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Promotional Poster for “Bukowski on Bukowski” Film and Premier Photograph with Taylor Hackford and Charles Bukowski

Promotional Poster for “Bukowski on Bukowski” Film and Premier Photograph with Taylor Hackford and Charles Bukowski

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One of Hollywood director Taylor Hackford’s first film projects was as producer of a documentary on Charles Bukowski, simply titled “Bukowski”. Filmed in 1973, the full 46-minute documentary includes interviews and lots of film showing Bukowski interacting with people in his neighborhood and later a trip to San Francisco for a reading for City Lights Books.

Included here is a promotion poster for a television version of the film as well as a photograph of Bukowski and Hicks at the premier party for the broadcast. Both items are extremely rare, but especially the photograph.

On Sunday November 25, 1975, Los Angeles public television station KCET broadcasted a heavily edited 28-minute version of the film’s footage with alternate scenes and a rearranged structure on their show, Artbound.

Here is a review from the November 25, 1973, edition of TV Guide magazine:

"A cinema-verite portrait of Los Angeles poet Charles Bukowski. At age 53, Bukowski is enjoying his first major success (a San Francisco poetry reading nets him 400 dollars). Until 1969, Bukowski worked in the Post Office to support his writing, and the camera captures his reminiscences of those days as he walks around his Los Angeles neighborhood. Blunt language and a sly appreciation of his life form the core of the program, which includes observations by and about the women in his life".

The film would go on to be a local Emmy Award nominee and won the Silver Reel Award at 1973 San Francisco Film Festival. Just a few years later, Taylor directed An Officer and a Gentleman, which brought home a slew of awards. He would also go on to direct Ray in 2004, an acclaimed biopic about Ray Charles.

This photograph is from the broadcast premiere of “Bukowski”, which took place on November 25, 1973, at Barnsdall Park Municipal Gallery Theater in Los Angeles. The photo features Taylor Hackford (on the left), Bukowski in the middle, and likely director Richard Davies on the right.

This copy of the photograph came from a magazine or newsroom. There are crop marks on the front and writing on the back identifying the occasion and subjects. Beyond the crop marks, there is a chip to the gloss coating on the bottom edge underneath Bukowski. Held under the light, you can also see some faint scratches and wrinkles. The photo paper is not especially thick.

The promotional poster for the broadcast features a period photograph of Bukowski standing outside a bar. It measures approximately 11” x 17” and is printed on heavy stock. The few copies I’ve seen were once folded, this one is not. It does have the spotting I’ve seen on other copies and some foxing along the top edge. There is general light toning, especially on the edges. There are bumps and creases on all four corners, and a ripped corner on the bottom right .There is a small amount of tape on the back, perhaps indicating it was once hung.

The line “AMERICA’S BEST POET” – JEAN PAUL SARTRE & JEAN GENET” once again rears its head. Bukowski came to believe this was something LouJon Press publisher Jon Webb may have made up, and had tried to get it removed from various announcements over the years.

Case 5 and Crate 1

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