"Barfly" Is Released
Barfly is a 1987 film which is a semi-autobiography of poet/author Charles Bukowski during the time he spent drinking heavily in Los Angeles, California.
The screenplay by Bukowski was commissioned by the French film director Barbet Schroeder – it was published, with illustrations by the author, in 1984 when film production was still pending. Barfly stars Mickey Rourke and Faye Dunaway, with direction by Schroeder, and was presented by Francis Ford Coppola. The movie also features a silent cameo appearance by Bukowski himself.
The Kino Flo light, now a ubiquitous tool in the film industry, was specially created by Robby Muller's electrical crew for a scene in this film which would have been difficult to light using the conventional lampheads available at the time.
The film was entered into the 1987 Cannes Film Festival.
Charles Bukowski, the talented crown prince of self-abuse, wrote the short stories upon which the surprisingly entertaining Barfly was based. The film concentrates on alcoholic writer Mickey Rourke (the Bukowski alter ego) who carries on a hate-hate relationship with bartender Frank Stallone. Rourke makes the acquaintance of another of society's castaways, Faye Dunaway, who in addition to being a souse is said to be crazy. They move in together, even though Dunaway all but promises to be unfaithful for the price of a drink. Rourke has a chance to clean up his act when offered a large commission for his writings by publisher Alice Krige. They too end up in bed, each trying to change the other. The clarion call of the cheap wine bottle overrides Rourke's half-hearted efforts to enter the mainstream. Watch for author Charles Bukowski, as well as Fritz "Pop!" Feld and Vance Colvig (who's made a career out of playing street people) in Barfly bit parts. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide