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 #691

The Train
(John Frankenheimer; 1965)


Vanwall said...

They don't make 'em like this anymore - an action movie with a literate flair, pitch perfect acting, and effin' awesome train wrecks. Michel Simon, (Vigo's choice for a pseudo-father from "L'Atlante"!!) as Papa Boule, is just wonderful, 'specially when he's reminiscing about a girl he knew from the Impressionist heydays, and for whose memory he
pays the ultimate sacrifice. Lancaster has more physical reality in this role than any other actor could portray - when he pours the babbit in the huge con-rod, files it, and then manhandles it back on to the engine, is pure Industrial Age poetry. Paul Scofield is possibly the most intelligently evil villain ever, and surely the baddest Nazi ever on screen. This movie made me love Frankenheimer, for sure.

peteski said...

This movie remains, albeit in pieces, in one of my serial nightmares. And that's after I saw it as a kid, on TV, more than 35 years ago. It's powerful stuff.

larasun said...

Burt Lancaster is so unique, sensual, virile, athletic and yet, very sensitive and graceful. Never tire of his performances.