Directed by: Marco Ferreri
Stars: Ben Gazzara, Ornella Muti, Susan Tyrrell
Also known as: Storie di ordinaria follia
Description: Poet/lecturer Charles Serking awakens from his alcoholic haze long enough to take a bus back to L.A. and plunge into an orgy of drink and sexual depravity.
Spectacularly sleazy, beautiful, boisterous and sexy, this is the real Bukowski deal, a booze-fueled erotic odyssey by the adventurous Ferreri with the perfectly cast Ben Gazzara as Charles Serking (Bukowski).
Ornella Muti, as Serking’s sexual muse, is Venus incarnate and turns in a powerhouse performance as Cass, an emotionally damaged whore with a penchant for pain. The scenes of Gazzara swaggering in and out of LA’s fleapit bars, apartments and hotel rooms convey a filthy, delirious ambiance that is vividly captured by Tonino Delli Colli’s superb cinematography and Dante Ferretti’s exquisitely oily production design. This is such an amazing looking film with a thick, steamy, anything-goes atmosphere of lust-ridden anarchy.
Much grittier than the accomplished “Barfly” and more watchable than “Love Is A Dog From Hell”, the entire affair has an emotional, raw resonance that slavishly captures the Bukowski sensibility and remains consistently perverse in its singular vision of a man enslaved by alcoholic and sexual gluttony.
Phillipe Sarde’s score is moody and rich, as is Gazzara’s breathy voice-over.