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Advertising writer John Dullaghan makes his feature-length directorial debut with the documentary Bukowski: Born Into This. The infamous poet, novelist, and screenwriter Charles Bukowski has made a legacy of writing about hard living in a unique prose style. His work paralleled his lifestyle, leading to the autobiographical novels Women, Hollywood, and Post Office. This documentary investigates his life through archival clips, interviews, and footage of the man himself. He appears at a public reading in San Francisco's City Lights Bookstore. Conversations with Bukowski's friends, including rock star Bono and actor Sean Penn, reveals some personal stories and experiences. Bukowski: Born Into This was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize in the documentary competition at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, Rovi
A heartfelt, interesting portrait of one of America's greatest writers. The presence of Bono felt completely out of place and even a bit intrusive, but aside from that I enjoyed everything about this film.
This film is a terrific overview of the man's life and career, filled with archival footage of readings, interviews with his friends and family. Painting a rather thorough portrait of the man, his humble origins and the lifestyle that both fueled his writing while almost killing him at the same time, we even get to follow the man around L.A. in snippets of older footage, which is an interesting way to see his life.
A helluva great documentary about the tough life and strong poetry of Charles Bukowski, a type of an idolized American outcast who writes straight to the point without fear but with impressive beat and street-wisdom. Well made.
Overall a good biopic. This documentary, like Bukowski's life and art, pulls no punches. There is no sugar coating of Bukowski here, but within the examination of this equally loved and maligned writer, we see how human he really was, despite his larger-than-life legacy.