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 #607


42nd St.
(Lloyd Bacon, Busby Berkeley; 1932)

4 comments :

Vanwall said...

Fun and frolics - The ultimate Busby Berkeley extravaganza, with a crackerjack cast. I'm not a big musical fan, but this one is more than just a musical, it's the real prototype for a whole genre of films that were primarily aimed at women - an acknowledgment, I believe, by the Studios of the huge profit potential of a market that was woefully under-served until this point. If they brought in family members, so much the better, and let's face it, beats a western in a gal's view anytime, I'll bet.

slyboots2 said...

Not this gal. But I did really enjoy some of the really cool tricks they played with lights, cameras and action.

But High Noon beats the pants off of this one.

Vanwall said...

As a movie, I can't dispute the comparison, but the dancing is quite superior in 42nd Street. ;-)
My grandmother, who passed away recently at 98, had plenty to say on the ratio of bad westerns to even mediocre musicals, or for that matter, dramas that appealed to her, that were available for viewing in the smaller venues before the war. She wasn't a big fan of horse operas, anyway, I think because she was a westerner herself; she never did like the portrayal of cowboys, and I must say, I looked for something different in a western myself.

Birch said...

I'm young and healthy, and you've got charms...

I love this movie. It has a lot of sly and cynical notes, and the ending is quite downbeat. Plus the title song is killer:
The big parade goes on for years
It's a rhapsody of laughter and tears
Naughty, bawdy, gaudy, sporty
Forty-second Street