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

Similar Images #7

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
(Robert Wiene; 1920)

(James Whale; 1931)


Vanwall said...

"Frankenstein" had its moments of a rather mechanical beauty, intended I'm sure, but nothing was like "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" for sheer astonishing visuals - every scene was like a work of art, even the most pedestrian ones. When everyone had to communicate visually back then, most pics were treading carefully and threw a few feints - "Caligari" was almost brute force, with a number of knockouts.

swac said...

I know I was being Captain Obvious with this particular post, but rewatched both recently, and felt compelled to put them up.

You're right, there are very few scenes in Caligari that aren't striking in some way, heck even the intertitles are visually impressive. Frankenstein still stands up for me though, although I'm still trying to figure out why the hell John Boles is in that picture.

Jared said...

This is a similar idea, but with much tighter framing. (Speaking of astonishing images.)

swac said...

Oh to be sure, and I don't doubt Caligari was an obvious influence in both cases.

Although I still wonder if Cocteau saw the Popeye cartoon in a previous installment of this series...

Richard Gibson said...

Excellent stuff!