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March 7, 2021
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Factotum
(2007-03-19)
(wgvu) - Alpha Dog become infamous for a lawsuit that was filed against the real life prosecutor who gave the producers access to his files on the genuine Johnny Truelove, Jesse James Hollywood, whose story has been featured on TV shows like Dateline, America's Most Wanted, and Unsolved Mysteries. Factotum is a low-budget independently produced film that's based on the novel by Charles Bukowski. It stars Matt Dillon as Bukowski's alter ego Hank Chinaski. The definition of the word Factotum is An employee or assistant who serves in a wide range of capacities. The movie and the book detail the drunken exploits of Chinaski as he goes from one blue collar job after another, while spending his time otherwise drinking and writing. (clip) Chinaski is a veritable expert at getting fired. (clip) Despite or maybe because of his inability to keep a job, Chinaski draws the attentions of various alcoholic women. Lily Taylor portrays the central love interest in Factotum, as Jan. Hank and Jan drink and flop in a cold water flat. In one scene a fire rages in their apartment complex, but they only raise their heads in a stupor to acknowledge the blaze. After being fired from a menial job at a newspaper, Chinaski resorts to a direct appeal to the editor to get his overdue severance check. (clip) At the end of that scene, as Hank leaves the room, the editor reaches into his desk to get a drink of his own. After Chinaski dumps Jan for a second time, he meets Laura at a bar. Marisa Tomei plays the same character who's portrayed by Faye Dunaway in Barfly. In that film the woman is named Wanda, and this scene in Factotum is a duplication of a similar one in Barfly. (clip) Factotum is a faithful adaptation of Bukowski's novel, which is my favorite of his. The story is updated from the 40s to modern times, but the material is still ultraviolet black in its humor. Matt Dillon does good as Chinaski, speaking with similar cadences as Bukowski. The drinking, gambling, and sex is all there. Factotum didn't spend much time in theaters, but it's now available on DVD. Rent it, buy it, or check it out. And, if you're so inclined, have a few sips while you're watching. © Copyright 2021, wgvu