Anyway, so this movie is three drunk, high guys pretending to be Italian mobsters and improvising, with D A Pennebaker filming.
I like Pennebaker’s camera work. It’s really cool. The three guys are kinda on the tedious side. They don’t say anything interesting — it’s like they have an idea that their prattle is fascinating — but they’re not saying anything, really. And they crack themselves up all the time without having really done anything funny.
But it’s like it almost works? If they’d planned things a bit better and had some interesting things to say? Instead it’s just some guys hamming it up.
The very urgency that Mailer has always tried to communicate makes it impossible to wade through so much rambling for a little art.
This is likely the most self-indulgent, grating dumpster fire of a “film” I’ve ever had the displeasure to sit through in its entirety. There might be worse movies out there, but I shudder to imagine the possibility of their existence.
This makes me even more confused as to why Criterion rejected my Eclipse set proposal Matt and His Friends Dicking Around.
After the actors quickly exhaust their capacity for concocting witty repartee from thin air (Sacha Guitry, these guys are not!) there isn’t much else left when it’s just the three of them except resorting to primal caveman antics and locker-room level horseplay.
You may surmise from the amount of googling going on in this here blog post that I’m not riveted by this movie.
Hey! A hammer! Rip Torn should have been in this movie, too, and beaten some sense into Mailer.
Mailer’s so drunk.
I feel like Peter Falk and Ben Gazzarra should have been in this movie instead.
Halfway through the movie, it seems like they realise that they have nothing, so they start bringing in a series of … “characters” … none of whom can keep themselves from smirking at appearing in the movie.
Except for the dog. The dog’s the best actor here.
Finally! Somebody interesting.
The final ten minutes are kinda good? After that woman with the beehive arrived, things finally took off and became interesting.
The preceding 70 minutes aren’t very good. So:
Wild 90. Norman Mailer. 1968.
This blog post is part of the Eclipse series.