Yesterday, Firestorm writer Stuart Moore e-mailed me his minute-by-minute experience seeing Factotum, a new movie based on the novel by Charles Bukowski. It's about a writer who happens to enjoy a cocktail now and then, so, naturally, Stuart and I were itching to go just so we could award it four stars!
[NOTE: I'd have posted Stuart's impressions in real time, like livebloggers should, but terrorists knocked Superfrankenstein offline this weekend. They hate us because we love freedom! Anyway...]
Take it away, Stuart!
Okay -- this is me "liveblogging" you on my trip to see FACTOTUM, the greatest movie in the universe, by myself at 11:00 AM on Sunday. I promise no "spoilers" (? Matt Dillon gets drunk? He loses his job?)
So far there are three other people in the audience -- and they're all old enough to have hung with Bukowski in the bad days. A weathered old guy is talking to his wife (?), and another old guy just hobbled in VERY slowly, plopped down in front of me, and pulled out a copy of THE TIN DRUM by Gunter Grass. Oh, and a nicely dressed old lady just strolled in and said sweetly, "Excuse me, what movie is this? 'FAC-TOE-TUM'?" Awesome!
My own reading of choice on the way over was Cormac McCarthy's NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, which seemed appropriate. I had a Fiendish Plan to buy a couple Budweisers and sneak them in -- they just changed the state law to allow liquor purchases on Sunday mornings! -- but I chickened out. And now I'm regretting it because the concessions stand wasn't open yet when I came in. Another regret for my middle age.
We'll see if I follow through on Fiendish Plan #2: to stand up a half hour into the film, look around in a daze, and scream, "WHERE ARE THE MOTHERFUCKIN SNAKES ON THIS MOTHERFUCKIN PLANE?!" Don't hold your breath...it would've worked a lot better with the Budweiser in my hand.
Shit -- I smell popcorn. More later.
[The lede buried in Stuart's report is that New York now allows liquor sales on Sunday morning. Hey, Stuart, next time I'm in town, let's do shots in church!]
The theatre is having a staffing crisis. I waited ten minutes for popcorn -- then they gave it to me FREE. And all I missed was half of a short film about an animated woman and a trash can.
This is the best day of my life.
This movie is hilarious. And of the 13-14 people here, I'm the only one laughing.
But I'm also the only one with FREE POPCORN, fuckers.
Lili Taylor has a great ass.
[Are you sure you didn't sneak those Budweisers in, Stuart?]
This movie really does catch the weird rhythm and humor of Bukowski's writing. That's not for everybody, but I'm loving it. It's also a very tricky thing to pull off.
Wish I had that Bud.
Sitting in Washington Square Park, where I just ate a hot dog. I really liked the movie -- it captured a strange pace just right. Matt Dillon, Lili Taylor, & Marisa Tomei were all just right. Lili Taylor -- you just alternately wanted to hug her and slap her, which was exactly the point.
The movie's about writing, of course, as all Bukowski's work is. It (the film) doesn't really say anything you can't get from reading 20 pages of Bukowski -- and scenes that would have been shocking in 1975, when the book was published, seem like tame bits clipped from DEADWOOD or THE SOPRANOS today. But the integrity of the work, and the poetry, hold up -- for me, anyway. And apparently for the septuagenarians in the audience with me. (Though they weren't laughing much.)
I don't know if I'm a writer by Bukowski's standards. I've never starved, though I've never needed much either. (That hot dog hit the spot.) But as I walked over to sit on this bench, a puffy young NYU guy said into his cell phone, "I'm gonna start writing a play with my friend Elliot." I wish him luck, but somehow I think I'm gonna be doing this longer than him.
And so are you, SuperFrankenstein.
Enough interblogging. I need a drink!
Thanks, Stuart! Great job! I can't wait to see this movie. It sounds like Casino Royale for assholes!
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