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Factotum (2005)

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This drama centers on Hank Chinaski, the fictional alter-ego of "Factotum" author Charles Bukowski, who wanders around Los Angeles, CA trying to live off jobs which don't interfere with his primary interest, which is writing. Along the way, he fends off the distractions offered by women, drinking and gambling.

Director:

Bent Hamer

Writers:

Charles Bukowski (novel), Bent Hamer | 1 more credit »
4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Matt Dillon ... Hank Chinaski
Lili Taylor ... Jan
Didier Flamand Didier Flamand ... Pierre
Fisher Stevens ... Manny
Marisa Tomei ... Laura
Adrienne Shelly ... Jerry
Karen Young ... Grace
Thomas Lyons Thomas Lyons ... Tony Endicott (as Tom Lyons)
Dean Brewington Dean Brewington ... Old Black Man
James Cada James Cada ... Bald Man
James Michael Detmar ... Smithson
Kurt Schweickhardt Kurt Schweickhardt ... Ice Plant Supervisor
Dee Noah Dee Noah ... Hank's Mother
James Noah ... Hank's Father
Michael Egan Michael Egan ... Taxi Office Clerk
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Storyline

Self-declared aspiring writer Hank Chinaski has neither qualifications, ambition nor ethics. Any dead-end job he lands is soon lost through laziness or mischief. His relationship with fellow deadbeat Jan gets strained to crisis through her insecurity, so he even gives up betting on horses which brought in easy money. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

From the book by Charles Bukowski See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Norway | USA | Germany | France | Italy

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 April 2005 (Norway) See more »

Also Known As:

Factotum: A Man Who Performs Many Jobs See more »

Filming Locations:

St. Paul, Minnesota, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$59,212, 20 August 2006

Gross USA:

$808,221
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

On 14 April 2005, in Trondheim, Norway, this became the first movie in the world to be shown with a 4K digital cinema projector. See more »

Goofs

The title screen displays: "factotum [a man who preforms many jobs]"--should be "performs many jobs". See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ice Plant Supervisor: Chinaski! Hey! Chinaski, come on out here! You got a drivers license, don't you?
Henry Chinaski: Yeah.
Ice Plant Supervisor: I got a driver out sick today. We got some rush orders we need to get out right away. I need you to make these deliveries.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Blue Bus (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Where Breathing Starts
(Excerpts)
Music by Tord Gustavsen
Performed by Tord Gustavsen Trio
By courtesy of Tord Gustavsen/ECM
Sound Recording Copyright ECM Records 2003
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Exley v. Bukowski
22 August 2006 | by deisen3-1See all my reviews

Anytime that a picture promises to depict a myriad of social decay: sex, alcoholism, misogyny, masochism, vagrancy—I am at once attracted. In Factotum, director Bent Hamer sprinkles the screen with such squalor, yet done with such adroitness and comedic care, that the film achieves what any film of this genre should ever set out to do: turn the downtrodden, the brackish, the man caged in penury, into a hero.

Like Frederick Exley's character in A Fan's Notes, Bukowski's Henry Chianski, ice delivery man, cum pickle sorter, cum statue sweeper, cum writer, is dependent on alcohol, which oxymoronically, is necessary for his survival. As the title of the film connotes, Chinaski, played deftly by Matt Dillon, can't hold down a job longer than it takes to take a slug of whiskey, which undoubtedly is his first love, followed closely by long-legged women with taut genitalia—his words, not mine.

Chinaski finds his reflection in Jan, played by Lili Taylor, who complements his transient, lush lifestyle. One of the most telling scenes is one where Chinaski is seen retching over a toilet one morning after excessive drinking, which is subsequently followed a moment later by Jan copying Chinaski's keck.

Ultimately, Factotum is not a parable that preaches: it's clearly not that, if anything it glamorizes a sordid lifestyle. What it does achieve is to show that greatness comes in many forms and that once the outer core of despair is broken down, then only is truth found. That truth: Chinaski had a clear voice and, as any quasi-philosopher tries to do, he had his own vision of virtue and the reasoning we use to get there.

Whether or not Bukowski's Chinaski or Exley's Exley was the bigger hero is debatable. And while both drank big, they too wrote big and were apathetic toward public condemnation. While their actions may not have been virtuous, their disregard for virtue was.


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