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 Crime Fiction #6


Red Harvest (Dell Pocket Books, 1943)

Sex Education #30


Gene Tierney

The Art of Cinema #58


Roscoe's reutrn (1932)

Seminal Image #196


God's Little Acre
(Anthony Mann; 1958)

Prodotti #8


Lord (poster for hats, 1930)

Funny how something as simple as a fedora ad can appear menacing in these art deco illustrations. I've really got to make the next installment that creepy toothpaste ad...

The Art of the Centerfold #3


Dinah Willis
(Miss December, 1965)

Adventures in American Filmmaking #28


Today's Adventure: Jerry Lewis Checks the Video Assist Unit
on the Set of The Patsy (1964)

Ancient Voices #4


Uncle Dave Macon

Seminal Image #195


A Face in the Crowd
(Elia Kazan; 1957)

The Golden Age of Prurience #18


Blondes Don't Give a Damn
(by Michael Skinner)
(Kozy Books; 1963)

El Cine Del Oro #9


La Marca del Zorrillo (The Mark of the Skunk)
(Gilberto M. Solares, 1950)

Selling the Silents #14


From the 1927 Paramount release book
"Never has a star leaped into instant popularity as has Eddie Cantor with his marvelous comedy performance in 'Kid Boots.'
The masses of movie fans have taken him to their hearts. In answer to unanimous demand from exhibitors and the public, Paramount now presents eddie Cantor in his second elaborate comedy production -- 'Love Letters.'
The hilarious adventures of a letter carrier who gets love letters mixed up with surprising results, packed with the inimitable Cantor gags."
Love Letters would eventually surface as Special Delivery, directed by none other than Roscoe Arbuckle under his pseudonym "William Goodrich" with a cast that included William Powell and Harold Lloyd's frequent costar Jobyna Ralston (also soon to be Mrs. Richard Arlen). Sadly, I haven't seen Special Delivery, but I have seen Kid Boots, which is surprisingly funny, considering how important Cantor's vocal personality was to his act; on stage, radio and in his later sound films for Goldwyn. His silents are a promising start, to be sure.

The Art of Cinema #57


Le Trou
(The Hole)
(Jacques Becker; 1960)

Seminal Image #194


The Naked Kiss
(Samuel Fuller; 1964)

This Week's Weegee #12

When Legends Gather #31


Members of The Black Panther Party for Self Defense and Marlon Brando

Seminal Image #193


Double Indemnity
(Billy Wilder; 1944)

This Week's Sargent #7


Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose (1886)

The Art of the Centerfold #2


Eleanor Bradley
(Miss February, 1959)

Seminal Image #192


Kitchen
(Andy Warhol; 1965)

The Art of Songwriting #8


The Alcoholic Blues (Some Blues)
Music: Albert Von Tilzer
Lyrics: Edward Laska
(Broadway Music Corporation; 1919)

The Art of Cinema #56


He Who Gets Slapped
(Victor Seastrom; 1924)

Ancient Voices #3


Lizzie Douglas (aka Memphis Minnie)

The Art of the Centerfold #1


Melba Ogle
(Miss July, 1964)

Seminal Image #191


Le Testament d'Orphée, ou ne me demandez pas pourquoi!
(The Testament of Orpheus)
(Jean Cocteau; 1960)

The Art of Present Day Dissent #1

The Art of Civil War #1


Brigadas Internacionales (1936)

Sir John Mills: 1908-2005


Great Expectations (Alec Guinness as Herbert Pocket, John Mills as Pip Pirrip)
(David Lean, 1946)

The consumate British actor, Sir John Mills, whose work with Anthony Asquith, Carol Reed, Noel Coward and, most importantly, David Lean, added up to one of the screen's more consistent film careers, died on Saturday at 97.

As you might expect, the BBC obituaries and tributes offer the best coverage of Mills' passing at this point.

Seminal Image #190


Roxie Hart
(William A. Wellman; 1942)

They Were Collaborators #44


Manufacturing soul: Atlantic records' studio (1969)
Ted White, Aretha Franklin, Jerry Wexler, Neshui Ertegun, Ahmet Ertegun.

Stacks o' Wax #3


Harpo at Work (1958)

I initially meant this series to represent what ever outre piece of vinyl I happened to pick up over the past week, but I couldn't resist posting this particular cover, a rare colour photo of everyone's favourite mute clown, the highlight of what is otherwise a fairly innoccuous collection of harp instrumentals.
Besides, this week's find, a collection of fascist Italian songs called "Il Duce!" released in the early '70s via "Oakleaf Ventures" seems a dubious prospect for online veneration (unless someone really wants to see it).

I'm still on the lookout for this disc's predecessor, Harpo in Hi-Fi. One of these days...

This Week's Hopper #7


The Circle Theater (1936)

The Art of Cinema #55


Le Charme discret de la bourgeoisie
(The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie)
(Luis Buñuel; 1972)

Adventures in American Filmmaking #27


Today's Adventure: Anthony Mann Holds a Razor to Gary Cooper's
Throat on the Set of Man of the West (1958)

Cyd Charisse Salad, anyone?


Jerry Beck's Cartoon Brew pointed me towards this eBay auction for a 1958 MGM Studios commissary menu. His main interest was the fact that it used familiar MGM cartoon characters a year after the studio had closed its animation studio, but I was more fascinated by the celebrity dishes. I guess by this point Louis B. Mayer's beloved fin & hattie was no longer a commissary staple...

When Legends Gather #30


Paul Whiteman (the King of Jazz) and Louis Prima

The Art of the Piano #7


Blue Goose Rag
(by Raymond Birch; aka Charles Leslie Johnson)
(F.J.A. Forster; 1916)

Seminal Image #189


Red Dust
(Victor Fleming; 1932)

This Week's Weegee #11

Ancient Voices #3


Rev. Gary Davis

The Golden Age of Prurience #17


Confidential (Nov. 1955)

Other stories of note:
"Memo to Gloria de Haven--Remember when you were misbehavin' with Jeff Chandler? (It's pretty tough to be discrete with a car as flashy as a tan and cream convertible--or a man as huge as prematurely-grey Jeff Chandler!)"

"The inside story of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis...Broadway's $5,000,000 Brush-Off! (Broke and scared, Jerry cried like a baby, and begged for a job. But once he and Dean were teamed up, the two madcaps tied a can to the man who gave them their start.)"

When Legends Gather #29


Groucho Marx and Marlene Dietrich
snapped on the lot by Paramount photographer Hyman Fink

El Cine Del Oro #8


El Hombre Sin Rostro
(J. Bustillo Oro, 1950)

They Were Collaborators #43


The Goodies (Bill Oddie, Graeme Garden and Tim Brooke-Taylor)
Do the funky gibbon...

Seminal Image #188


The Unknown
(Tod Browning; 1927)

Ancient Voices #2


Dock Boggs

The Golden Age of Prurience #16


Lust Be My Destiny
(by Fletcher Bennett)
(Playtime Books; 1962)

Ancient Voices #1


Emmett Miller

Seminal Image #187


The Lady from Shanghai
(Orson Welles; 1948)

(mucho thanks to Bob Keser for this image)

They Were Collaborators #42


The Mothers of Invention