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

Artists in Action #189


Andre de Toth gestures.

6 comments :

Stacia said...

I remember seeing Andre de Toth complain about Hitchcock, on a TCM or A&E biography type show. In the interview, he said Hitchcock's movies were like Hitchcock himself: fat and lazy. I thought he was being a jerk, personally. What if a skinny guy had made Hitchcock's films, what epithet would he have said then?

swac said...

That the plots were thin?

BTW...another de Toth has hit DVD: Play Dirty with Michael Caine. It's late career stuff, but I've heard good things about it so far...

Tom Sutpen said...

I was going to say he'd use the word 'undernourished', but I like yours better.

Could be a personal animus. De Toth and Hitchcock both worked at Warner Brothers around the same time (1953 or thereabouts). Perhaps they had a contretemps in the cafeteria line?

Play Dirty is, to me, one of de Toth's very best films. It's like a meaner, leaner reworking of The Dirty Dozen, but bereft of all sentimentality (added to which, Caine's performance is an interesting echo of his work in Cyril Endfield's Zulu).

swac said...

I just got my copy in the mail, and I can't wait to watch it. I haven't been disappointed by his work yet (and still haven't seen Ramrod or Dark Waters, among others).

Stacia said...

I've heard "Play Dirty" is amazing, thanks for the head's up that it's on DVD now. I'd never have expected it.

You're right, of course, de Toth would have simply come up with some other appearance-based insult.

Vanwall said...

"Play Dirty" was always a fave of mine, mostly for Caine and Davenport, but it's one of few films of that genre' - the mercenary films from the '60s - that still wears well all these years later. As for deToth, he always seems a bit full of himself, or something, in interviews.