YOU NEVER HAD IT: AN EVENING WITH BUKOWSKI
director/writer: Matteo Borgardt; screenwriter: Silvia Bizio; cinematographers: Matteo Borgardt/Anastasios Papapostulou/Brian Lockwood/Gianfilippo De Rossi/Claudio Santini; editors: Cristina Sammartano, Matteo Bogardt; music: Eric Cannata, Aidin Sadeghi, François Comtois, Josh Stein; cast: Silvia Bizio, Charles Bukowski, , Linda Lee Beighle; Runtime: 52; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Paola Ferrari De Benedetti/Silvia Bizio/Alex Garcia/Santiago Garcia; Kino Lorber; 2016)
“Sobering, candid and witty interview.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Matteo Borgardt (“The Forgotten History of Camp Monticello”) is the Italian writer-director who in January of 1981 treks to San Pedro, California, a seaside community within the city limits of Los Angeles, where the Italian investigative journalist Silvia Bizio and her own camera crew interview the poet in his home, on a videocassette recorder. The late Los Angeles rebel, alcoholic poet (born in Germany in 1920, died in 1994), talks in a soft-spoken voice freely on anything asked while he generously drinks a large amount of red wine and chain-smokes his way through this sobering, candid and witty interview. An interview pruned to 52 minutes of the once Skid Row poet, who over the years has cleaned up his act a little and has made more respectable friends. Seated on the couch with the poet is his future wife, Linda Lee Beighle.
Also, it should be noted that Borgardt is Bizio’s son.
Bukowski didn’t publish until he was 50, but has since some 70 books to his credit, with such acclaimed works as “Post Office” and “Notes of a Dirty Old Man,” and his seminal novel “Ham on Rye.” He’s noted for a verse called “War All the Time.”
The poet spouts off why writers are dicks by declaring: “Writers are very despicable people; plumbers are better people.” He then tells of how serious he’s about this by turning down an invite to meet the great writer Jean-Paul Sartre (who in my opinion is not a dick) while on a book tour in Paris. He tells us that the people today are “more full of hate than they are love. This is our society. Let’s go with the flow, let’s not kid ourselves.” Though he’s renown for including much sex in his work, he denounces authors who think sex is everywhere and can’t stop talking about it.
This is an obscure doc of the poet going introspective on us, and is aimed at his fans. Count me as one of them (loved the guy whether I agreed with him or not).
REVIEWED ON 8/22/2020 GRADE: B +