Fallbrook, CA (PRWEB) April 22, 2008
Charles Bukowski's last two live poetry readings have just been released on DVD. The readings, considered performance art by many, were given in late 1979 in Vancouver, Canada and in early 1980 in Redondo Beach, California. They were captured on videotape but remained unreleased until now.
The late Charles Bukowski (1920 - 1994) recently had his books, manuscripts, and poems archived as a part of the permanent collection of the Huntington Library. His writing is brutally honest, not for the squeamish; its directness and unpretentious nature makes it accessible to those readers willing to face his raw and compassionate vision of the human condition.
His novels, short stories, and poems have been translated into many different languages and published around the world. His writing has also been adapted as major motion pictures (Barbet Shroeder's Barfly, Factotum, and Tales of Ordinary Madness). He was the subject of the 2004 documentary, Bukowski: Born Into This. But he was most notorious live, both onstage and off.
Although there have been a few snippets of Bukowski poetry readings available on film, these DVDs offer a view of the full Bukowski Experience! The two filmmakers, Dennis Del Torre and Jon Monday, were introduced to one another by Linda Bukowski. The releases are a co-operative venture and each DVD was slightly edited to avoid the few instances of repeated poems. Otherwise, the cameras were turned on and Bukowski let the audience have it.
There's Gonna Be a God Damn Riot In Here! - MM4001 - Produced by Dennis Del Torre. Recorded October 12, 1979 in Vancouver, Canada.
The Last Straw - MM4002 - Produced by Jon Monday. Recorded March 31, 1980 in Redondo Beach, California.
Charles Bukowski didn't like to do live poetry readings. Although he was blunt about this, audiences thought he was joking. He did readings for the money, usually only a few hundred dollars. But by 1980 his book royalties and advances for film rights provided him with the means to be able to stop performing live.
His readings were legendary; cultivating anarchy, he'd goad the audience to mutiny, and usually challenge somebody... or anybody...to a fight.
In editing these videos, the first impulse is to pick out the poems; but in reviewing the material, it became obvious that the entire reading is solid state. What happens between the poems is not filler. It's performance art.
Only a few of his readings were filmed. The performance on March 31st, 1980 at the Sweetwater Inn in Redondo Beach, California, turned out to be the very last poetry reading Bukowski ever gave, even though he lived and wrote for another 14 years.
The videos of these two readings remained in storage for over 25 years, and are presented here for the first time.
Both titles are available from Amazon.com, eBay.com, and the producer's website: buk-dvd.com.
mondayMEDIA was founded in 1996 by Jon and Anna Monday and has produced and released a wide variety of material on CD ranging from Huston Smith's historic recording of Tibetan Multiphonic Chants to lectures by Christopher Isherwood and Aldous Huxley and on DVD ranging from live poetry readings by Charles Bukowski to an interview with Huston Smith, the leading scholar on comparative religion.