Rip Torn’s a good name.
Hm… are the screenshots in vaguely wrong aspect ratio? They seem to be… slightly wider than they should be?
But they’re 1.33:1… hm… imdb says 1.37:1, which… doesn’t explain anything.
The DVD has subtitles, though, so it doesn’t really matter that the sound is kinda crappy. But I’m reading the liner notes on the DVD here, and apparently Mailer’s first movie, Wild 90, had a sound guy who was totally shitfaced the entire time, and would point the directional mike the wrong way for most of the scenes.
I think it looks like people participating in this movie were taking it a bit more seriously than that.
But… again, as with the Maidstone film Mailer did later the same year, it’s amateur hour. Which can be good! Look at Bresson’s movies. But Mailer isn’t Bresson and the people in front of the camera just aren’t that interesting. (And besides, Bresson spent a lot of time with his non-actors before filming, while I guess Mailer is just letting things hang out.)
Poor camera guy.
The thing is — this sort of thing is the kind of thing I like. So while this is a pretty inept movie, I kinda liked it anyway? I can totally understand people that would rather clip their cats’ nails rather than watch this movie, because it’s kinda excruciating. But I enjoyed bits of it. So:
Beyond the Law. Norman Mailer. 1968.
This blog post is part of the Eclipse series.