February 11, 2004
Documentary on Life of Poet and Novelist Charles Bukowski to Show at MASS MoCA
(North Adams, Mass.) Internationally renowned for his poetry and novels (and the screenplay for the movie Barfly, based on one of his short stories), Charles Bukowski astonished the literary world with work that defied traditional forms and genres. John Dullaghan's compelling documentary about Bukowski's life highlights the ups and downs of a self-proclaimed "dirty old man". As part of its Thursday night Cinema Lounge series, MASS MoCA will screen Bukowski: Born Into This on Thursday, March 11, at 8 P.M.
Charles Bukowski was known as a poet, writer, mail clerk, alcoholic, and acerbic observer of human nature. Born in Germany in 1920 to a German mother and American father, Bukowski came to the United States at the age of three and grew up in poverty during the Great Depression. Scarred by a pock-marked face in later adolescence, Bukowski suffered a life on the fringes of acceptability, filling the niche of social outcast from his earliest years. He came to embrace his alienation with gritty, raw, and sharp writing, lending the literature of his day an acute edge.
John Dullaghan began filming Bukowski in 1972, the beginning of a friendship that would last until the author's death of cancer in 1994. Bukowski: Born Into This features footage of Bukowski, readings of his work, interviews and commentaries by friends, ex-wives, lovers, critics, and enthusiasts such as Tom Waits, Sean Penn, Bono, and Harry Dean Stanton. His body of work revolves around the themes of poverty, addiction, sex and love, paralleled with cynical observations of American culture outside the white picket fence.
Giving up a steady job in the postal service to commit himself to full-time writing, Bukowski wrote in an unpublished letter: "I have one of two choices--stay in the post office and go crazy...or stay out here and play at writer and starve. I have decided to starve." Bukowski was a controversial figure, confounding critics but nevertheless developing a popular following worldwide. The film focuses not only on Bukowski's work but the writer himself, providing a gripping portrait of a man who sublimated his pain and disillusionment with life into biting, groundbreaking prose.
Doors open at 7 for food and drink before the film.
Tickets to Bukowski: Born into This are $5.50 (members save 10%) and are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office on Marshall Street in North Adams from 11 A.M. until 5 P.M. Wednesday through Monday (closed Tuesdays), online at www.massmoca.org or over the phone at 413.662.2111. The film contains adult subject matter and is not appropriate for children.
MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings. MASS MoCA focuses on the work of visual and performing artists charting new territory.
MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located off Marshall St. in North Adams on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Katherine Myers
(413) 664-4481 x8113
MASS MoCA 87 Marshall Street North Adams, Mass. 01247 413.MOCA.111