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

Similar Images #3

Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler
(Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler)
(Fritz Lang; 1922)

Gold Diggers of 1935
(Busby Berkeley; 1935)


Vanwall said...

This is so cool - nice pairing! Was it swiped or just parallel evolution?

Tom Sutpen said...

It's hard to tell for sure. The idealist in me wants to say it's parallel evolution; part of the natural development of a more sophisticated, yet common, cinematic language (which, I think, is what this series implies). But there are an awful lot of Germanic echoes throughout Berkeley's Lullaby of Broadway sequence. It's possible he was influenced by Lang, I suppose. Unfortunately, Berkeley rarely strayed beyond showbiz platitudes in interviews and, best of my knowledge, never spoke with any specificity of his cinematic tastes.

I guess it's an open question.