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 #171


Cyrano et d'Artagnan
(Abel Gance; 1963)

3 comments :

Rob said...

Wasn't this in color? It was quite beautiful, but I've heard from my French in-laws that the dialog is quite down to earth, which doesn't come thru on the subtitles. In addition, I've always hated the European practice of dubbing, which makes viewing some of my favorite films a little frustrating, as I always have that in the back of my mind.

BCNU

Tom Sutpen said...

Rob wrote:

Wasn't this in color?

*****
It was, but a film that obscure, you're lucky to find even a B&W still. I just thought I'd post that one for folks who thought Gance only directed "Napoleon".

It was quite beautiful, but I've heard from my French in-laws that the dialog is quite down to earth, which doesn't come thru on the subtitles. In addition, I've always hated the European practice of dubbing, which makes viewing some of my favorite films a little frustrating, as I always have that in the back of my mind.

*****
Well, dubbing used to be routinely conducted in a haphazard fashion; to the point where the disembodied voices al ost seem to be more connected to another movie than the one you're watching. They're a little bit better at it now.

Kingo Gondo said...

Tom, do you have stills from the silent version of J'Accuse!? I thought it was a great film, as much of it as I could see on my crappily dubbed multi-generation VHS dupe (with French titles--and I don't speak or read French).

The last time I looked it was not in print anywhere, including France--what a disgrace for them, and a loss for us all.