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

#51 Post by knives » Sat Jun 09, 2012 3:20 am

I think people tend to love Battlefield Earth as so bad it is good actually which is distinct from having a noticeable negative emotional reaction. I'd tend to agree with Buzz insofar as a work of art being at least in part the cause of an extreme reaction must be a sign that it has accomplished in not allowing a person to be complacent with their surroundings (I'm thinking of some of the early reactions to Boudu).

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

#52 Post by matrixschmatrix » Sat Jun 09, 2012 3:42 am

I think failure can be fascinating, and I think a really spectacular failure implies that if nothing else the creator's were actually trying to do something- and as such, a really awful movie is often more interesting that a terminally bland one. But it still seems silly to try to double reverse judo universally bad reactions to a movie into proof that it's actually great art, sometimes a movie is just fucking bad.

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

#53 Post by Buzz Cameo » Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:45 am

CSM126 wrote:
Buzz Cameo wrote:You know if people despise these films as much as they seem to--- there's gotta be something worthwhile there. They're polarizing---- as good art should be
Firstly, "polarizing" implies an equal and opposite positive reaction to match the negative, which doesn't seem to be even slightly accurate here. Secondly, by the logic you're displaying, Battlefield Earth would be a high art masterpiece. After all, everyone hates it!
Thanks, Disraeli. Have you taken a world consensus on the opinion of these films? Since this is the Criterion forum and not, say, the floor of the Senate, I was being somewhat broad in terms of the "ayes" vs. "nays". That said, I know a lot of people who like these films and an equal number who hate 'em.

Battleship Earth is amazing. What you talking about?

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

#54 Post by Buzz Cameo » Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:59 am

If everyone ON EARTH were to hate a film then, yes, I'd say there HAS to be something interesting in it that is worth exploring if only to arrive at a deeper understanding of that mercurial, fickle, phenomenon Gallup commonly refers to as "public opinion"

Mailer used to take all the negative reviews, cut and paste, and take out his own ads. Here's the legendary one from The Deer Park.

Moby Dick got trashed when it first came out. Time, I think, is the only thing that settles the matter. Maidstone is a helluva lot more interesting 40 years on than it probably was to people at the time. . .

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

#55 Post by manicsounds » Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:58 pm

DVDBeaver review, DVDTalk review

Neither are particularly positive...

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

#56 Post by stroszeck » Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:12 pm

The screencaps almost look like dvdrips. :shock:

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

#57 Post by domino harvey » Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:52 pm

Every over-lampooned bad film in the collection can breathe a collective sigh of relief when held against Wild 90. This is only, and I mean only, Mailer and pals (and late into the film, a dog, which is quickly ushered out when it becomes apparent it is the only living thing depicted that can't swear) garbling incoherent vulgarities at each other inside a dingy room for eighty-one minutes. And I don't use the word vulgarities lightly: About thirty minutes in Mailer locks into a groove of saying the word "cunt" over and over-- "I'm sick of dry cunt," "Guineas don't like cunt," &c. This is an abomination of cinema, and I'd say it's the worst film I've ever seen except that such bold proclamations tend only to encourage the curious to seek out the offending picture. Don't do this to yourself. No one else on this board need make the same mistake. Wild 90 is a black hole of worthlessness, and shame on Criterion for foisting it out into the populace while thousands of other holdings languish in their "vaults." The only thing that got me through this film was that I wanted to earn the right to call this vanity project from Hell what it is: shit.

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

#58 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:12 am

It's a good thing he only wrote the novelization for

Image

and didn't direct.

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

#59 Post by JeffWang » Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:30 pm

I'm a huge fan of Norman Mailer as a writer, especially his novel Harlot's Ghost, but from what I've read, his skills as a filmmaker are questionable. I will probably check out this Eclipse set to take a look for myself.

