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 #634

Miller's Crossing
(Joel Coen; 1990)


Vanwall said...

I love when the kid steals Rug's rug and he runs down the alley with the little dog barking at his heels. Snappy dialogue all the way thru, and excellent camera angles - the best Hammett to make it to the screen.

Richard Gibson said...


Yaniv said...

- Maybe it was injuns what did it.
- Eye-tyes, more like.

Vanwall said...

"What's the disposition?"

"We're ahead, for the nonce."

"What's the score?"

"4 to 1. Dana Cudahey went up with the house."


"One burned."

"The others?"

"Lead....The old man's still an artist with the Thompson."

Tom Sutpen said...

"Lazarre said he's sorry about this. It's just been getting out of hand"


"He likes you, Tom. He said we didn't have to break anything."

"Yeah. Okay Tell him no hard feelings."

"Christ, Tom. He knows that"

Is there any dialogue in that film which isn't quotable?

Vanwall said...

It isn't just the dialogue, it's how well it's spoken by every however-minor actor. Take David Darlow's delivery in that scene with Lazarre's men and Tom - it's a model for how that should be done, with perfect expressions and small movements that complement the lines. That exchange begins with "Got any money?" and it's got as sophisticated yet hard-boiled a performance as you'll ever see and hear.

Marcia Gay Harden's best work was on this film, and she'll never be bettered for Chandler-Hammettese by anyone else - equaled, maybe, but never bettered.

Cem said...

Leo gets your sister, what're you selling me?

C'mon Tom, its not like that at all. Wasn't
my idea. She'll sleep with anyone, you know
that. She's even tried to teach me a thing or
two about bed artistry. Can you believe that--my
own sister! Some crackpot idea about saving me
from my friends. . .

Bernie laughs pleasantly.

She's a sick twist all right. I guess some
guys like that.

She speaks highly of you.

Bernie shrugs.

Yeah, well, you stick by your family.