Under the Radar DVD of the Week: 'Charles Bukowski: The Last Straw'
This week, the oddest DVD to appear on release lists is:
“Charles Bukowski: The Last Straw”
Poet, short story writer, novelist, raconteur, barfly, beatnik, postal worker and legendary literary renegade Charles Bukowski hated giving poetry readings. So when he did he usually antagonized his audiences, and raucous arguments and occasional fistfights broke out.
“Charles Bukowski: The Last Straw,” due out on DVD Tuesday, chronicles the profane literary lion’s final reading – a March 1980 event at the Sweetwater Inn in Redondo Beach, Calif., that typically cultivated anarchy and ended with the author’s scornful huff.
Only a few of Bukowski’s poetry readings were ever caught on film, and “The Last Straw” – shot by fan and record company exec Jon Monday with consumer-grade video equipment – is most rare because it was the last public reading the poet ever gave. Although Bukowski lived and wrote prolifically for 14 more years, book royalties allowed him to avoid the public performances he so clearly loathed.
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