The Best Bukowski Documentary

I remember back when it was out in theaters, I saw Born into This, a documentary on the life of Charles Bukowski. I, like many of you, am an unapologetic Bukowski fanboy, and can’t get enough about him.  This was the highest-profile film about the man, and it was… mixed.  It started out solid as hell, and then the last third fell off quickly.  And they let Bono speak.  They pulled a lot of punches, and my feeling was that because his last wife was involved, they scrubbed his history a bit, polished things up too much.  It’s a decent flick, but when the bug hits, I’m always hunting for something better.

There’s a documentary that I like a lot more, and you can watch it online for free.  Check it:

That’s the link to part one of five of a 1973 film that Taylor Hackford did for PBS.  It’s a great view of the gritty LA of the early 70s, Buk driving around in his beat up VW, right after the Post Office and before he really hit it big.  It looks like it was shot on one of those early black-and-white video cameras, where you had to drag around a giant pack containing a full-sized tape drive and a battery that belonged in a diesel truck.  The quality of the scan isn’t great, but this was impossible to find for a long time, and is well worth the 46 minutes.  Enjoy.