Oct 5, 2014


Although not exactly common knowledge, by proving that you can get away with and even earn critical and commercial success from creating absurdly amateurish and plot-less films with no editing and starring uniquely untalented drug-addled and appallingly narcissistic non-actors with next to nil talent or charisma, pop (con)artist Andy Warhol—a man whose greatest talent as an underground filmmaker was turning the camera on and off and who took credit for films he did not even direct—inspired a couple popular Jewish intellectuals and literary figures to try their own lot at becoming avant-garde filmmakers. While the films of sapphic Semite writer and feminist cultural critic Susan Sontag (Duet for Cannibals, Brother Carl)—a loony far-leftist lady-licker who despite once proclaiming, “The white race is the cancer of human history,” directed every single one of her films in the white home continent of Europa, as if the rich cultural legacy would somehow rub-off on her work—are all but totally forgotten, the films of novelist Norman ‘White Negro’ Mailer are slightly better known today, with the Criterion Collection releasing a two-disc box-set of his early films under their sister line Eclipse in 2012 under the title Eclipse Series 35: Maidstone and Other Films by Norman Mailer. As one might suspect from the name of the Eclipse box-set, Maidstone (1970) is considered Mailer’s ‘masterpiece,’ though it is far from a masterpiece of any sort, though it has at least one thing going for it. Indeed, the film is worth seeing for one reason alone and that is seeing Mailer being beaten up by mainstream actor Rip Torn (Men in Black, Marie Antoinette) with a hammer in front of his wife and young children in a totally real and unsimulated scene where the actor got mad at the would-be-auteur’s superlatively shitty ‘realist’ directing style. Mailer’s penultimate cinematic work and third feature following the rather poorly directed and largely incoherent works Wild 90 (1968) and Beyond the Law (1968), Maidstone is a somewhat autobiographical film where the novelist turned director plays a popular auteur filmmaker who is running for president during a dangerous time when most of the normal politicians have been assassinated. A more ‘bad bad’ than ‘good bad’ work of micro-movie megalomania where Mailer invented an cinematic alter ego that seems to fulfill his own failed political (he made a failed attempt at running for mayor of NYC in 1969 at the urging of feminist Jewess Gloria Steinem), masculine (he boxes and fights in the film) and filmmaking (the character’s filmmaking talents are absurdly compared to Fellini, Dreyer, Antonioni, and Buñuel) fantasies and dreams. Indeed, Maidstone is an ‘auteur’ work in the worst sense of the world. 

 The film opens with a British TV host named Jeanne Cardigan (Jean Campbell) telling Brit viewers how she is going to travel to the United States to follow the seemingly laughable presidential campaign of egomaniacal filmmaker Norman T. Kingsley (Norman Mailer). To add a sorry sense of substance to an innately incoherent and aimless film, Maidstone features various numbered titles to denote chapters, with the first chapter being titled “A Meeting of High Officials.” The ‘High Officials’ sit together in a luxury manor and discuss whether or not Mr. Kingsley is “ripe for assassination.” A human ‘melting pot’ that was spawned from a Russian-born father and a mother of largely Welsh descent with rumored gypsy, Irish, Jewish, and negro blood, Kingsley is as American as a rancid apple pie. Although Kingsley graduated from Princeton with a degree in architecture after receiving a scholarship, somehow he magically became a filmmaker. The High Officials also believe that he is gay (or what they describe as “Greek love”), which one might assume due to the fact he is a swarthy and considerably overweight middleaged man that walks around in leather-fag apparel, including a fascistic leather cap and a matching black leather vest, which he wears with nothing underneath. A filmmaker in the spirit of his Hebraic racial comrade Henry Jaglom, Kingsley/Mailer is a local misogynist who stylizes himself as a feminist, despite the fact that he is prone to viciously attacking women for seemingly no reason at all. While proclaiming to his actresses regarding his films, “I can’t believe in making sexploitation films, as they are called. I’m really a very squeamish man, as you’ll come to discover. I’m interested in sexuality…rampant and respondent, but also in some taste. I can’t bare bad taste. I’ll use each and every one of you in any way I can. I will never ask to do anything that will completely violate you. On the other hand, I may push several of you to find yourself in emotional and, dare I say, anatomical situations…,” Kingsley is indeed making a sexploitation film of sorts and he is willing to break a woman’s self-esteem just for the mere dignified pleasure. 

