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

The Art of Cinema #323


Harper
(Jack Smight; 1966)

(immense thanks to a brilliant writer, Shawn Levy, for this image)

7 comments :

blankemon said...

The poster art does a decent job of illustrating both why the film is such fun and yet a pretty crappy translation of Ross Macdonald's Lew Archer. The Drowning Pool is closer to Archer (Harper) as he is in the novels.

swac said...

And yet, Harper is the better film (I watched both back to back recently), go figure.

Although The Drowning Pool does have a pretty choice cast. Hard to go wrong with Murray Hamilton, Andy Robinson and Coral Browne.

blankemon said...

And a very effective Tony Franciosa. I prefer the Drowning Pool for skipping the William Goldman smart-aleck stuff. I still feel like no one has really done Archer for the movies. It's a bit puzzling.

Harper, as I said, is just really good fun - a great cast and it plays like a 60s comic-strip version of a Ross Macdonald novel. The Drowning Pool plays it straight, and while I like it very much, it has the problem of being similar to and coming out at the same time as Night Moves, which is in every way a superior film.

Mr DeBakey said...

I like to pair up films into double features - double features to run at the Cinema in my brain.

This one I see with the
Ipcress File.
Both featuring 60s cool loner-types on the case.

I also like how
They both open with the morning ritual
Our hero from stagger to swagger in one well-edited sequence.

Gerard Saylor said...

That's right. It's been several years since I saw Ipcress but that opening sequence still sticks in my head. Making coffee, eggs, retrieving that little .25 from under the pillow.

Vanwall said...

I'm afraid there will never be a good or even great Archer film - altho the times have become more adult in their treatment on sceen of most of the subjects Millar used as devices, Lew wasn't Batmannish enough.

R.H. said...

That thing's got half of Hollywood in it.