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

The Art of Cinema #211


Cabiria
(Giovanni Pastrone; 1914)

8 comments :

Adam said...

Excellent weblog, gents. Keep these wonderful images coming.

My only complaints are:

1) Every time you reference comic books, I wince a little since it seems obvious that none of you know much of anything about them, except so far as in they name-drop Moxie or caricature cinema actors. Not really a problem, I guess, since insight into comics is not what I come here for. Not a big deal.

2) More of a big thing: Failing to credit the artists who created the art of the cheesecake pin-up is worse than, say, posting classic Playboy centerfolds and not crediting the woman photographed. If you find a really good piece of great pin-up art and you can't find a credit for who made it, ask someone for help - like me, for instance!

Aside from that, keep up the excellent work.

Tom Sutpen said...

Excellent weblog, gents. Keep these wonderful images coming.

Thanks! We shall.

My only complaints are:

Every time you reference comic books, I wince a little since it seems obvious that none of you know much of anything about them, except so far as in they name-drop Moxie or caricature cinema actors. Not really a problem, I guess, since insight into comics is not what I come here for. Not a big deal.


Wellll . . . I have to admit that my interest in Comic books didn't endure long past the age of 10, and what remained thereafter didn't (and doesn't) go far beyond their aesthetics . . . and even there I don't have much interest in anything past, say, 1960. I've never been what anyone, even I, could call a Comic book enthusiast.

By the way, we've never claimed any degree of expertise on any subject. Speaking for myself, I just try every idea I come up with. Some work, some don't.

More of a big thing: Failing to credit the artists who created the art of the cheesecake pin-up is worse than, say, posting classic Playboy centerfolds and not crediting the woman photographed. If you find a really good piece of great pin-up art and you can't find a credit for who made it, ask someone for help - like me, for instance!

Ah . . . well, here you truly have me, because for that series (American Pinup) I started off with a whole mess of Pinups that I downloaded, none of them credited. Since then I've obtained the necessary credits, but since I started off the series without them, I just decided to continue in the same vein.

A foul combo, in other words, of consistency and laziness.

Generally when you see a series where the images are uncredited it's because I wasn't able to find the information (I get 90% of what I post off the internet) . . . this is speaking solely for myself, by the way. Optimally, I would provide the necessary text wherever possible, but often it isn't.

Asking for assistance, on the other hand, is problematic. I'd love to think I could do it without difficulty, but I also know that (with the exception of a few people . . . and others like yourself who come forward like this) the level of contempt for both me and this blog among many fellow bloggers (mostly film bloggers) is so great, I am told, that any calls for assistance could just be invitations to sabotage (the last thing I need is to deal with childish pranks from elites who, in my case, have proven their capacity for sadism long ago), so I'm forced to rely largely on what I can divine by myself.

Aside from that, keep up the excellent work.

Thanks for both the kind words . . . and giving me an opportunity to address what might be a complaint of others as well.

Cheers!

swac said...

Just a note: the caricatures are from animated cartoons, not comics.

I collected comics for years, BTW. It's just not something I tend to post about. It's been over a year since we posted in our one ode to their pulpy goodness (The Roots of Pop Art), although I had been mulling over a Winsor McKay series...maybe I should get on that.

But we welcome your comments!

shahn said...

i don't think you have to have all the background of an image to appreciate it's aesthetic value. art is art, wherever you find it.

i'm glad to see this poster. this film was influencial to a lot of early filmmakers. if it hadn't been held over, what movies we might have been deprived of!

Tom Sutpen said...

i don't think you have to have all the background of an image to appreciate it's aesthetic value. art is art, wherever you find it.

Agreed! If you look at the earliest entries in, say, Seminal Image, you'll see that I wasn't even identifying what films they were from.

But . . . I'm aware that people want to know who was responsible for some of the artwork we throw on here, so I don't have any problem identifying the artist when possible.

As you can see, I'm of two minds on this.

i'm glad to see this poster. this film was influencial to a lot of early filmmakers. if it hadn't been held over, what movies we might have been deprived of!

Hear hear. I don't know how many of these early Italian epics survive, but if all of them aren't on DVD, then it's another bitter indictment of the Video racket.

I believe Cabiria was restored, in the last year, to a more or less definitive shape. Anyone know?

By the way, sixmartinis has fast become one of my favorite blogs. I salute you!

swac said...

Now if I could only see The Naked Truth...

Adam White said...

Dear Sirs,

Thanks for responding! Do you really have a problem with others holding this webblog in contempt to the point of attempting to sabotage your efforts? Considering how generally positive your blog is that seems a little nuts... but then again, this is the internet, and, come to think of it, maybe the gulf between self-appointed arbiters of correctnes among film and comics bloggers isn't as wide as I thought. The desire to crush what you can't or won't do yourself is ubiquitous.

Also - SWAC - a McKay series would be awesome. Apparently, in his early years, he went on the vaudeville circuit doing a show wherein he would either draw members of the audience or draw things called out from the audience in a quick sketch style. He was just that fast. Another cartoonist who died at the drawing board.

Thanks, and all the best. I'll be tuned in.

Chris Rywalt said...

Roger Ebert wrote about the restored Cabiria back in July 2006.