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Rip Torn Kicks Norman Mailer's Ass - Maidstone
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x935ml_maidstone-norman-mailer-rip-torn-br_shortfilms“Maidstone” functions for the intelligentsia of the ’60s in much the same way that “Gimme Shelter,” Albert and David Maysles’s documentary about the Altamont festival, does for the counterculture.
In our diminished age, “Maidstone” provokes renewed amazement that artists ever really did such things, as well as nostalgia for the vivid presence of literary action heroes like Mailer. A bright thread of violence wound through the shooting, giving “Maidstone” its ominous air and notorious climax. At one point, Rosset emerged from his house to find a drunken Villechaize drowning in the pool; then come the last three minutes, which guarantee “Maidstone” a kind of immortality as one very late night in a so-called “Assassination Ball,” where Mailer/Kingsley, in top hat and tails, no attempt on his life was staged. The next day the cast decompress and use up leftover film. Pennebaker’s camera focuses on Rip Torn, who removes a hammer from a backpack, strides over to Mailer and hits him on the head twice, announcing: “You are supposed to die, Mr. Kingsley. You must die, not Mailer. I don’t want to kill Mailer, but I must kill Kingsley in the picture.” Shocked, Mailer wrestles him to the ground, and they roll down the hill in an ugly tussle, Mailer biting Torn’s ear as Mailer’s wife and children scream. Finally separated, the two bloodied men walk at a wary distance from each other, Mailer hurling curses, Torn explaining calmly: “When — when is an assassination ever planned? It’s done, it’s done.” The sequence ends with Torn calling Mailer “a fraud” and pointing a finger at the camera, taunting, “Hoo hoo!”Rip Torn took Mailer’s premise more seriously than Mailer himself and acted them out, in the process both stealing Mailer’s film and making it for him. The scenario slipped away as things devolved into a saturnalia, “a psychic pigout” in the words of one participant, and a dangerous one. His bullyragging, mock-seductive treatment of the nakedly needy actresses “auditioning” made my skin crawl.