Happy Bukday Week!
Well, tomorrow is the birthday of another great but dead 20th Century drunk, err, artist -- Charles Bukowski. And though he is the type of (alcoholic) character who might appreciate being remembered on the day of his death (March 9, 1994), I'll still be thinking of him during this time. And in fact, some people have organized a Bukday Week celebration in honor of Buk's b-day.
I've been a fan of Buk's work for a while, and always got a kick out of his thinly-veiled self-references. For screenwriters and film fans, I highly recommend watching or rewatching Barfly. The first time I saw this film, I enjoyed it, but I saw it purely as a drama. But the second time I watched it, I realized how funny it is too, and how there is a true dark comedy buried in this autobiographical piece. The film also contains two top-notch performances (Faye Dunaway and Mickey Rourke, both giving what I consider amongst their best performances on screen), as well as a favorite line of mine. When the art critic from the magazine finds him leaving his bar, she asks him, "Who are you?" to confirm that he is Bukowski (or Chinaski, actually). To which Chinaski responds, "Ahhhhh, the eternal question..."
Now, for those who would like to take their Bukday celebration a step further, I'd also recommend reading Buk's novel Hollywood. In it, you'll find Bukowski's thinly-veiled retelling of his life while writing Barfly, itself a thinly-veiled retelling of his earlier life. How's that for post-modern self-reference?
If that's not enough of a celebration, you can drink some whiskey (and by some, I mean a bottle or three), and pass out in a pool of your own vomit. Though it might be easier to take advantage of some of the events around L.A. (if you're in town here). LAist has a few listed here. Anyone feel like trekking downtown with me tonight?
Tags: Charles+Bukowski, Bukday, writing, screenwriting, alcoholism