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 #116

Meshes of the Afternoon
(Maya Deren, Alexander Hammid; 1943)


Rob said...


swac said...

I can't count the number of times I've seen this particular image, yet I've never seen the actual film it's from. Seems to be a powerful icon for the early experimental film movement, while the film itself seems relatively inaccessible. Weird.

Tom Sutpen said...

I finally got to see "Meshes of the Afternoon" about 4 years ago when the Sundance Channel ran it, along with a number of other avant-garde American films from the 40s, 50s and 60s as part of some month-long festival they were doing (I may even still have a copy of it). Like you, I'd seen images from it, but the film itself never came within my orbit . . . and I'd seen a lot of that stuff over the years.

It's a damn good piece of filmmaking; sort of what a Cocteau film shot in L.A. would look like.