 When interviewing a negress for a role, the director states to her in a voice that sounds like it's somewhere in between a black preacher and a frog, “I believe that good acting comes out of tyranny…out of a sense of slavery, you understand? You’ll be enslaved if you want to be a good actor.” Of course, Kingsley is no less brutal with the blonde Aryan Shiksa babes. On top of telling one Nordic blonde she needs to get rid of her wrinkles, he calls another one a “dumbo” and “a big strong eager peasant” who is only fit to play a “cook for the whorehouse” in his film. After getting another Aryan bimbo to admit she would like to screw a negro and a mestizo, degenerate creep Kingsley gets rather aroused and begins defiling the little lady, even attempting to pull down her panties after randomly starting to makeout with her in an exceedingly repugnant fashion. Of course, Kingsley does not stop there, as he gets French-born Warhol superstar ‘Ultra Violent’ to fuck a pitch black negro. On top of that, Mailer hangs around black nationalists that hate his guts because he wants to seem ‘cool’ and ‘liberated,’ not to mention the fact that he wants their vote. Of course, Kingsley is proud of the fact that he is a scumbag and even goes so far as bragging, “I’m the male equivalent of a whorehouse madame” during a truly stomach-turning Jaglom-esque moment. When asked by British newscaster Jeanne Cardigan if he is running for president just to please his already inflated ego, the ‘messianic auteur’ proudly declares, “I am a narcissist by definition. I’m an actor…a director…I’m fascinated with exposing myself to multitudes.” 

 At about the one hour mark of the film, the work degenerates into ludicrously laughable failed celluloid art experiment featuring a variety of spastic yet somehow marvelously mundane montages that Mailer probably thought were moments of pure cinematic genius. During one of these superlatively sorry scenes, newscaster Cardigan falls into what seems to be a rabid state while her tits hangout her dress and declares her hatred for Kingsley while playing with a bloody baby doll. In what is arguably one of the most mindnumbingly mundane and moronic scenes in celluloid history, footage of people slowly walking in a field like zombies is juxtaposed with audio of a woman moaning during sex. During one of the few highlights of the film a micro race riot breaks out at a ball in a segment misleadingly titled, “The Grand Assassination Ball” featuring Kingsley and his comrades sporting aesthetically vulgar gray suits with matching tophats. After a negro seems to suffer a seizure after attacking a cracker, the ball degenerates into a hippie ‘happening’ involving the ritualistic burning of American money, braindead beatnik bastards dancing like zombies on PCP to generic psychedelic music, and some dumb drugged out bitch talking about “freedom” and asking people if they are “black or white.” In a rather incriminating scene involving his significant other, Kingsley hatefully berates his wife Chula Mae (played by Mailer’s real-life wife Beverly Bentley) for ruining his fun (she insults his goofy tophat) and proclaims that it is the first time in 15 years of marriage to her that he has felt freedom. 

 Of course, Mailer saves the best for last in a segment entitled “The Silences of an Afternoon” that features the (in)famous scene where Rip Torn (playing the role of Mailer’s character’s brother ‘Raoul Rey O'Houlihan’) attacks Kinsley/Mailer with a hammer. After hitting Mailer in the head with a hammer, Torn comes out of character and declares, “I don’t want to kill Mailer, but I must kill Kinsley in this picture.” Indeed, in a film as torturously tedious as Maidstone where the actor/director wallows in his own egomaniacal excrement, it is a true, transcendent act of spiritual liberation. Clearly high on some sort of chemical substance, Torn is still cognizant enough to know his actions were warranted, stating to Mailer after giving him a much deserved beating, “I had to do that, you know that” and “The picture doesn’t make sense without this, you know.” In an absolutely horrendous scenario of unhinged female hysteria, Mailer’s wife declares, “I’ll kill you” and attacks Torn in a patently pathetic fashion. Of course, Torn probably best sums up Mailer and his cinematic persona when he rhetorically asks the novelist turned director, “You’re just a fraud, aren’t you?!” 

