Eclipse 1970: Maidstone

Prepare to be stunned: I don’t think I’ve ever read anything by Norman Mailer? He’s suck an American cultural touch stone tat that seems unlikely, but nope.

I’ve read the commentary on this one: It had a really successful run at the Whitney… and then Mailer took it to a midtown theatre, where it bombed worse than anything ever in the history of ever.

There’s something about American art movies… they all suck?

There. I said it.

It’s so weird. The Americans are pretty good at making commercial movies? But there’s such a disconnect to the artier movies? In French cinema, you have commercial crowd pleasers, and you have art movies, and it’s all on a spectrum; no disjunctions: The art movies are made with even better actors and cinematography than then commercial ones.

That’s not the case with American art movies, which frequently look like home movies.

This is one of them there home movie-looking ones.

Only in 16mm, so some money was spent.

Or it might just be that French people sound more interesting when they’re improvising.

Ultra Violet!

But… despite the obvious problems, I’m kinda enjoying this? It’s interesting. Almost despite itself — there’s so many scenes that are totes jejeune, but then you get a scene that actually works, and it’s like THIS IS BRILLIANT.

It’s the look in an actor’s face, and suddenly the scene seems to be hiding all kinds of meaning.

But then Mailer shows up and it’s all snoozeville.

The final scene is really something.

It’s one of those movies that’s hard to throw the die one. The scenes that work are … fantastic, but then there’s all the other stuff. So — I’m really glad I watched this movie, because those scenes make it worth it. I could go with a ⚅…

But let’s go with:

Maidstone. Norman Mailer. 1970.

This blog post is part of the Eclipse series.

One thought on “Eclipse 1970: Maidstone”

  1. I was really confused there for five minutes or so by your second sentence:

    “He’s suck an American cultural touch stone tat that seems unlikely, but nope.”

    I think you meant to write “such an American cultural touch stone…”, right?

    (I first thought you were saying he sucks on the American cultural touchstone or something.) 😉

    But anyway, sounds like an interesting film, even if its just a collection of brilliant scenes that maybe don’t work as a whole like you say. Will check it out, thanks for the review.

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