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Charles Bukowski - There's Gonna Be a God Damn Riot in Here

4.4 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

When Bukowski arrived here to read in 1979, it was for the second time. Unfortunately there was no record of the first reading. I thought there was. One day I arranged for that reading to be shown to me and several friends. It never happened. That tape, which I thought existed, was nowhere to be found. What could I do? I decided to write Bukowski and tell him and ask if he would be willing to come back and try it again. Would he do another reading? My friends would get to see him live, I could film it and make sure that this visit would be recorded. He answered; said yes, he would come back. I organized flights and hotel, rented a hall and advertised. I set the date for Friday, October 12, 1979. Hank and Linda Lee Beighle (later to become Mrs. Bukowski) arrived the night before. There was a dense fog that night and they were rerouted. They had to be bused to Vancouver. I was in a frenzy. They came through arrivals several hours late but, they were here! We took them to their hotel where they freshened up and we went out on the town and got to know each other. The reading was at an old hall in the Downtown Eastside on Hastings Street. It was a hall used for weddings and dances mostly. Perfect! Since it seemed to me laden with the overtures of many lives. We set up chairs, put Hank in front with a bank of microphones and filmed it. It was raw, raucous, and raunchy. But also sublime. 650 people came. There was plenty of yelling, screaming, and applause. There was also plenty of tears and shouts resounding with love and adulation for this man. It s all here. I hope you enjoy it. It was the last time he performed outside the United States. It was and remains a testament to a great poet and writer.

About the Actor

Charles Bukowski was born August 16, 1920 in Andernach, Germany to a German-born mother and an American serviceman after the end of World War I. He lived there until age 3, at which time the family moved to Los Angeles. His father, who was drunk most days and nights, beat Bukowski regularly. The adult Bukowski had a spotty work history, except for a decade at the Post Office; he survived there to write some classic elegies, never to be forgotten. He stated that, 'Style is the answer to everything. A fresh way to approach a dull or a dangerous thing...' For decades he remained a fairly obscure writer; but over time, he became recognized as one the great contemporary American authors. Many knew him from the Los Angeles Free Press column Notes of a Dirty Old Man. In the late 60s Black Sparrow Press started publishing his works and supported him financially. In 1987 Barbet Schroeder directed the movie Barfly, based on Bukowski s life and screenplay. It starred Faye Dunaway and Mickey Rourke. Born Into This, a documentary, was released in 2004. More than a million people have seen it. In 2006 Factotum, starring Matt Dillon, was released and Bukowski's papers entered the Huntington Library permanent collection archives. All his manuscripts and papers were donated by his wife Linda to that august institution. After Barfly, Bukowski wrote some of the most contemplative and profound prose and poems you'll ever come across. Little was ever captured of him reading his poems to an audience; clips would show up now and then. But now we have two works, dormant for over 25 years, finally being released. In 1979-80 Bukowski gave two sold-out readings to audiences in Vancouver, Canada and Redondo Beach, California. After the Redondo Beach reading, he gave up public performances, concentrating instead on his writing, for the final 14 years of his life. For those of you who were lucky enough to personally experience his performance art the banter with the audience, the insane atmosphere that almost culminated in a riot these DVDs will bring vivid memories. For those of you who only know of Bukowski through his written work, prepare yourselves.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Charles Bukowski
  • Directors: Jon Monday
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Monday Media
  • DVD Release Date: September 7, 2009
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0013K8L8O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #179,918 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Pamela V VINE VOICE on December 29, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I bought this for my husband, a lifelong Bukowski fan. He was very happy with it.
This dvd features Charles Bukowski at a poetry reading in Canada, in 1979. He reads for less than two hours. During that time, he interacts with the immature crowd and drinks 4 bottles of red red wine. He also smokes some kind of cigarettes from India, and lights them over and over; to me what looked like a nervous habit.

The video was shot from within the crowd, and you can hear the obnoxious braying laughter of one particular man throughout the entire tape.

Equally annoying is the fact that so many people are laughing at poems that simply weren't intended to be humorous. And then there are a few people in the audience who find themselves repeatedly shushed by Bukowski, because they continually talk over his readings.

All in all, it gives those of us not entirely familiar with the Bukowski live reading format the opportunity to see it, and the old Buk fans will certainly love this as much as anything else they can get their hands on that are related to the late-great Charles Bukowski.

A poetry reading - short, sweet and simple. Or is it?
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This was my first live view of Bukowski and I loved every minute of it. He is so real and he does not put up a front in order to be a highlight of society. I feel like his poetry shows that even the darkest corners of humanity have a wonderfully subjective beauty. This man inspires me and he is utterly entertaining.
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One of the best DVDs showing Bukowski at a reading ever made. Period. He is so funny and his interaction with the rowdy crowd is hilarious. A must have for any Bukowski fanatic. The crowd gives it to Buk and he gives it right back, plus the reading of his poems are wonderful. The crowd quiets down and his voice just fills the room with the simple lines that are so profound.
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This is an aptly named video.

There isn't a ton of video footage of Bukowski, so if you are a fan this is a must-see video. Charles does get drunk throughout this reading and that is interesting as a fan of his novels and poetry, (things his Amazon critics are probably not capable of, by the way.)

However, let it be known that the video quality is very poor. It was shot on video tape and obviously could not be digitized for so many years that we have the smearing, ghosting and other noise that goes with that. It's not TOO bad though - we can see the man doing his thing well enough. The photographer mostly stays zoomed in on him from a tripod, but there are occasional wider shots from the dark and smoky venue.

The reading featured a rambunctious Canadian crowd that apparently thought all of Bukowski's writing was comedy, then gets drunk and becomes somewhat wild. This can be grating at times. He handles it well and plays along with them, including the hecklers, and as he gets more drunk this gets more interesting to watch. But if you adore his writing for his weighty points, you may find this experience annoying. Still, it's worth it to see what he had to endure doing these readings, which he also wrote about so it's good to actually see and hear it. Note: In the second half of the movie, the crowd is much more relaxed and quiet while he reads his work.

The audio is not a board recording; it was a microphone on the camera, (or near it,) which was in the audience. So we have close-up crowd noise, which is particularly irritating during the first half of the film as there was a cackling moron very close to the microphone. It's a shame.
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Bukowski likes his booze and drinks a couple of bottles while reading his poems in front of a live audience, mostly about sex and booze. For anyone lacking an understanding poetry can be about anything, and anything can be expressed as "poetry," and anyone wanting to see a drunk insult his audience and be insulted in return during a public reading, this might be "enjoyed."
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