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 #605


Manhunter
(Michael Mann; 1986)

9 comments :

Vanwall said...

I don't care what anybody says, Tom Noonan and Brian Cox were the best psycho killers ever on the screen - one was perfect menace, the other pure evil.

Richard Gibson said...

It's a long time since I saw this but in the week when 'Hannibal Rises' is released here in the UK this seems infinately more appealing...

swac said...

Shame the film was butchered by De Laurentiis, removing most of the references to Blake's Red Dragon, which was the killer's motivating avatar.

The fact the film survives the cuts is remarkable.

Tom Sutpen said...

I never understood that. Beyond DeLaurentiis's propensity for cutting, he was seriously threatening to undermine any rational motivation Mann's killer had (and Mann's principals, be they law-enforcement or law-breaker, always have a rational basis for their actions, however seemingly twisted), which would have sent the film spiralling into the bloo-drenched freak-show bin other Thomas Harris adaptations almost always fall into. Was it a case where Mann turned in a too-lengthy cut, or was it just De Laurentiis at his most arbitrary?

Tom Sutpen said...

I don't care what anybody says, Tom Noonan and Brian Cox were the best psycho killers ever on the screen - one was perfect menace, the other pure evil.

Hear hear! I had occasion to watch this film again about a year ago, and after all those increasingly stupid Antony Hopkins turns as Hannibal Lecter I was stunned by how Brian Cox invested so much menace in that character with so little detail. Since both actors come from roughtly the same sort of theatrical background, you have to conclude that Cox simply has better instincts than the more-celebrated Welshman.

slyboots2 said...

All I know is that I'll never listen to In A Ganna Da Vida the same way ever again.

swac said...

With any luck, I'll never listen to In A Gadda Da Vida again, period.

Vanwall said...

William Petersen had to carry a fair amount of this film, as well, and was never better, plus the supporting cast was uniformly excellent, but Joan Allen was a revelation.

Regarding IAGDV: actually, Stephen, I cherish its excesses - but then, with tinfoil over the windows, blacklights and posters, and a fine young thing...I guess you had to be there.

BCNU

swac said...

Yeah, I try to limit my use of tinfoil to headgear...

Petersen was great in this film, compare him to Ed Norton's relatively flat version of the same character in Red Dragon, which is more faithful to the book, but concocted by a hack.

There's an episode of CSI where they bring in Noonan for a bit of stunt casting as a bad guy, but it's still a fine episode.

Oddly enough, I have a pass to see a preview screening of Hannibal Rising tonight, but I think I'd rather chew tinfoil (bringing this post full circle).

BTW...among all the myriad reasons why Hannibal (both the book and the movie) was a steaming pile of donkey droppings is the fact that Will Graham's name doesn't come up once over the course of the story. You'd think they'd at least put in a phone call to the guy who put Lector away the first time...sheesh.