Synopsis: Self-declared aspiring writer Hank Chinaski has neither qualifications, ambition nor ethics. Any dead-end job he lands is soon lost through laziness or mischief. His relationship with fellow deadbeat Jan gets strained to crisis through her insecurity, so he even gives up betting on horses which brought in easy money.
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Director(s): Bent Hamer
Production: IFC Films
  4 wins & 4 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
94 min

Mr. Chinaski!

Get over here!

- You've got a drivers license?

- Yes.

One driver's sick. We've got some rush

orders. You need to make the deliveries.

Hi, Chi...!

Feeling bad?

I've felt better.

I've probably slept longer

than you've lived.

Chinaski, you're fired.

Do you have a room?

- It's $150 a week.

- All right.

- Are you employed?

- Self employed.

- May I ask what you do?

- I'm a writer.

Have you written books?

I'm not ready for a novel... yet.


Most guys think they know how to drive.

But in fact very few know how.

They just steer.

Every day I see 2-3 people run through

red lights like they didn't exist.

The lives people live drive them crazy,

and it comes out in the way they drive.

I'm not here to tell you how to live.

I'm here to teach you how to drive.

When can a man

lose control over his cab?

When I get a hard on?

If you can't drive with a hard on

we can't use you.

Some of our best men

drive with a hard on all day long.

When can one lose control

and not be able to help it?


A man might lose control

over his cab when he sneezed.


When you sneeze what do you do?

- Are you Henry Chinaski?

- Yes, sir.

Follow me.

Sit down.

We ran a check on you.

You have 18 drunk and disorderly

arrests. And one for drunk driving.

- There were two for drunk driving.

- You lied to us. You're disqualified.

Could you call me a cab?

As we live we all get caught

and by various traps.

Writing can trap you.

Some tend to write what has pleased

their readers in the past.

They hear accolades and believe them.

There is only one final judge

of writing and that is the writer.

When he is swayed by the critics, the

editors, the readers, he is finished.

And when he's

swayed with his fame -

- you can float him

down the river with the turds.

- A writer?

- Yes.

- Are you sure?

- No.

Why do you want to work

in a pickle factory?

- It reminds me of my grandmother.

- It does?

She used to serve me pickles

whenever I visited her.

- What do you write?

- Mostly short stories.

- I'm half way through a novel.

- What's it about?

- Everything.

- It's for instance about cancer?


How about my wife?

She's in there too.

I wrote 3-4 short stories a week.

I imagined how the editors in

The New Yorker must be reacting.

Hey, here's another one from that nut!

I sent most of them to John Martin.

I admired his magazine, Black Sparrow.


You want to step in here for a minute?

Mr. Gentry is a writer too.

I told him that you were a writer and

he wanted to meet you. Do you mind?

I don't mind.

Mr. Gentry is a friend of mine.

Do you mind if I leave?


The scene in the office stayed with

me. Those cigars the fine clothes...

I thought of good stakes.

Long rides up winding driveways

that led to beautiful homes.

Ease. Trips to Europe.

Fine women.

Chinaski, what are you doing?

Get back to work, your shift's not over.

- I need a drink.

- No, no. Get back to work.

Over here.

Get off me!


- You OK?

- I'm fine.

I don't need this!

Then I met Jan.

I bought her a drink and

she gave me her phone number.

Three days later

I moved into her apartment.

Jan had a 500-dollar car.

The big trick was

how to turn on the headlights.

Of course we had

the advantage of broken springs.

Jan was an excellent f***.

She had a tight p*ssy. And she took

it like it was a knife killing her.

I want to know what time it is!

You said you'd fix the clock.

All right, let's see...

We set the clock

by the TV at midnight last night.

We know that it gains

It says 7:
30 p.m. But that's not

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Charles Bukowski

Henry Charles Bukowski (born Heinrich Karl Bukowski; August 16, 1920 – March 9, 1994) was a German-born American poet, novelist, and short story writer. His writing was influenced by the social, cultural, and economic ambience of his home city of Los Angeles. His work addresses the ordinary lives of poor Americans, the act of writing, alcohol, relationships with women, and the drudgery of work. Bukowski wrote thousands of poems, hundreds of short stories and six novels, eventually publishing over 60 books. The FBI kept a file on him as a result of his column, Notes of a Dirty Old Man, in the LA underground newspaper Open City.Bukowski published extensively in small literary magazines and with small presses beginning in the early 1940s and continuing on through the early 1990s. As noted by one reviewer, "Bukowski continued to be, thanks to his antics and deliberate clownish performances, the king of the underground and the epitome of the littles in the ensuing decades, stressing his loyalty to those small press editors who had first championed his work and consolidating his presence in new ventures such as the New York Quarterly, Chiron Review, or Slipstream." Some of these works include his Poems Written Before Jumping Out of an 8 Story Window, published by his friend and fellow poet Charles Potts, and better known works such as Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame. These poems and stories were later republished by John Martin's Black Sparrow Press (now HarperCollins/Ecco Press) as collected volumes of his work. In 1986 Time called Bukowski a "laureate of American lowlife". Regarding Bukowski's enduring popular appeal, Adam Kirsch of The New Yorker wrote, "the secret of Bukowski's appeal. . . [is that] he combines the confessional poet's promise of intimacy with the larger-than-life aplomb of a pulp-fiction hero."Since his death in 1994, Bukowski has been the subject of a number of critical articles and books about both his life and writings, despite his work having received relatively little attention from academic critics during his lifetime. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Factotum" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 18 Sep. 2021. <https://www.scripts.com/script/factotum_7929>.

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