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

The Art of Cinema #34

The Thin Man (1934)
If the pre-code era had to end, at least it went out with a bang with this late-cycle entry that's the epitome of wit and sophistication in Hollywood. Apparently Louis B. Mayer didn't think Loy was right for the role, and thought Powell was too old, but luckily W.S. Van Dyke thought differently after working with them on Manhattan Melodrama. With instinctive decision-making ability like that, I'm amazed Mayer lasted as long as he did in pictures.

I love lobby cards. They're simple, eloquent and, I can't stress this enough, cheap to frame. But often the use of one well-chosen photograph, and perhaps a smattering of design, can say volumes about the film it's promoting. And I'd be lying if I didn't say my eyes didn't mist up at the sight of Myrna Loy...if ever there was a Perfect Woman in the history of cinema, she's it. Sure, Jean Harlow and Clara Bow would be fun for a while, but you would almost taste the bitter end even at the very beginning of it all. Loy would be in it for the long haul.


Anonymous said...
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swac said...


Tom Sutpen said...

Just a word to prospective Comment-wielders:

This forum has room for practically anything . . . but not spam; never spam. The comment we deleted was just such an exercise and, because of our vigilance and the help of MSN messenger, we resolved as one to thwart the malevolent machinations of the wily intruder in our midst.

In complete seriousness: We really don't want any Spam on this blog. If you've got a link you imagine our readers will be interested in, send it to either of us first.

We now return to "The Thin Man"; already in progress.

Ivan G. said...

That'll teach 'em! Away with you, Spam evildoers!!! You have no power here!