~ Poet: Charles Bukowski ~

Writing by Charles Bukowski

From New Yorkers Fernanda Siqueira and Rodrigo Burdman, a film from the poem Writing by Charles Bukowski (1920-1994).

The Minute by Charles Bukowski

Even though I don’t like Charles Bukowski, I love this poetry film by Adrián Suárez, which functions in part as a demonstration of just how much can be packed into (slightly more than) one minute. The production team is pretty much the same as with Instrucciones para cantar / Instructions for Singing, including Juan Carlos Gonzáles as director of photography.

Nirvana by Charles Bukowski

A very popular poem — there are three videos for it on Vimeo alone — probably because it captures in simple language an experience most of us have felt, and also because there’s a great recording of Tom Waits reading it (which is the narration used here). It also has that wistful, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” kind of vibe, even though the holidays aren’t mentioned. And for me this poetry film epitomizes the appeal of down-home, local diners. (I worked as a short-order cook in a diner for a few years when I was young.)

The director, Patrick Biesemans, says about himself:

I currently work as head of production for a cool little company in Manhattan, and when the opportunity arises I am a freelance director of commercials, fashion films, and music videos.

The film was supported by a successful Kickstarter campaign and shot on a $4000 budget. The campaign description shows Biesemans’ thinking about the project:

We would love the opportunity to pay tribute to Waits and Bukowski by creating a short film inspired by, and complimentary to, this great poem. This video project would be visual poetry, focusing on the atmospheric qualities that Waits’ presents with his voice, and Bukowski with his words. A story revolving around the quiet moments that spark and inspire great writing. […]

Our approach would be to shoot this live action and on location, with a playful mix of practical effects and miniature elements (mainly using model railroad train elements); A surreal yet welcoming artistic representation of the world. I want the influences of the 1950’s and 60’s to shape the art direction, costuming, and mood of this project.

We have no plans to submit this to film festivals or get praise for completing such a great project. We’re doing this as a “love letter” to travelers, writers, singers, campfire storytellers, and poets.

Oh Yes by Charles Bukowski

A new interpretation of the Bukowski poem by German artist Clemens Wilhelm. The decision to make it a silent film was especially interesting for a poet so associated with oral delivery, I thought.

The Laughing Heart by Charles Bukowski

A highly imaginative remix of Tom Waits’ reading. This is definitely a case where the video improves on the poem for me. By itself, I find the text didactic and somewhat clichéd. But director Neil Chan, producer Kathryn Kelly and actress Skyler Carlin have taken it to another level.

The Last Days of the Suicide Kid by Charles Bukowski

An award-winning film by Dutch filmmaker and artist RJ (Jetze Roel van Assen).

Yes Yes by Charles Bukowski

An interesting stop-motion piece by Nicole Schmitt and Lukas Fiala.

The Genius of the Crowd by Charles Bukowski

Another Bukowski videopoem by the graphic design company immprint. This one includes the poet’s own reading, and “the soundtrack is by immprint with most of the footage shot in New York.”

I’m not sure about the repurposing of this poem for an environmental message, but I do like the device of counting up the total human population as the film rolls, and the soundtrack is damn near perfect.

Something by Charles Bukowski

“A short poem by Charles Bukowski illustrated by film, texture and stills. Original soundtrack by immprint.” It’s worth noting, however, that the London-based graphic design company used the same soundtrack in another video, for William Blake’s poem “The Sick Rose.” This is one of three Bukowski videopoems they’ve uploaded to Vimeo so far. It’s not clear who commissioned them.

I Met a Genius by Charles Bukowski

“A poem by Charles Bukowski meets the Icelandic Ocean.” Video by the Berlin-based multimedia artist Clemens Wilhelm.

My Friend, The Parking Lot Attendant by Charles Bukowski

English film student Tom Ralph notes,

The piece is meant to be shown on two screens facing each other, one for each character in the film. This gives the impression of a conversation in which the audience can place themselves where they please. For the purpose of viewing now, both characters appear on one film. Filmed on a Kodak Zi6 and edited on Final Cut Pro. Thanks to Dennis Thompson and Roy Winspear.

Bluebird by Charles Bukowski

This is the first time I’ve ever posted a video that doesn’t include the text of the poem in some way, either as type, as subtitles, or in the soundtrack, but this animation by Monika Umba was simply too gorgeous to ignore. The accompanying information at YouTube includes the text of the poem, but here’s another video that incorporates it in the soundtrack, a trailer for a documentary on the poet by Diego Jose Baud:


Baud mentions in a comment that the reading is his. I couldn’t find anything to indicate whether this documentary has in fact been released yet. The trailer was posted to YouTube a year ago.