Norman Mailer’s movies: Revisiting Maidstone, Wild 90, and Beyond the Law - Slate Magazine:
Norman Mailer's experimental narratives will remain intriguing curiousities , examples of what happens when a brilliant writer attempts to conquer another medium that he has no natural affinity with. Mailer could talk a good game, to be sure, and he demonstrated skill as a film critic--his essay on "Last Tango in Paris" is especially sharp and eloquant on the task of getting to an existential moment within a developing storyline--but his improvisational forays seemed stoned and foolish. "Tough Guys Don;t Dance", not a film I recommend looking for a satisfying murder mystery, does rise above the rest for having a budget and some professional polish. It is awkward, but it does have wierdness to it that Mailer might have developed, ala David Lynch.Lynch, though,has his own problems , with dead camera tonality descending , with continued viewing, from strangeness to mere tedium.