Director John Dullaghan's biographical documentary about infamous poet Charles Bukowski, Bukowski: Born Into This, is as much a touching portrait of the author as it is an expose of his sordid lifestyle.
Interspersed between ample vintage footage of Bukowski's poetry readings are interviews with the poet's fans including such legendary figures such as Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Joyce Fante (wife of John), Bono, and Harry Dean Stanton.
Filmed in grainy black and white by Bukowski's friend, Taylor Hackford, due to lack of funding, the old films edited into this movie paint Bukowski's life of boozing and brawling romantically, securing Bukowski's legendary status.
Born Into This relies on interviews with Bukowski for biographical information instead of cheesy voiceovers, bringing the viewer even closer to the author.
For example, in one amazing sequence, Bukowski rides the viewer around in the backseat of his car, telling us through his rear-view mirror of his stint as a post office worker which inspired the novel, Post Office.
Scenes splicing interviews with Bukowski's ex-wife, Linda Lee, and R. Crumb's comic strip panels portraying Bukowski as a sex-crazed maniac, set the tone for bawdier parts of the film.
Occasionally the film displays lines of Bukowski's poetry on the screen, as reminders that he was not only a raging alcoholic with a fierce sense of humor but also a talented and beloved writer.
With so much hilariously shocking footage of "Hank," Bukowski: Born Into This presents Bukowski as a troubled but classic genius.