When Barbet Schroeder (More, General Idi Amin Dada, Single White Female) began work on the movie Barfly, he had no idea that it would be such a struggle. During the seven years it took him to complete the film, he turned his cameras on its screenwriter, poet and novelist Charles Bukowski.
“I couldn’t stand the thought of not being able to share the extraordinary evenings we spent together,” said Schroeder. “I finally brought in a small crew, friends of mine, with a high quality video set up. Whoever was the least drunk took control of the camera.”
Bukowski, legendary for his drunken excess and frank observations on life, love, and survival, took no exception with Schroeder.
Barbet Schroeder recalls, “I had no idea of what I might do with the material, but I didn’t want those evenings to be lost. As I don’t like formal interviews, I tried to get him started on a topic and then keep from interrupting him. The result was often a monologue of three minutes or longer.”
Schroeder eventually completed The Charles Bukowski Tapes, a four-hour long study of the man and the music of his words. “The ideal way to show this material was in short video-clips—a new style of film. Once I had screened it this way, it seemed twice as powerful.”
Available for the first time in the world on DVD, Barrel Entertainment is proud to present this exceptional portrait of one of America’s most vital voices.
Special Features include:
- The original, complete four-hour edition, with all 52 segments presented in two volumes:
- Plus: A 36-page booklet featuring essays by Barbet Schroeder and Bukowski biographer Neeli Cherkovski, as well as a 1987 interview with Charles Bukowski.