Eclipse Series 35: Maidstone & Other Films by Norman Mailer

Discuss DVDs released in the Eclipse and Essential Art House lines and the films on them.
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zedz
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Re: Eclipse Series 35: Maidstone & Other Films by Norman Mai

#76 Post by zedz » Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:39 pm

This collection is like a beartrap that keeps re-setting itself. The maimed are dragged away to hospital and more warning signs are posted, but sooner or later somebody's curiosity will get the better of them. . .

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domino harvey
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Re: Eclipse Series 35: Maidstone & Other Films by Norman Mai

#77 Post by domino harvey » Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:56 pm

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This is LITERALLY the worst thing Criterion's ever released

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knives
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Re: Eclipse Series 35: Maidstone & Other Films by Norman Mai

#78 Post by knives » Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:00 pm

There's worse. At least, I, could sit through the whole of them which is not true of say Border Radio which I decided life was too short for after an hour.

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Siddon
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Re: Eclipse Series 35: Maidstone & Other Films by Norman Mai

#79 Post by Siddon » Mon Apr 22, 2013 12:09 am

zedz wrote:This collection is like a beartrap that keeps re-setting itself. The maimed are dragged away to hospital and more warning signs are posted, but sooner or later somebody's curiosity will get the better of them. . .
It's like punishment for being a completest, this is the last Eclipse series I watched. You know I'm just kicking myself because I could have finished with Three Wicked Melodramas from Gainsborough Pictures which I loved but instead this is my last memory of the line until a new one comes out.

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knives
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Re: Eclipse Series 35: Maidstone & Other Films by Norman Mai

#80 Post by knives » Mon Apr 22, 2013 12:19 am

Which isn't too far off fortunately.


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movielocke
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Re: Eclipse Series 35: Maidstone & Other Films by Norman Mai

#82 Post by movielocke » Mon Mar 14, 2016 2:59 am

I popped in Maidstone last night and made it about twenty minutes before drifting off to sleep and giving up on finishing it Ina single night. This morning I thought, well the first bit wasn't bad,in fact it was kind of interesting in this era of Donald mailer trump running for president, and given the context of the far superior "lions love" in the varda set, I kind of liked seeing another film that dealt with the immediacy of the same assassination events of Kennedy and Warhol that film intersected. And I thought some of his casting couch banter was shallow, but amusing. In other words, I thought the film was interesting, but certainly not worthy of the derision heaped upon this eclipse set.

Then, tonight, I watched everything after the first twenty minutes and good god, the film quickly progresses to worse and worse. It becomes inchoate so quickly that the seemingly strong opening dissipates entirely as the film just collapses under the inertia of its own pretension... until we get to the phenomenal final scene in which the director is attacked with a hammer. By this point, we all want to attack him with a hammer, and the whole scene is just remarkable, disturbing and sort of mind bending in a way that the earlier scene of mailer breaking the fourth wall was not.

While not as bad as some of the matarazzo atrocities, the film is still pretty terrible, even given the similarities to trump and the amazing final scene.

It also made me realize how God damn good the varda film was, and makes me like "lions love" quite a bit more now that Maidstone has demonstrated for me how an untalented hack filmmaker handles similar themes, and how much better it is to have an authentic and invested artist like varda handling the filmmaking.

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zedz
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Re: Eclipse Series 35: Maidstone & Other Films by Norman Mai

#83 Post by zedz » Mon Mar 14, 2016 6:15 pm

movielocke wrote:I popped in Maidstone last night and made it about twenty minutes before drifting off to sleep and giving up on finishing it Ina single night. This morning I thought, well the first bit wasn't bad,in fact it was kind of interesting in this era of Donald mailer trump running for president, and given the context of the far superior "lions love" in the varda set, I kind of liked seeing another film that dealt with the immediacy of the same assassination events of Kennedy and Warhol that film intersected. And I thought some of his casting couch banter was shallow, but amusing. In other words, I thought the film was interesting, but certainly not worthy of the derision heaped upon this eclipse set.

Then, tonight, I watched everything after the first twenty minutes and good god, the film quickly progresses to worse and worse. It becomes inchoate so quickly that the seemingly strong opening dissipates entirely as the film just collapses under the inertia of its own pretension... until we get to the phenomenal final scene in which the director is attacked with a hammer. By this point, we all want to attack him with a hammer, and the whole scene is just remarkable, disturbing and sort of mind bending in a way that the earlier scene of mailer breaking the fourth wall was not.

While not as bad as some of the matarazzo atrocities, the film is still pretty terrible, even given the similarities to trump and the amazing final scene.

