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 #464


Buster Keaton sits at the bar.

11 comments :

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

He's not drinking Simon Pure -- the sponsor will not be pleased.

Feta said...

If this doesn't qualify Buster for the cool hall of fame, I don't know what will.

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

Looking at this picture again...it's almost like Buster was appearing in a noir film.

swac said...

Part of me wishes he'd done more out-of-character character roles. I'm not really sure where this photo was taken, likely during some TV production.

Lowell said...

Is this a still from a movie or is it Buster in real life?

Tom Sutpen said...

After his bouts with the bottle, I hope it's a still . . . unless he was booked to do a guest shot on Jimmy Durante's television show. In that case, a fall from the wagon has almost biological inevitability to it.

swac said...

Judging by the bright light in the background, I'm guessing this is a candid shot from the set of a TV production.

For example, he was the star of a 1960 episode of Sunday Showcase titled After Hours, directed by Sidney Lumet, which this image might suggest (but if you look through his TV credits, there are a few other roles that might fit the bill.

Lowell said...

Thanks to Tom Sutpen and swac. I am going to conclude: still from a TV production. Wouldn't it be great if one knew which one and if it were still available? Lowell

swac said...

Okay, I've got it sussed. This is from the set of The Silent Partner, an episode of Screen Director's Playhouse from 1955, which also featured Zasu Pitts, Joe E. Brown, Jack Elam, Snub Pollard and Bob Hope (it's set on the night of the Academy Awards). There's a very descriptive plot summary on that IMDb page, now I just have to track down a copy!

swac said...

...and this just in: it turns out there is a DVD combining The Silent Partner with Keaton's charming National Film Board of Canada short The Railrodder (which was partially filmed on a beach not far from where I grew up).

Lowell said...

Many thanks to swac for rapid, productive research. (Free advice to any others who, like me, are both Buster and Beckett fans: Beckett's short piece for Buster is adisappointment.) Lowell