Charles Serking, loosely based on the infamous poet Charles Bukowski, rejects a conventional lifestyle to journey through the underbelly of Los Angeles in "Tales of Ordinary Madness." He indulges an insatiable appetite for... more » sex and booze in what the Hollywood Reporter calls "a cinematic walk on the wild side." Directed by Marco Ferreri, this 1981 film won four Italian Academy Awards and the San Sebastian Film Festival Grand Prize. Compelling, sometimes shocking, and explicit.« less
"While it's long overdue for Marco Ferreri to receive the prestige treatment of a major box set - especially in America where his films are less known - it's unfortunate that five of the eight films are already available in English subtitled dvds released just a few years ago. But for Ferreri completists, the purchase of this set is mandatory due to the inclusion of THE SEED OF MAN and THE HOUSE OF SMILES - both making their U.S. DVD debut, as well as the first time these two films have been available with English subtitles ANYWHERE. And the black and white feature THE LITTLE COACH will be new for most viewers, since it's only previous U.S. release came over 10 years ago in a marginally released video edition. Also the film's bonus documentary MARCO FERRERI - THE DIRECTOR FROM ANOTHER PLANET - is authoritative and surprisingly comprehensive - with rare tidbits like Ferreri's lifelong diabetes and the attempted (and unsuccessful) suicide of actor David Warner during the shooting of Ferreri's film THE AUDIENCE.
But those with an appetite for more Ferreri after completing this set might want to check out the English subtitled editions of HAREM, LA CAGNA and DILLINGER IS DEAD available at amazon.co.uk. Also, dvd.it provides Italian dvds (without English subtitles) of rarer Ferreri films like THE CONJUGAL BED, THE APE WOMAN, WEDDING MARCH, and DIARY OF A VICE. And the Spanish site dvd.es is a source for Ferreri's STORY OF PIERRA, THE FUTURE IS WOMAN, and his final film NITRATE BASE."
Tales Of Ordinary Madness
yann schinazi | colorado | 03/20/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"`Some people never go crazy, what truly horrible lives they must live'-Charles Bukowski
To understand Bukowski, one cannot separate his life from his writings, you must understand that they both depended on each other and created an insane, incestuous bond that drove his writings to such an incredible level of contained madness. Ferreri understands that, a poet of the excesses of human nature, just as Bukowski was the poet of his own excesses, he is the gutter anarchistic artist, the People's symbolist, whose films are ventures into the darkest parts of man's existence (and eventual self-destruction). His films all have a single theme: man's inability to make the world in harmony with his desires. Bukowski's eternal theme was to live with art, and he argued that banality was the most depressing thing that could happen to someone. In `Tales Of Ordinary Madness' Ferreri does not make a film in the conventional sense but a drunken poem in the form of a film, a venture into complete insanity. Something happens in a Ferreri film, something a little uncertain and inexplicable but ultimately moving, just as something happens in Bukowski's writings, which carry the whole universe with them in unpretentious attempts to describe futile things, the words break through the page, and suddenly art is there, an insane god-like feeling of immortality is present and nothing else matters, it is with the power of a genius that Bukowski can contain nirvana with such simplicity, such straight-forwardness. Just as Ferreri can make important philosophical statements in such un-stylized context. `Tales Of Ordinary Madness' is a masterpiece and the greatest film about the actual process of art ever made because it does not separate the art from the reality, in fact, it unites them, and argues that one depends on the other. Bukowski could not have written what he has written if he had not lived what he had lived, Ferreri understands that true art is born out of despair, demystified and separated of all its futile banalities. When the character inspired by Bukowski, in one of the film's most moving passages, is recruited by an organization to write for them and more or less sentenced to bourgeois acceptance if he settles into the conformity that they offer him, he declines, gets drunk and throws beer bottles at them, forever the anarchist, that scene alone is perhaps the greatest comment anyone has ever made on Bukowski. The film ends, tragically and hauntingly, in an act of utter desperation and eventual rebirth and Ferreri once again uses the sea as a metaphor for man's ultimate destiny, ending so quietly on that deserted beach, dirtied by the universe and carried away to die, forever alone but not dead, not yet, and not forgotten. "
Strange, disturbed, frightening and facinating
Michael Kerjman | 12/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie works only if you let your imagination sulk to the very Id of one's being. This is not commonplace material and is only for a limited audience. One needs to understand that madness is more norm than exception, and the beautiful almost lost art of self destruction is just below the surface of many of us."
Doing Things in Style
Michael Kerjman | 09/13/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A talented aged Russian-Jewish American writer lives as he wishes changing women and drinking vine, unspeakably attractive to females.
A title says it all. "
Not As Good As Barfly, but Worth Watching
Michael Kerjman | 06/02/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The best films showcasing the world of Charles Bukowski were Barfly, Love Is A Dog From Hell (Crazy Love), and Tales of Ordinary Madness. Although Ben Gazzara resembles Buk, he never captures his sense of life as Mickey Rourke so brilliantly did in Barfly. Still, this moody film is worth seeing -- but only if you are a fan of Charles Bukowski."