It also made me realize how God damn good the varda film was, and makes me like "lions love" quite a bit more now that Maidstone has demonstrated for me how an untalented hack filmmaker handles similar themes, and how much better it is to have an authentic and invested artist like varda handling the filmmaking.
Yeah, the worst thing about the great final scene is that it makes you wonder why Rip Torn wasn't directing the film all along, since he's so much better at it.

I take it this is your first dip into this set? The rest of the films are to Maidstone as Maidstone is to Lions Love. Enjoy.

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domino harvey
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Re: Eclipse Series 35: Maidstone & Other Films by Norman Mai

#84 Post by domino harvey » Mon Mar 14, 2016 6:18 pm

Yes. Picture how unfathomably bad Maidstone was and then accept with creeping horror that it is far and away the best film in the set.

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Re: Eclipse Series 35: Maidstone & Other Films by Norman Mai

#85 Post by cdnchris » Mon Mar 14, 2016 7:38 pm

Yep

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movielocke
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Re: Eclipse Series 35: Maidstone & Other Films by Norman Mai

#86 Post by movielocke » Mon Mar 14, 2016 7:42 pm

zedz wrote:
movielocke wrote:I popped in Maidstone last night and made it about twenty minutes before drifting off to sleep and giving up on finishing it Ina single night. This morning I thought, well the first bit wasn't bad,in fact it was kind of interesting in this era of Donald mailer trump running for president, and given the context of the far superior "lions love" in the varda set, I kind of liked seeing another film that dealt with the immediacy of the same assassination events of Kennedy and Warhol that film intersected. And I thought some of his casting couch banter was shallow, but amusing. In other words, I thought the film was interesting, but certainly not worthy of the derision heaped upon this eclipse set.

Then, tonight, I watched everything after the first twenty minutes and good god, the film quickly progresses to worse and worse. It becomes inchoate so quickly that the seemingly strong opening dissipates entirely as the film just collapses under the inertia of its own pretension... until we get to the phenomenal final scene in which the director is attacked with a hammer. By this point, we all want to attack him with a hammer, and the whole scene is just remarkable, disturbing and sort of mind bending in a way that the earlier scene of mailer breaking the fourth wall was not.

While not as bad as some of the matarazzo atrocities, the film is still pretty terrible, even given the similarities to trump and the amazing final scene.

It also made me realize how God damn good the varda film was, and makes me like "lions love" quite a bit more now that Maidstone has demonstrated for me how an untalented hack filmmaker handles similar themes, and how much better it is to have an authentic and invested artist like varda handling the filmmaking.
Yeah, the worst thing about the great final scene is that it makes you wonder why Rip Torn wasn't directing the film all along, since he's so much better at it.

I take it this is your first dip into this set? The rest of the films are to Maidstone as Maidstone is to Lions Love. Enjoy.
I mistakenly thought maidstone was first, I usually watch them all chronologically.

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knives
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Re: Eclipse Series 35: Maidstone & Other Films by Norman Mai

#87 Post by knives » Mon Mar 14, 2016 7:44 pm

domino harvey wrote:Yes. Picture how unfathomably bad Maidstone was and then accept with creeping horror that it is far and away the best film in the set.
Not only that but the best of Mailer's film if you want to do extra homework. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9KyBdPeKHg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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dustybooks
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Re: Eclipse Series 35: Maidstone & Other Films by Norman Mai

#88 Post by dustybooks » Tue Mar 15, 2016 10:38 am

So proud (????!!???) that I knew what that was without clicking.

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movielocke
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Re: Eclipse Series 35: Maidstone & Other Films by Norman Mai

#89 Post by movielocke » Tue Mar 15, 2016 1:04 pm

uhhh... how do I tell if I fell asleep during Wild 90. I'm pretty sure the whole film was the same scene rehearsal over and over again, but maybe I missed something?

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Gregory
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Re: Eclipse Series 35: Maidstone & Other Films by Norman Mai

#90 Post by Gregory » Tue Mar 15, 2016 1:51 pm

There are a few low points, I think. One is when Mailer proves that he's so manly that he can outbark a dog. The German shepherd of course didn't understand that this was being done in the name of "art" and seemed to feel genuinely threatened. If Mailer wanted to spend tens of thousands of dollars with his friends drinking and pretending to be gangsters (and pretending to be able to improvise), fine, but why be a jerk to a dog?

