In THE MOVIE: BARFLY, Bukowski Country crawls onto the silver screen like some rough beast slouching toward Hollywood to be born--in all its living color, blood and neon shot through a haze of flophouse cigarette smoke, beer glass amber and L.A. smog.
This screenplay's hero is that classic Bukowski protagonist and alter-ego figure, Hank Chinaski, here in his late twenties but already 'life worn. More weary than angry. Face formed by the streets, poverty. If he is mad, then it is the madness of the disowned who lack interest in the standard way of life. Rather than enter the treadmill of society he has chosen the bottle and the bars. There seems little for him to do but sit and wait, but he is not sure what the waiting means...' In Chinaski's end-of-the-night vigil his companions are the bartenders at the Golden Horn, a lowlife dive where he practices his waiting game, and its clientele, including the two women who occupy most of his time: Wanda Wilcox, a tough dame who matches him drink for drink (but unlike Chinaski who drinks 'because there is nothing else to do,' Wanda drinks 'because it is the only thing to do'), and Tully, 'a class lady' who edits a literary magazine and offers Chinaski her upscale guesthouse as a writing base ('You can grow into it,' she suggests, but Chinaski declines: 'Growing's for plants. I hate roots').
Charles Bukowski is one of America's best-known contemporary writers of poetry and prose, and, many would claim, its most influential and imitated poet. He was born in Andernach, Germany, and raised in Los Angeles, where he lived for fifty years. He published his first story in 1944, when he was twenty-four, and began writing poetry at the age of thirty-five. He died in San Pedro, California, on March 9, 1994, at the age of seventy-three, shortly after completing his last novel, Pulp (1994).