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

Adventures in American Filmmaking #75:
John Wayne 100th Birthday Edition

Today's Adventure: John Wayne (aka Singin' Sandy) rides a crane while
directing The Alamo (1960)


DaydreamSupercollider said...

John Wayne...I love his voice. Red River is my favorite of his films...just beautifully rendered.

kittman said...

One of the Duke films I liked best was IN HARMS WAY. Especially the scenes with Kirk Douglas, it was a 'who can out mancho who' kind of encounter.

Brent McKee said...

"In Harm's Way" is my least favourite John Wayne film (of course I've never seen "The Conqueror") but it has absolutely nothing to do with Wayne's performance. It's more a reaction to Preminger's total mangling of World War II history, the story of Pearl Harbor and the absurd appearance of the women in the film in what amounted to 1960's style. An absolute mess but I did like Wayne and Douglas.

swac said...

I have one of those Goodtimes DVDs of The Conqueror.

Ya gotta see it to believe it.

kittman said...

I just said I really liked IN HARMS WAY. I watched it again last night and I'm going to change my mind. Was Preminger on drugs when he made that. The aussie sitting in that fake tree right over the Japanese eating a hershey bar, wow was that terrible, and Preminger using wooden ships in the final big battle. Certainly they had a enough stock footage to show some real ships. I don't understand what was going on. Evidently he was spending his own money.

swac said...

"Was Preminger on drugs when he made that."

Maybe...could have been doing research for SKIDOO.

Tom Sutpen said...

Unless I'm wrong, Stephen, this wasn't too long before Preminger actually did experiment with LSD (I believe that was in '67), was it?

Personally I'm willing to believe this chemical flirtation is what knocked Preminger's judgement as a filmmaker off its rails after 1965 (there has to be some reason).

In Harm's Way, however, is quite a good film, despite some incredibly garish patches. Not as good as what came before, but leagues better than almost everything that followed it (two exceptions: the flawed masterpieces Bunny Lake is Missing and The Human Factor)

swac said...

Skidoo came out in 1968, but it had a long, tortured production history, and I'm guessing Paramount sat on it for a bit while figuring out what the hell to do with it. Although it's not the most reliable source of info, the IMDb says Preminger became interested in LSD following his son Erik's description of life in Greenwich Village, so he was at least aware of it early on.

Funnily enough, In Harm's Way is playing on the TV in Skidoo's opening scenes, while God's yacht is actually John Wayne's, borrowed by Preminger for the film.