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

#60 Post by zedz » Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:47 pm

Domino and I have started up a Wild 90 Survivors Support Group, and urge forum members as yet untouched by the tragedy of a bunch of rich, drunk, insecure white guys trying to bluster their way to one last, sad, not even metaphoric hard-on to stay far, far away.

Mathew2468
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Re: Eclipse Series 35: Maidstone & Other Films by Norman Mai

#61 Post by Mathew2468 » Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:50 pm

Rich?

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

#62 Post by domino harvey » Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:00 pm

Poor in spirit, rich in pride

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

#63 Post by zedz » Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:04 pm

Rich enough to have the dough to blow making a vanity project film in the 60s!

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

#64 Post by cdnchris » Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:41 pm

I was so bored I couldn't even muster up the level of disgust domino and zedz built up, but I would still like to join your support group.

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

#65 Post by zedz » Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:50 pm

(group hug)

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swo17
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Re: Eclipse Series 35: Maidstone & Other Films by Norman Mai

#66 Post by swo17 » Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:56 pm

You guys should film one of your meetings where you sit around for 80 minutes repeating words that you think describe Wild 90.

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

#67 Post by zedz » Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:02 pm

That sound suspiciously like the film itself.

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

#68 Post by knives » Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:01 pm

I'll admit I am a bit crazy, but I don't get what all of the hullabaloo is about. I've only gotten through Wild 90 so far but it really doesn't seem deserving of the superlatives. The only thing that strikes me as unbearably horrible is the voice of that one guy who sounds like a sick frog drunk on pure grain whiskey. Everything else is mildly interesting in how self loathing it is. I am not trying to argue the film as being great or even particularly good (when a 70 minutes film is easily 30 minutes too long a problem has arisen), but it's engaging and compelling in the same way a man walking down the hallway flinging feces and shouting obscenities is.

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

#69 Post by domino harvey » Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:03 pm

No

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

#70 Post by knives » Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:20 pm

I should have expected that.

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colinr0380
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Re: Eclipse Series 35: Maidstone & Other Films by Norman Mai

#71 Post by colinr0380 » Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:26 pm

But who is the man walking down the hallway? What is his back story and motivation? Are they his own faeces?

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

#72 Post by knives » Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:27 pm

Norman Mailer, arrogance and and money, mostly Pennebaker's for reasons I can't understand. The funny thing is that Beyond the Law is a far worse film with all positives ruined by sloppiness. This has an even more boom mike appearance than Slacker. It doesn't even aim for the interesting minimalistic confession of Wild 90. It does feature a line up scene straight out of The Usual Suspects though. It's pretty much something Something Wild would bury in a set.

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

#73 Post by zedz » Sun Dec 23, 2012 3:11 pm

I've crawled through the other two films now.

Beyond the Law is also terrible, but I guess if I hadn't seen Wild 90 I might have thought the brutality and crudity was a good match for the content. But through these jaded eyes, this just looks like another way for Mailer and his pals to give themselves a macho hard-on. If pressed for a compliment, I'd say that Mailer's own performance, atrocious accent and all, isn't as bad as the one he gave in Wild 90, but the same could be said for any performance by any actor in any film ever made.

I actually sort of liked Maidstone, in comparison. It's all still pretty puerile, but boy is there a lot going on, so the badness at least has some variety. And when Rip Torn seizes control of the movie in the final scene, I sadly realize that I'd much rather watch his version of Maidstone than the puffed -up auteur's.

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

#74 Post by knives » Sun Dec 23, 2012 9:01 pm

Maidstone really does feel like an overly serious Downey ripoff until that last scene which is gobsmackingly amazing. It's also amusing to see Torn so young.

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

#75 Post by Siddon » Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:27 pm

So I rented this from the Library (with a stained cover, so I assume someone pissed on it). Wild 90 was like a terrible John Cassavettes film but I made it all the way through. The other one Beyond the Law I quit after 25 minutes [-( I was not going to put up with another hour of that.

Maidstone seems okay, it's watchable, the other ones weren't.

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