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Tales of Ordinary Madness

Posted by martinteller on July 9, 2011

I don’t care much for Charles Bukowski.  All that romanticizing of depravity just seems like an attempt to excuse his misogyny, laziness, alcoholism, cruelty and vulgarity.  Sometimes I do enjoy a film that delves into that world, but not so much in this case.  Ferreri doesn’t bring anything very interesting to the material, and basically leaves Ben Gazzara (as obvious Bukowski stand-in “Charles Berking”) to stumble around and wax poetic about death, souls, and dying souls.  There’s some hilariously bad lines (“Take my soul with your cock”) that I assume come from the author himself.  But the funny thing is the movie actually gets worse as Berking tries to become a more decent person.  Seeing him get into and create awful situations is at least mildly entertaining at times, but once he starts falling in love with and trying to rescue a prostitute (the lovely but not especially talented Ornella Muti, of Flash Gordon among others) things get boring.  Gazzara is very good, though, except his boyish face has a tendency to look too smug.  I just don’t think there would have been a way for me to really enjoy this film.  Rating: 5


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