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 #19

(Nero; or The Fall of Rome)
(Luigi Maggi; 1909)

Produced by Turin's pioneering Film Ambrosio, Luigi Maggi's Nerone may not be as formally elaborate as the epics of Mario Caserini and Giovanni Pastrone . . . what is, in fact, extraordinary about Italian filmmaking in that period is how its scale vaulted in such a short amount of time; less than a decade . . . but it is a nascent example of the Italian film industry's preoccupation with Imperial Rome (in this case the Nero-Poppea saga), a model it would return to, far less artfully, several decades later with the endless Hercules/Ursus/Maciste/Atlas cycle.

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