12/22/2014  
Dallas: The Complete Third And Final Season on DVD Jan 13Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Season 2 on DVD Dec 16Lord Of Illusions (Collector's Edition) 2-Disc Blu-ray Director's Cut Dec 16Kelly & Cal on DVD Dec 30The Facts Of Life: The Complete Series on DVD Jan 13Keep on Keepin' On on DVD Jan 13Stonehearst Asylum on DVD & Blu-ray Dec 16

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Dallas: The Complete Third And Final Season on DVD Jan ...
Stephen Colbert sings with every celebrity you can thin...
The Colbert Report Is Dead. Long Live Stephen Colbert!...
Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Season 2...
Lord Of Illusions (Collector's Edition) 2-Disc Blu-ray ...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
JACK REACHER...
LIZ & DICK...
CHINA BEACH: THE COMPLETE SERIES...

CA Chuck Aliaga

THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
THE LADY (BLU-RAY)...
SWAMP THING (BLU-RAY)...
AROUSED...
THE SWEENEY (BLU-RAY)...

MZ Mark Zimmer

Take Part in a Film Restoration...
STORAGE WARS: SEASON ONE...
LOST KEATON...
BLACK NARCISSUS (BLU-RAY)...
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE MOTION PICTURE TRILOGY (BLU-...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...
BASEBALL'S GREATEST GAMES: 1986 WORLD SERIES GAME 6...

JS Jesse Shanks

KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...
NORMAN MAILER: THE AMERICAN...
I Don't Know How She Does It on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 3...
The Liam Neeson Film Collection on DVD Nov 1...
Box Office Charts From Box Office Mojo Nov 12-14...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...
THE TROUBLE WITH TOLSTOY...
HISTORY OF THE WORLD IN TWO HOURS...
ANATOMY OF A MURDER...
BASIL DEARDEN'S LONDON UNDERGROUND (ECLIPSE SERIES 25)...

JC Joel Cunningham

WINGS OF DESIRE...
A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS...
MONSOON WEDDING...
PIERROT LE FOU...
SMALLVILLE: THE COMPLETE EIGHTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...
STEPFATHER II...

DH Dan Heaton

NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

RR Rich Rosell

THE BUCKET LIST...
CRUDE IMPACT...
THE MAGIC OF FLIGHT (BLU-RAY)...
JOURNEY INTO AMAZING CAVES (BLU-RAY)...
A GALAXY FAR FAR AWAY...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif

DVD Review: NORMAN MAILER: THE AMERICAN



Studio: Cinema Libre Studio
Year: 2010
Cast: Norman Mailer, Beverly Bentley Mailer, Carole Mallory, Danielle Mailer, Dwayne Raymond
Director: Joseph Mantegna
Release Date: May 08, 2012
Rating: Not Rated for adult themes
Run Time: 01h:15m:00s
Genre(s): documentary

"People who write books take as much punishment as prizefighters." - Norman Mailer

NORMAN MAILER: THE AMERICAN

Buy Now @ Amazon

 

This is an often unpleasant tale of a celebrated writer that is told frankly and openly by people who knew him personally. Director Joe Mantegna weaves their commentary into a visual history of the latter half of the last century and evokes an intriguing portrait of one its most important chroniclers. Norman Mailer: The American gives a multi-faceted answer to the question: who was that guy?

Movie Grade: B+

DVD Grade: C+

Norman Mailer: The American is a relatively short but reasonably dense telling of the life of one of the most notorious writers of the Twentieth Century. This documentary deserves a great deal of credit for several things. I did learn some things about Mailer that I did not know, although most of it was not very pleasant. The story moved briskly within the historical context and had moments of real suspense. The weaving of historical archival footage and various video recordings of Mailer himself was very artistically accomplished.

Director Joe Mantegna has done an excellent job of presenting a certain portrait of Mailer. In this film we find extended interviews with his wives and some of his children which creates a strange dichotomy of the wild man husband and somewhat loving father. This is interspersed with bits and pieces of Mailer's public history, his book, his interviews, his crimes and American history, World War II, the Vietnam War, Kennedy and Nixon. Also includes are some clips and discussion of some awful films that Mailer created in the Sixties, including a crazed sequence with actor Rip Torn.

Mailer was a confrontational writer taking on topics and themes that were often shocking, especially with his no-holds-barred style and egotism. This film does a good job in capturing the self-love of Mailer from his recorded comments about himself to the stories told by his wives, friends and biographers. It is intriguing as his wife wife Adele describes the event that weaves its way through this film and the mythology of Mailer: the stabbing of her at a party by Mailer. This violent edge of Mailer clings to his art with his fascination with boxing, war, and murder.

Although it is hard to say that Mailer is the greatest American writer of last sixty years, he is certainly on the list and there is not much here in the way of literary experts to vouch for it. Telling Mailer is quoted in one clip recorded very late in his life stating that a writer was "defined by his detractors." I was bummed that two of my favorite Mailer books, Ancient Evenings and Oswald's Tale didn't even rate a mention. I remember when his Marilyn book came out and took the nation by storm. People shelled out big bucks for this large format essay with photographs fo the dead star. This film include a few interesting tidbits about that and other writings of Mailer's from their genesis to critical reaction.

Ultimately the film is too short which certainly makes the DVD less desirable. I would suppose that someone who was into Mailer might want this in their collection. I wouldn't rate it's "re-watchablility" level as very high. Certainly worth a rental if you want to get a quick hit about who this guy is, what did he do and why do people still talk about him. Ultimately, I think it is destined to become a piece of digital Cliff Notes for future English students, looking for a more intimate, yet superficial study of the author.

Extras: Six clips of Mailer addresses the topics of Campaigning and Computers from The Dick Cavett Show, Writing Process apparently filmed on a ferry for some documentary, Power from an interview, Success and Space Program and more from The Dick Cavett Show. It always seems a shame that discs like this does extend their utility in a collection by including more material for exploration.

Posted by: Jesse Shanks - May 19, 2012, 9:52 am - DVD Review
Keywords: documentary, biography




Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

drama, television, stephen colbert, final show, kareem abdul-jabar, jj abrams, alan alda, christiane amanpour, many more, the colbert report, last show, santa, unicorn, abraham lincoln, alex trebek, documentary, horror, comedy channel, stephen t. colbert, colbert report, movie, the interview, united states, north korea, soney, hector monsegur, china, sony pictures entertainment, cyber attack, kim jong-un, seth rogen, james franco, the hobbit: the baattle of the five armies, peter jackson, j.r.r. tolkien marathon, comedy, barbara walters, 10 most fascinating people of 2014, amal clooney, taylor swift, george clooney, thriller, chris rock, top five, the late show, david letterman, movies, golden globes 2015, reality, romantic comedy, western, music, 57th grammy awards, iggy azalea, beck, pharrell williams, miranda lambert, sia, cooking, spectre, daniel craig, sam mendes, christoph waltz, lea seydoux, naomie harris, ben whishaw, ralph fiennes, celebrity, loni anderson, burt reynolds, pearl earrings, necklace, nude portrait, lady gaga, howard sten, south by southwest, millie brown, swine, mark geragos, kesha, lukasz sebastian gottwald

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

earth mosaics

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

DVD Marketplace

Snappy Planet

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store