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

Movie of the Week #17


My Name is Oona
(Gunvor Grundel Nelson; 1969)

Far less critical of gender roles than her other work (that which I've seen at any rate), Gunvor Nelson's My Name is Oona emerged as one of the loveliest works in American cinema of the late 1960s (a time when you could use such terms as 'poetic' and 'cinema' in the same sentence and still maintain a straight face), and remains so to this minute. In writing about this film Amos Vogel judged Nelson 'the true poetess of visual cinema'; and while that may or may not be true . . . Vogel's declaration is too sweeping even for me, much as I incline towards it . . . no film of hers is at once so dazzling in form or effortless in its lyricism. And like all such films, it could not have been made in a time other than its own.

1 comment :

shahn said...

what a fantastic film! any clue on how much influence steve reich had on the soundtrack? is there anything else guvnor nelson has made that has a similar musical punch?