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mfunk9786
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Re: Eclipse Series 35: Maidstone & Other Films by Norman Mai

#91 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Mar 15, 2016 1:56 pm

zedz wrote:This collection is like a beartrap that keeps re-setting itself. The maimed are dragged away to hospital and more warning signs are posted, but sooner or later somebody's curiosity will get the better of them. . .

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Mr Sausage
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Re: Eclipse Series 35: Maidstone & Other Films by Norman Mai

#92 Post by Mr Sausage » Tue Mar 15, 2016 2:12 pm

If I may set a further bear trap, Mailer's two novels from the same period are, no doubt uncoincidentally, of equally astonishing badness, and for much the same reasons. This was not a good decade for Mailer, fiction-wise.

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zedz
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Re: Eclipse Series 35: Maidstone & Other Films by Norman Mai

#93 Post by zedz » Tue Mar 15, 2016 2:47 pm

Gregory wrote:why be a jerk to a dog?
Desperate auteurists will be keen to link this theme to a key scene in Tough Guys Don't Dance.

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gcgiles1dollarbin
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Re: Eclipse Series 35: Maidstone & Other Films by Norman Mai

#94 Post by gcgiles1dollarbin » Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:03 pm

Mr Sausage wrote:If I may set a further bear trap, Mailer's two novels from the same period are, no doubt uncoincidentally, of equally astonishing badness, and for much the same reasons. This was not a good decade for Mailer, fiction-wise.
No way, Ancient Evenings is astonishingly GRRRRRRRRRRRREAT! Or did I just get caught in a bear trap; it was panned by many upon publication. I did really like it, though, for its audacity, like Oscar Jaffe putting on the Passion Play.

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Re: Eclipse Series 35: Maidstone & Other Films by Norman Mai

#95 Post by Mr Sausage » Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:21 pm

Ancient Evenings was published in the late seventies wasn't it? I was talking about his two novels from the mid-sixties, which are contemporaneous with this set.

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gcgiles1dollarbin
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Re: Eclipse Series 35: Maidstone & Other Films by Norman Mai

#96 Post by gcgiles1dollarbin » Tue Mar 15, 2016 5:02 pm

1983 according to internet brain. But I misunderstood you, thinking we were talking about Tough Guys. So, either way, duh on me, not being careful enough, clearly. Sorry.

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movielocke
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Re: Eclipse Series 35: Maidstone & Other Films by Norman Mai

#97 Post by movielocke » Wed Mar 16, 2016 2:16 am

Wild 90 is tremendously awful, I had the subtitles on, I imagine it is even worse without subtitles from the little I could hear of the soundtrack.

Mailer, in particular, gives an excruciatingly bad and inconsistent performance, that after a few minutes descends into a Tarzan like pidgeon language primarily composed of grunts and barks.

It doesn't help that mailer continually reminds me of Donald trump, either. Nor that he seems to be a terrible director, particularly of actors, he breaks character throughout the film to try to get the other actors to improv with him, which leaves most of the actors befuddled at receiving leading comments like "you're a kraut!" Etc only to have the actors deny mailer his improv avenue.

The only actor that really got mailer, was the dog, who simply responded to mailers incoherent barking with louder barking, naturally mailer respected someone who yells back.

Ugh. What a worthless film.

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movielocke
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Re: Eclipse Series 35: Maidstone & Other Films by Norman Mai

#98 Post by movielocke » Fri Mar 18, 2016 6:15 pm

I want to like Beyond the Law but I just cannot. it's too terrible to like anything about it. I should, probably, like the film for it being such a scathing attack on the police, but the entire thing is just an actor-ish experiment in extended improv. I should almost like the film for seeming so like a mockumentary at times, that by adopting Pennebaker's style and the visual iconography of on-the-fly style documentary that Mailer is turning in something that is fictional that feels non-fictional. But I think this is just an accident of the improvised nature of the project.

And then this film, like the entire set, continues the disgusting misogyny Mailer seems to revel in. I've mentioned Donald Trump multiple times for good reason, Mailer is such a self-righteous pig throughout all these films, that I can think of hardly anyone else that is on the same level of awfulness other than Trump.

Never have I been happier for a film to be done with than I was with this set.

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domino harvey
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Re: Eclipse Series 35: Maidstone & Other Films by Norman Mai

#99 Post by domino harvey » Fri Mar 18, 2016 6:17 pm

New viewers here of this set are the living embodiment of still touching the plate when the waitress tells you it's hot

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Re: Eclipse Series 35: Maidstone & Other Films by Norman Mai

#100 Post by swo17 » Fri Mar 18, 2016 6:21 pm

But I have to touch all the plates

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