Tales of Ordinary Madness

Director: Marco Ferreri
Year Released: 1981
Rating: 3.0

Really captures the stream-of-consciousness writing style Charles Bukowski possessed, and there's something to a film that's focuses on an outcast living in a society where other people are actually working and trying to lead normal lives, while he – and a few other misfits – fill the vacant streets, bars and beaches. The Bukowski character is played by Ben Gazzara, who cavorts, gets drunk and makes a fool out of himself – he meets many people, but all of them appear crazy or disgusting, their lives spiraling out of control. Fails when it tries to become poetic or when the character Cass (Gazzara's sadomasochistic girl pal) starts speaking like an existentialist – the last scene, too, would have worked much better in silence (an impromptu poem?). Barfly is more successful as a 'story,' though this really captures the day-to-day, minute-to-minute life of an alcoholic.