Tropic of Cancer
Available on DVD for the first time, this is the 1970 adaptation of Henry Miller’s novel set at the end of the 1960s rather than the 1930s when the book was originally published. It nevertheless captures the irreverence of Miller’s style in its own haphazard approach, while also working well as a time capsule of Paris during the moment in which it was filmed. There is nothing formally ingratiating here, as director Joseph Strick offers a rough and ready aesthetic that gives us a strong sense of a character drifting at a time when it had become a common post-’68 life choice. It’s a strange combination of 1930s self-definition meeting late 1960s lifestyle choices, following the hand-to-mouth existence of Rip Torn’s central character, a man living for sex and writing, who eats when he can, drinks when he can afford it and lives the contingent life of an American writer in Paris. This is a US import and Region 1 encoded, so requires a multiplayer DVD. Minimal extras.