Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Mailer and film, etc.

Norman Mailer directed his own adaptation of his crime novel Tough Guys Don't Dance. The book, one of his lesser works, is a fun read packed, naturally, with tough-guy dialogue and backdropped with a sort-of ghost story, and making great use of its setting in Provincetown, Mass., where Mailer lives.

But the film itself is awful, characterized by performances charitably described as campy and plenty of cinematic suggestions that Mailer made the right decision by opting not to quit his dayjob.

Still, Mailer's relationship with film -- the movies he's directed; the adaptations of his work by others -- is a fascinating subject, one that's fully explored in a series taking place over the next few weeks in New York at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, the Paley Center for Media and Anthology Film Archives.

Several film critics have recently written about Mailer and film, in connection with the NYC series.

Here's A.O. Scott's piece in the New York Times and Carl Rollyson's story in the Village Voice.

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