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 #383

(Richard Quine; 1954)


Vanwall said...

That was back when Freddy Mac was an actor - he was perfect for film noir, and it was too bad he became a stereotyped hack. He put in some marvelous performances, and I'm glad to see most of the material shown lately is his early superior wor, and not his Disney and later dreck.

Brent McKee said...

The story is that the reaction of one fan who wrote in over The Apartment and said that she'd never attend another one of his movies after he appeared in that "obscene" production was what drove him to dreck. Of course it didn't hurt that he was one of the richest actors in Hollywood thanks to his prudent investment strategy.

Anonymous said...

Jean-Pierre Melville called MacMurray, with real admiration, the master of underplaying.

But let us spare a kind word too for director Quine, very underrated in his time and thereafter his stuff squeezed into pan and scanned late show reruns. Now many of the films are nicely restored and widescreened on dvd (tho not alas Pushover as yet), and a revelation, consistently smart, funny, blissfully romantic, and gorgeous in their saturated colors, lush widescreen compositions and weightless camera movements. His career withered by the end of the '60s and he personally came to a bad end as I recall.

Vanwall said...

Quine was very underrated, that's for sure. Bell, Book, and Candle is one of my favorites! Eerily, he was married to the beautiful and also doomed Susan Peters, one of my favorite Hollywood Babes. Damn she was beautiful! So Sad.