 About at the halfway point of Maidstone, Rip Torn declares in a jolly face, “The acts of the man make the man.” By using Torn’s logic to analyze the director, one easily comes to the conclusion that director Normal Mailer is a misogynistic megalomaniac who attempts to style himself as what he is not. Indeed, while Mailer portrays himself in the film as a rampantly heterosexual macho stud of the considerably charming and charismatic sort and exceedingly eclectically talented Renaissance man, he comes off in the film as a small effeminate dork and alpha-male of the artistically vacant sort who gets a kick out of venomously berating impressionable young women and filming negro bucks carnally defiling desperate Aryan broads. Mailer’s equivalent to Dennis Hopper’s epic experimental failure The Last Movie (1971), Maidstone is aimless semi-autobiographical metacinema at its most sickeningly self-indulgent and I say that as someone whose favorite directors are typically described as “self-indulgent.” A mostly pointless film with somewhat of a pay-off in the end, Mailer’s film is like the cinematic equivalent of an impotent elderly cripple with diabetes masturbating for about two hours and somehow climaxing in the end in a rather sloppy, self-degrading mess. While I think Mailer is a candy ass kosher pansy who thought he was an alpha-male because he took cheap shots at effeminate rich faggots (e.g. Gore Vidal) and beat and even attempted to kill women (in 1954, the novelist got drunk and stabbed his then-wife Adele Morales twice, puncturing her pericardium, thus resulting in emergency surgery), I will give him credit for including the rather unflattering scene of himself getting beat up by Rip Torn, who was certainly no fine muscular physical specimen, at the end of Maidstone

 Interestingly, in a candid interviewed featured in the book Film Director As Superstar (1970) by Joseph Gelmis, Mailer confessed that one of his main interests in film was that it was an artistic medium that could not be conquered by his ostensibly genius Hebraic intellect, or as the writer/director most notably stated himself: “The greatest intellectual pleasure I have is carrying an experience I can’t dominate with my mind. Because I come out of a tradition of people who are born to dominate life with their minds. The Jews are the greatest intellectual machines of any species of man on earth. I think that’s really the reason, beyond any other, why the Jews are next to universally detested by people who don’t understand their fine, war, tender, loving, and forgiving sides. The reason why every farmer alive, why every redneck, instinctively distrusts the Jew is because the Jews are intellectual machines. And they are, you know, more than anyone else. I grew up in that tradition.”  Indeed, not unlike his equally anti-Occidental racial kinsmen Marx, Freud, Trotsky, Adorno, and Sontag, who all dedicated their careers to undermining the white Christian world, the self-proclaimed “intellectual machine” used his ostensible Judaic genius to defile the white goyim with the Europid-pioneered art of cinema as his tool via Maidstone, which is nothing but an infantile celluloid jerk-off piece where the aberrant ‘auteur’ tried in vain to defile everything that white Anglo-Saxon America holds sacred, yet failed miserably as demonstrated by its lack of true cult status as a piece of pretentious twaddle that even Mailer fanboys despite. Indeed, when Mailer absurdly described the work as “a revolutionary film,” he meant in the Trotskyite anti-Aryan-goy sense, hence its stereotypical Hebraic hodgepodge of blonde-Shiksa-defiling by vulgar Heebs and negroes, black nationalism fetishism, pornographic imagery thinly disguised as female liberation, loveless sex depicted as ‘free love,’ and kosher cognitive dissonance presented as avant-garde art.  Still, I am glad that Maidstone was made, as Mailer's pathetic beat down during a pansy girly fight has been forever immortalized, which is certainly the next best thing to seeing Trotsky taking a Stalinist icepick to the back of the skull.

-Ty E

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