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

Robert Wise Dead at 91

Robert Wise, the director of The Sound of Music and Mystery in Mexico, died today at the age of 91.

Here are three obituaries:

The New York Times
The Associated Press
Reuters News Service

Anyone looking for a cinephile treatment of this subject needs to get a life.


swac said...

Seriously, I had no idea how to treat this one.

Maybe I'll stay in tomorrow and watch The Sand Pebbles.

Vanwall said...

When one of the biggies passes, I usually run down the list of their films I really like, and try real hard to remember them for these gems, and even the noble failures, rather than the usual crowd-pleasers that the press trumpets in the obits. I'll be able to use Wise's many wonderful and varied favorites of mine to deflect if not reduce the barrage of incoming "Sound of Music" and "West Side Story" kudos, like a battery of quasi-literary French 75s in quick-fire mode - frankly, I had enough of those rammed down my throat in music classes as a lad in school. Almost ruined popular music for me, and certainly not Wise's fault, but I avoided H'wood musicals for a good while. Hmmm. I see a link here to my soon-to-be found interest in silent film. Wise was truly gifted, and had the ability to cross genres and generations. I'll miss 'im.


Bill Chinaski said...

yeah, i was gonna write something on wise but i couldn't generate any interest in the project. i remember an anecdote where charlie chaplin stomped out of sound of music after 10 minutes, "disgusting"! he exclaimed . . .