Los Angeles Times - 05/28/2004
"[The film] accomplishes beautifully what it sets out to do, which is to reveal the man behind the crusty, hard-drinking, tough-talking persona Charles Bukowski so artfully crafted."
New York Times - 06/04/2004
"[A] definitive and engrossing documentary portrait..."
Uncut - 05/22/2009 4 stars out of 5 -- "Sensibly, director John Dullaghan, who spent seven years assembling his biographical documentary, starts with the Bukowski we know; the bull-faced misanthrope..."
Director John Dullaghan spent seven years searching high and low for the most pertinent material he could find about the notorious writer, drinker, and recluse Charles Bukowski (1920-1994). The result is BUKOWSKI: BORN INTO THIS, a highly entertaining, informative tribute to Bukowski's work, his life, and the people who were inspired and influenced by him. Using a large quantity of grainy black-and-white interview footage shot by German Cosmopolitan in the 1970s, some of the most frank conversations and classic moments in the film--Bukowski driving his car through L.A. with a big crack in the windshield, telling stories--come from this archival material. Other interviews come from Bukowski's wife and a smattering of girlfriends ranging from "Cupcakes" to Linda King, from a former post office coworker, and from celebrities and friends like Taylor Hackford, Bono, Sean Penn, Harry Dean Stanton, and Tom Waits. Barbet Schroeder also appears in the film to talk about his feature film BARFLY, based on Bukowski, which starred Mickey Rourke. With readings of Bukowski's poems peppered throughout, the documentary traces the progress of his life from his miserable childhood to his 14-year tenure as a postal worker, his column "Notes of a Dirty Old Man" in the L.A. Free Press, his foul mouth and dark outlook, his misogynistic view of women, his books, and of course, his steady heavy drinking. And yet, the film is uplifting and shows Bukowski's soft, ironic side. BUKOWSKI: BORN INTO THIS succeeds with flying colors, adding new insight to this fascinating and hard-to-know character whose memory will not soon be forgotten.
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