The ‘Maidstone’ brawl

I’ve not seen the film of ‘Maidstone’ yet, although the film is ‘up’, so I don’t know if it’s any good at all. It probably is worth one’s time, in that, at this distance, it surely can’t help but be interesting from a mere historical level at least.

The last time I looked, Dennis Hopper’s ‘The Last Movie’ was also up. I managed to see that a long time ago on Channel 4 in the UK and started to watch it again but had the creeping feeling that it was acid-fried nonsense so I ceased and desisted but I bet that it’s also of interest too on some level. ‘The Last Movie’ went down very well at Cannes, receiving praise from Fellini and Bergman which is no small thing. Although Bergman had some unexpected taste in movies. Robert Bresson also surprised along similar lines. With such a personal, spare style, Bresson was his own genre, in some ways, and not too comparable with other film-makers….yet he loved the James Bond film ‘For Your Eyes Only’:

“….. the interviewer asks Bresson about a rumour that he’d recently enjoyed a James Bond film, and the aging, massively distinguished director almost leaps to confirm this, saying that he took his two nieces to see For Your Eyes Only because they asked him to. “It filled me with wonder,” he says, “because of its cinematographic writing…if I could have seen it twice in a row and again the next day, I would have done.”…….”.

It does seem like Torn is doing this for real, and that Mailer’s blood is really his blood, but why then is Mailer’s wife going bonkers while the crew are making sure that we see everything? I’ll have to see the full film at some point in order to make a better judgement. I do love Rip Torn, though. He is the kind of person who leaves ‘everything out on the field’ in the game of life.

Torn once broke into a bank while drunk out of his skull, saying that he confused the bank for his home. That’s some mighty alcohol-induced delusion. Torn’s stupendous in the brilliant and prescient ‘The Man Who Fell To Earth’ and – if you held a hammer to my head, in a Rip Torn-style – I’d say that ‘The Larry Sanders Show’ is my favourite TV show of all time, with Torn rocking the house as Artie, receiving numerous Emmy nominations.

Norman Mailer’s final film was made for the zany, fun-loving, madcaps at ‘Canon Films’ and has David Lynch’s lieutenant, Angelo Badalamenti, on film score duties too. I’m sure that I’ll find myself watching it one day as my weakness for bad films regularly requires indulgence. ‘Tough Guys Don’t Dance’ contains a certain scene that involves Ryan O’Neal not opening his mail until he has driven himself, and then walked down further, to the beach. The line reading had its own deranged charm. It makes me want to see the film all the more, and show it to one of my friends or family so that, when the time comes, one of us can bemoan something with: “Oh man, oh God! Oh man, Oh God! Oh man, oh God!” and fall about laughing while others look at us like we’re insane. At least Mailer himself has a sense of humour about it and admits that everyone told him to take it out of the finished work.


Money and the Hammer’s Main Pages



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