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 #504


He Who Gets Slapped
(Victor Seastrom; 1924)

6 comments :

Vanwall said...

One of my favorite silents, not too hammy at all, and awesome clown work. The title alone is one of the best ever. ;-)

Mike Mercury said...

The first Chaney film I saw outside of his Hunchback and Phantom films. It made me realise what a superb actor he was, and set me on my quest to see everything else that remains of his work.

The version I saw was, I seem to recall, from a Swedish print with a Swedish orchestra - who were superb in their accompaniment. An example of how the appropriate music can make or break a silent film....

slyboots2 said...

I thought that Norma was forbidden hereabouts.

swac said...

Chaney trumps pretty much everything, rules wise.

Tom Sutpen said...

Did we forbid Norma Shearer images? If we did I've totally forgotten it (as well as the rationale).

Whatever it was, I'm officially lifting the ban forthwith.

swac said...

We didn't ban her...but I remember one reader (a visitor from alt.movies.silent, I believe) having a violent reaction to her visage.