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 #449

Somewhere in the Night
(Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1946)


Vanwall said...

Fritz Kortner, the ultimate German ham, (Oh Pabst, where art thou in my hour of need?) and the sadly doomed and seriously underrated John Hodiak, dueling for control of stolen Nazi dough - ah, a favorite of mine, as it was the first one my pal Mouse and I saw together in the late 1960s, in a creaky old theater, now long gone, showing revivals of "important and influential films of the past". When you're as young as we were, everything seemed out of the past, and possibly even of some importance, but she had a real hunger for films that were different, and this fit the bill for her, and me, quite nicely. Joe Mankiewicz became a fave of mine, too, from this one, and I still think it's one of the best of the first wave of noir films - I think I'll watch again right away! Thanks for the memories!

swac said...

I watched this on the weekend, it's a doozy of a noir. Richard Conte, Lloyd Nolan in full wisecracking mode, Nancy Guild doing a pretty decent faux-Bacall (hard to believe she was only 19 here), Whit Bissell as a shifty bartender, Sheldon Leonard in a wife-beater, a German psychic, snappy Mankiewicz dialogue, and a plot that doesn't make a lick of sense at the end of the day. I'm glad Fox has been doing justice to its library lately. Too bad Columbia doesn't follow suit.