The Charles Bukowski Tapes
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
When Barbet Schroeder (More, General Idi Amin Dada, Single White Female) began work on the movie Barfly, he had no idea that it would be such a struggle. During the seven years it took him to complete the film, he turned his cameras on its screenwriter, poet and novelist Charles Bukowski.
"I couldnt stand the thought of not being able to share the extraordinary evenings we spent together," said Schroeder. "I finally brought in a small crew, friends of mine, with a high quality video set up. Whoever was the least drunk took control of the camera."
Bukowski, legendary for his drunken excess and frank observations on life, love, and survival, took no exception with Schroeder.
Barbet Schroeder recalls, "I had no idea of what I might do with the material, but I didnt want those evenings to be lost. As I dont like formal interviews, I tried to get him started on a topic and then keep from interrupting him. The result was often a monologue of three minutes or longer."
Schroeder eventually completed The Charles Bukowski Tapes, a four-hour long study of the man and the music of his words. "The ideal way to show this material was in short video-clipsa new style of film. Once I had screened it this way, it seemed twice as powerful."
Available for the first time in the world on DVD, Barrel Entertainment is proud to present this exceptional portrait of one of Americas most vital voices.
Fifty-two clips of Charles Bukowski ranting and musing comprise Barbet Shroeders Charles Bukowski Tapes. It was, until now, a rarity that circulated amongst die-hard Bukowski fans, since the release of Shroeders Bukowski-scripted feature, Barfly. This collection of monologues, ranging in topic from Bukowskis beef with God, to biographical tales of his life as an abused child, to his views on writing as a disciplinary craft, cover the gamut of Bukowski-typical topics, which can also be glimpsed in other Bukowski documentaries, such as Born Into This. But The Charles Bukowski Tapes are set apart by their sheer volume of candid author footage, in which Bukowski has drunkenly abandoned all camera-shyness to reveal, and revel in, his damage. In one chilling segment, Hank and Linda Lee sit on the couch and seriously discuss divorce, leaving the viewer feeling as if theyve eavesdropped on a therapy session. In another, Hank takes us to his childhood home, to show us the bathroom, nicknamed "The Torture Chamber," where he was repeatedly whipped. The rawness of the tapes is refreshing but painful. This DVD package includes several segments in which Bukowski recites poems, as well as a booklet containing writing by Shroeder, an essay by Bukowski biographer, Neeli Cherkovsky, and a 1987 interview with Hank about the making of Barfly that is, of course, hilariously bitter. The Charles Bukowski Tapes allow for intimacy, making them charmed and disturbing. --Trinie Dalton
- The original, complete four-hour edition, with all 52 segments presented over two DVDs
- Plus: A 36-page booklet featuring essays by Barbet Schroeder and Bukowski biographer Neeli Cherkovski, as well as a 1987 interview with Charles Bukowski
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
But the FOOLS who transferred this footage to DVD simply STRETCHED the video to fit into a wide-screen format.
What a crime!
Everyone's head looks stretched like a big bubble.
Hard to watch and very disrespectful to the source material.
It's more enjoyable to watch on YouTube where it has been posted in the correct aspect ratio.
Bukowski was a character of himself and that role playing was a form to sustain his dignity in the quite hostile environment he was in almost all his life: bad parents, bad jobs, bad women, cheap booze, lack of money. So that's why he tried - and in the tapes this is apparent sometimes - to build a myth of his past, and amused doing that.
But it doen't mean that he is not true or authetic (his bad skin and bad teeth expose everything about his past). It only means that, from time to time, Bukowski looks TOO MUCH Bukowski than one would expect.
Overall, the DVD is a great document about one of the great 20th century american writers and gives to his readers a live and deep insight to some of his thoughts and poems.
Charles Bukowski is often associated with an eccentrically-driven tough-guy kind of image, and he's tough, yeah, but he's tough in a complex way unbeknownst to most of the public.
In this recording, Charles is "Charles" before he is singularly a world-famous author, "Bukowski," and we are treated to an intimacy otherwise shelved away. Especially take note of the seen where he visits his old childhood home, recounting the abuse his father gave him; it's here that you see his sensitivity and humanity best: "Let's forget it, okay," he says to the journalist, as he recounts his beatings in the old bathroom.
Okay, maybe...but we won't forget you, Charles. Thank you for the gift of your literature.
Bukowski seems to be a little disarmed by the format. Sometimes he seems closed off and embarrassed. Sometimes he seems too drunk to make a coherent point. However sometimes the format creates a level of openness and magic happens when Bukowski talks.
Its these moments that one watches the Bukowski tapes for, to me they were quite profound. Bukowski allows you in, past the drunkeness, past the angry shell.
You actually get something out of these tapes, unlike the terrible documentary 'Born Into This'.
Most recent customer reviews
Bukowski is drunk, reads poetry, talks about life amongst other things. In all, it's interesting because Bukowski was such a good writer and you'll be...Read more