The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Seminal Image #73

The Entertainer (Tony Richardson; 1960)


swac said...

Ah, for a cool glass of draft Bass ale.

Tom Sutpen said...

I'm more a Guinness man meself, but no matter.

I've always loved Olivier's final line in "The Entertainer". It's not only a great piece of writing, but he delivers it with an unrelenting, almost triumphant bitterness that I think lays near the heart of everyone, talented or no, who has to get up in front of a faceless public and perform for their daily bread:

"You've been a good audience. A very . . . good . . . audience. Let me know where you're working tomorrow night. I'll come and see you."

(by the way, Stephen . . . what is up with that Profile Photo? At first I thought it was a still from one of them flashback scenes in "Midnight Cowboy")

swac said...

The photo is just me...back when life was simple and my earliest cinematic memories included The Jungle Book, Universal horror movies and this one night when my dad woke me up in the wee hours to watch Flash Gordon serials on the late show.

As for The Entertainer...probably my favourite Olivier work...but what's so bad about moving to Canada?

Tom Sutpen said...

Stephen wrote:

As for The Entertainer...probably my favourite Olivier work...but what's so bad about moving to Canada?

Who am I to say, living as I do in the American Athens.

Could be that ol' Archie was just bemoaning the absence of Music Halls to work in. I heard they opened one in Ottwa back in the 30s, but after a successful first couple of weeks, a moose got in while the joint was closed and died on the stage.

Things were never the same after that.