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Barbet Schroeder's "Barfly"
September 14, 2012 5:27 PM   Subscribe

Roger Ebert on the set of Barfly.

Cannon Films' Menahem Golan said that Barbet Schroeder threatened to cut off his own finger if he did not receive financing for the film. In Charles Bukowski's novel about the making of the movie, Hollywood, which is dedicated to Schroeder, he has Schroeder saying:

It is 80% true but: 1) It was never my intention to cut more than the end of the left little finger. I just did not have the time to go to a lawyer, that is why I had to choose the firm Black & Decker. 2) My plan was to do eventually do a press conference holding the finger and then go to the hospital to try to have it sewn up again.
posted by Egg Shen (21 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
The first Kino Flo unit was created in 1987, during the filming of the movie Barfly. Director of photography Robby Mueller was filming in a cramped interior, and couldn't fit traditional lights into the location. In order to work around the problem, the film's gaffer Frieder Hochheim and best boy Gary Swink designed a high-output fluorescent light that had a remote ballast, allowing the lamp unit to become small and lightweight enough to be taped to the wall. Hochheim and Swink subsequently created a company, Kino Flo Incorporated, to manufacture and market their innovation to the film industry. The new lights were quickly embraced by cinematographers, and now are considered a staple of a standard motion picture lighting package.
posted by Egg Shen at 5:28 PM on September 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


My friends! Nice link -- this movie has proven to be oddly memorable.
posted by jeffehobbs at 5:38 PM on September 14, 2012


Saw Barfly at EbertFest a few years ago and Schroeder talked afterward about the finger cutting incident. Great movie, I swear my clothes smelled like smoke and whiskey after watching it.
posted by octothorpe at 5:49 PM on September 14, 2012


"Bukowskian?" I said.
"Like Dostoyevskian, but drunk."

posted by 445supermag at 6:16 PM on September 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


I think about that opening a lot. You pass all those bars with their flickery neon.The Sunset,The Hollyway, Kenmore, Oasis,Craby Joe's. The song, Hip-Hug-Her by Booker T and The M.G.s, a song that practically grabs you by the lapel and puts a drink in your hand. Snug Harbor, Silver Platter, Catalina and The Ski Room. This is the circuit, the bars where they know your name. Into The Golden Horn, with that tacky padded bar, so you don't get bruises on your forearms or hip from leaning against it. It is pretty easy to forget that just out back Henry is getting his ass kicked, partially to prove he isn't that far gone, that he still can fight. Partially because he wants to lose because he wants to face oblivion.

There really is a seedy romance to that type of bar. There was a bar I used to go by a few nights a week after work. One night, I looked around the bar and realized what everyone looked like. I put Hip-Hug-Her on the jukebox as a joke. It got to be a habit and I started to put it on every time I walked in before leaning against the bar for my first round. One day I opened the door, walked into the dark stale room and it was already playing, they had seen me walking down the street and had put it on for me.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:16 PM on September 14, 2012 [16 favorites]


I used to hang out at that kind of bar and I sort of miss it, and still gravitate toward seedier, divey-er bars whenever possible, even though I'm firmly in the nice cocktail bar income bracket now.

Once I was at the bar at my regular haunt getting another round and a lady let me hold her baby. It was THAT KIND OF BAR.
posted by padraigin at 6:39 PM on September 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


One of my favorite forgotten moments in one of my favorite forgotten shows is the scene in Mission Hill where Andy has a unemployment film festival featuring films with epic vomiting scenes. In addition to classics like the Exorcist, Andy rents Barfly, which he pronounces Barf-ly.

I live near a store called Shoefly. I call it Shoef-ly and not Shoe- fly. This is funny only to me.
posted by allen.spaulding at 6:45 PM on September 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm crazy about the movie, loved it from first viewing. Surely the greatest achievement of Mickey Rourke's career. I know that to be a solid fact even though I've missed about 80% of the rest of his onscreen appearances!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:48 PM on September 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yep. Love it. Glad to see its available on vimeo. I feel like the movie somehow killed Mickeys career even though its my favorite role of his.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:46 PM on September 14, 2012


ooh that 3rd link has all of "Hollywood" in it. Thats a fucking great novel.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:47 PM on September 14, 2012


I think Angel Heart killed his career.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:18 PM on September 14, 2012


I hadn't seen this film again since I'd met Alice Krige (Tully, The Borg Queen.) I'm surprised to see how frumpy her wardrobe is here, considering how smoking hot she is. I wonder if Faye Dunaway had something to do with Alice's wardrobe.
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:20 PM on September 14, 2012


I think Angel Heart killed his career.

Oh yeah that's right. Which is weird cuz thats a badass movie too.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:27 PM on September 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think Angel Heart killed his career.

All due respect to the genius of Barfly and all, but I really think having a head containing the brain of Mickey Rourke was what really killed his career. Angel Heart was just a symptom.
posted by gompa at 8:38 PM on September 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


I know, Robert DeNiro as Satan? Lisa Bonet in her first role after being fired from A Different World?It may have been a mess, but it was a great mess.

True, Mickey leaving acting certainly didn't help him.

I mentioned this before here, but I saw him on the street while The Wrestler was still in theatres, so he was back in the news. He was shirtless, wearing a snakeskin vest. He stopped to try to talk to a woman handing out flyers for a nail place. She actually fled back into the store.

I guess inside the brain of Mickey Rourke is a strange and terrible place.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:44 PM on September 14, 2012


I meant leaving acting to be a boxer. That was a vital component in his downfall as an actor.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:46 PM on September 14, 2012


Has copyright reverted to 25 years? How can someone upload an entire movie to Vimeo and not get it taken down immediately?
posted by pashdown at 10:01 PM on September 14, 2012


The first Kino Flo unit was created in 1987, during the filming of the movie Barfly.

That is hilarious to finally find out. I always kind of chuckled to myself when working with these lights but figured the name was just the cute wordplay on the fluorescent light "bar" and the ease of "flying" the light in over top of a scene. Never knew this was the rest of the story.
posted by zoinks at 10:48 PM on September 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Love Barfly...love Bukowski....his writing strikes me as kinda Zen drunk ordinary, with a wry twist....
like Hemmingway, but with a sense of humor....truly unique
posted by eggtooth at 10:07 AM on September 15, 2012


Has copyright reverted to 25 years? How can someone upload an entire movie to Vimeo and not get it taken down immediately?


I don't get it either. It's out of print on DVD but still...
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 10:46 AM on September 15, 2012


One of my favorite forgotten moments in one of my favorite forgotten shows is the scene in Mission Hill where Andy has a unemployment film festival featuring films with epic vomiting scenes. In addition to classics like the Exorcist, Andy rents Barfly, which he pronounces Barf-ly.

I may have something relevant to your interests.
posted by RobotHero at 9:03 PM on September 15, 2012


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