Born Into This. Also includes selections from the film including poems read by Bono; Tom Waits; and Bukowski's publisher, John Martin, reading Bukowski's last poem; and a poem read by John Dullaghan. Love, Bukowski, Selected Scenes - Performances of three Bukowski poems from the play as presented by the California Repertory Company as well as comments by Joanne Gordon, who conceived and directed Love, Bukowski, and was nominated for a 2005 LA Drama Critics Award for best adaptation. Also The Vancouver Gang, a mini-documentary of the 25th anniversary screening of the Vancouver reading, interviews with the producers of both films of the readings, and more Bukowski poetry.

Review

Charles Bukowski: One Tough Mother Posted by: Richard Marcus Say poetry and most people will immediately think of something intellectual, slightly effeminate, and not usually worth the effort it takes to understand. They ll think back to days in high school spent trying to make sense of seemingly incomprehensible words strung together apparently without rhyme or reason while their teacher droned on about metaphors, similes, and deeper meanings. The idea that poetry might actually have something to do with the real world or be written in language that anybody can understand would come as quite a surprise to most people. That the same poetry might be about the mean streets of big cities featuring casts of characters who hang out in old dingy bars or the cracked stone steps of tenement buildings drinking two dollar bottles of wine and rotgut whiskey would never even cross their minds. Until his death in 1994, American writer Charles Bukowski produced scores of poems and prose depicting life among those who eke out an existence in low-paying menial employment and who seek solace in the bottom of a bottle and the company of cheap whores and whose hopes for the future rely more on the long shot at San Marino or race tracks like it around the country. Not only did his poetry talk about subject matter most others wouldn t or couldn t tackle, it did so in the language of the people who populated it. Sex, bodily functions, drinking, gambling, and generally life on the skids are fixtures of Bukowski s poetry. Yet, that s not the be all and end all when it comes to his work. For behind the words is an intelligent and compassionate mind which, although he makes no effort to hide his readers from the nastier realities of life on the skids, never makes those populating his work figures of ridicule or objects of sympathy. He finds humour and pathos among them in equal measures, and is just as likely to be laughing at himself as anybody else. For Bukowski not only wrote about the down and outs for the longest time he was one himself, and a good deal of autobiographical detail makes its way into his work. Although Bukowski lived until 1994 he gave his last live poetry reading in 1980. A newly released two-DVD set, One Tough Mother, produced by mondayMEDIA and the Infinity Entertainment Group, combining the films made of his last two readings (There s Going To Be A God Damned Riot In Here!, Vancouver, 1979 and The Last Straw, Redondo Beach, California, 1980) gives one a fairly good indication as to why he stopped doing them. As its title suggests, the Vancouver reading degenerated at times into a shouting match between Bukowski and the audience and even though it was a less antagonistic gathering in California, the atmosphere still left a lot to be desired. Far too many people made the mistake with Bukowski of confusing fiction with reality. For while it was true that at one point in his life he had lived much like those who inhabited his poetry and prose, by this point in his life he was no longer living rough. There was no reason for him to have to fight for his survival, but if these two readings were any indication as to how audiences reacted to him, they expected him to be one of the foul-mouthed protagonists depicted in his work. In both instances he tries his best to remind them of who he has become by reading a work which deals with the issue directly. In the poem he talks about how he receives letters from men living in single rooms written on torn lined paper which compliment him on how he s captured their lives on paper. He then continues on to wonder what they would think if they knew their missives were ending up at a two-garage house where he leads a perfectly comfortable life and keeps a young man in a cage, beaten two or three times a week and fed on cheap whiskey, who writes all his poetry. --blogcritics.org

Charles Bukowski did not like to do live poetry readings. But he needed the money. The readings were legendary and those who had the privilege of attending one felt they had witnessed, and participated in, not a dry, academic reading of poems, but performance art. At one reading, between trading sharp jabs with a heckler, Bukowski said, "Forgive me. You have my soul and I have your money." Eventually, his book royalties and film advances allowed him to retire from live performances and concentrate on what he loved: writing. He lived and wrote for another 14 years after these, his last readings. In 2008, the last two Charles Bukowski readings were released as individual DVDs, There's Gonna Be a God Damned Riot in Here! (Bukowski Live in Vancouver, 1979) and The Last Straw (Bukowski Live in Redondo Beach California, 1980). The two readings are different in tone from one another, but both were raucous, confrontational events, much of the action coming between the poems. Therefore, rather than cull out the formal poems, we offer the readings intact, as they are meant to be experienced. The 2008 releases were edited to avoid duplicate poems, but in this special 30th anniversary edition, they are offered uncut, in their raw entirety. Three New Featurettes & Then Some are included. Bukowski at the Huntington -- In 2006 Bukowski's wife, Linda Lee, donated a considerable Bukowski archive to the prestigious Huntington Library. We offer selections from Celebrating Bukowski, an event presented by the Huntington officially welcoming Bukowski's papers. Features talks, reminiscences and readings by admirers, friends and family, as well as an interview with Sue Hodson, Curator of Literary Manuscripts. Behind the Making of Bukowski: Born Into This -- An in-depth interview with filmmaker John Dullaghan, director of the definitive Bukowski documentary, about the making of Born Into This. Also includes selections from the film including poems read by Bono; Tom Waits; and Bukowski's publisher, John Martin, reading Bukowski's last poem; and a poem read by John Dullaghan. Love, Bukowski, Selected Scenes -- Performances of three Bukowski poems from the play as presented by the California Repertory Company as well as comments by Joanne Gordon, who conceived and directed Love, Bukowski, and was nominated for a 2005 LA Drama Critics Award for best adaptation. Also The Vancouver Gang, a mini-documentary of the 25th anniversary screening of the Vancouver reading, interviews with the producers of both films of the readings, and more Bukowski poetry. --cduniverse.com

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Charles Bukowski
  • Directors: Jon Monday, Dennis Del Torre
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: MondayMEDIA
  • DVD Release Date: October 19, 2010
  • Run Time: 350 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0042KPRYI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,658 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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It is great to see Charles Bukowski as himself. I have only ever seen Mickey Rourke's impersonation in the Barfly. It's interesting to see Buk as he really is. It's wonderful to hear the cadence of his speaking rhythym. The flow of his poems are unmistakable. Plus you get to see him drink! My God can that guy polish off some wine. It is a pleasure to be able to see the REAL Buk as he really was.
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Bukowski's last two poetry readings, presented in their full and in great quality. If you're not a fan of the readings don't bother. If you are, then pick this up. Worth it alone for the rowdy Vancouver reading.
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If you like poetry slams you need to experience the best. Bukowski delivers just that. A brilliant and gifted poet from the slums of alcohol addiction,homelessness and a deeply terrifying childhood, Bukowski is the genuine article.
There is none better,more honest and real than Bukowski.
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Seeing Bukowski live was magical. Hilarious and poignant in equal measure. Highly recommended for Buk fans.
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