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'Factotum' a Satisfying Blend of Sensibilities

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'Factotum' a Satisfying Blend of Sensibilities

Arts & Life

'Factotum' a Satisfying Blend of Sensibilities

'Factotum' a Satisfying Blend of Sensibilities

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5669222/5669223" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Marisa Tomei and Matt Dillon in Factotum. Icon Films hide caption

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Factotum is a delicate melding of a trio of different sensibilities you wouldn't think would naturally cohere.

It gracefully combines the bleak world of the despairing poet and novelist Charles Bukowski with the droll point of view of Norwegian director Bent Hamer, and the distinctly American independent acting style of stars Matt Dillon and Lili Taylor. They play, respectively, Henry Chinaski — Bukowski's alter ego — and his enabling girlfriend.

What results is surprisingly satisfying, true to both Bukowski and the movie itself.

The works of Charles Bukowski have been adapted for the screen several times, most notably in the 1987 film Barfly, which starred Mickey Rourke. Bukowski's second novel was the inspiration for Factotum.