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

Selling the Silents #20


Hazards of the Jungle
(Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack; 1927)

From the 1927 Paramount release book
"A startling chronicle of death-defying adventure. The surprise special of the season. See it and then book it."
Hazards of the Jungle would become the more enigmatically named documentary Chang from the adventure-seeking team of Cooper and Schoedsack, before they went on to creating their own adventures in fiction films like King Kong and The Most Dangerous Game.

3 comments :

Richard Gibson said...

Do you remember when 'Jurassic Park' came out? Everyone in the main stream film press was raging out the special effects, well I forget who it was but it could have been Scorsese said this was all good stuff but 'King Kong' was more realistic because they game him more emotion than CGI created creatures. They showed a clip of Kong scratching his head...

I remember 'Mighty Joe Young' from when I was a child but I haven't seen this one or any of the others that Cooper and Shoedsack were involved in. Maybe a film about their exploits would be better than Hollywood seemingly continually remaking 'King Kong'? That said I think the expectation is higher with Peter Jackson.

swac said...

I remember Scorsese's comments, wish I knew which show that was (might have been ET, when they let Maltin do more interesting stuff).

I think there's a Cooper/Schoedsack documentary being produced for the deluxe Kong DVD set, I'm not sure if it's Kevin Brownlow doing it, although that would make sense.

But their early "primative" films are definitely worth seeing, Chang, Grass and so on. There's also a wealth of interesting material on this pair (I've seen some of Cooper's home movies...he had a real thing for wrestling with people.)

Richard Gibson said...

http://www.dvdtown.com/announcement/kingkongondvd/2165/

This release looks very interesting, thanks for brining it to my attention Stephen. Would like to see more of their stuff but seem as usual limited availability in UK.