Archive of films Factotum / Factotum

USA / Norway
2005, 93 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2005

The unruffled, self-ironic tale of a bon vivant, budding writer Henry Chinaski - the alter ego of celebrated underground author Charles Bukowski. Henry´s writing efforts are interspersed with alcoholic highs and lows, together with similarly unequal sexual encounters, experiences which find their way onto the pages of his book.


The literary alter ego of American underground writer Charles Bukowski, Henry Chinaski, is the chief player in the film Factotum, whose screenplay was based on the book of the same name and other prose by this author. It describes the stereotypical daily routine of an as yet unknown writer who intersperses his creative efforts with exuberant alcoholic sprees and erotic frolicking with uninhibited women. He sometimes finds occasional work but fails to satisfy and is thrown out. He changes his job as frequently as he does his female partners. Even his more permanent relationship with a girl called Jan, who has a similar "free lifestyle", breaks up, as does his relationship with the eccentric but well-situated Laura. Chinaski doesn’t get on with his parents, either. His incensed father won’t have an asocial layabout in the house. The film narration is accompanied by Chinaski’s sarcastic commentary with its humorous and self-ironic aphorisms.

About the director

Bent Hamer (b. 1956, Sandefjord, Norway) studied literature and film science at Stockholm university; he also attended film school. After graduating in 1989 he made a number of documentaries and short features. His first feature film Eggs (1995), also screened at Karlovy Vary, won several awards, e.g. the FIPRESCI in Toronto. He also enjoyed international success with the bitter-sweet comedy Kitchen Stories (Salmer frakjøkkenet, 2003), screened in the section Another View at Karlovy Vary in 2003; it won the Jury Prize at São Paulo and the European Distribution Prize at Cannes. The script for Factotum (2005) was co-written by writer and producer Jim Stark, who produced low-budget independent films by the likes of Jim Jarmusche (Stranger Than Paradise, Down by Law, Mystery Train, Night on Earth) and the Icelandic film Cold Fever by Fridrik Thor Fridriksson. Bent Hamer owns the production company BulBul Film, where all his films were made.


Hollywood Classic Entertainment
Psohlavců 8, 147 00, Praha 4
Czech Republic
Tel: +420 226 224 111
Fax: +420 226 224 110

Celluloid Dreams
2, rue Turgot, 75009, Paris
Tel: +33 149 700 370

Norwegian Film Institute
Box 482 Sentrum, 0105, Oslo
Tel: +47 224 745 00
Fax: +47 224 745 97

BulBul Film AS
Hoyasveien 24, N-3216, Sandefjord
Tel: +47 33 464 895
Fax: +47 33 464 895

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Horizons
Director: Bent Hamer
Screenplay: Bent Hamer, Jim Stark
Dir. of Photography: John Christian Rosenlund
Music: Kristin Asbjrønsen
Editor: Pål Gengenbach
Producer: Bent Hamer, Jim Stark
Production: BulBul Film AS, Stark Sales Inc Production
Cast: Matt Dillon, Lili Taylor, Marisa Tomei, Fisher Stevens, Didier Flamand, Adrienne Shelly, Karen Young, Tom Lyons
Contact: Hollywood Classic Entertainment, Celluloid Dreams, Norwegian Film Institute , BulBul Film AS


Martin Brykner

Stine Oppegaard

Film Institution Rep.

Astri Blindheim

Film Institution Rep.

Jan Erik Holst

Film Institution Rep.

Vigdis Lian

Sébastien Chesneau

Distributor, Sales Agent

Matt Dillon


Jim Stark



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