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 #11

Footlight Parade
(Lloyd Bacon, Busby Berkeley; 1933)

The Ladies Man
(Jerry Lewis; 1961)


Christopher said...

good one..good observation..

Geoff said...

see also: Jacques Tati's Playtime

globeglauber said...

According to filmmaker Bernard Queysanne, his friend and collaborator Georges Perec who loved "Ladies Man" was possibly inspired by it (and by its real size dollhouse set) for his book "La Vie mode d'emploi" ["Life: A User's Guide"] (1978) in which the writer describes a parisian apartment block as if the facade was removed.

> cf. >

Mike S. said...

We've got to be in bed before eleven.
Naturally, we think it's very swell,
'Cause every little bridal suite is heaven
At the Honeymoon Hotel...

Fabulous pre-Code Busby Berkeley at his wildest. Genius unfettered and soaring in the "Honeymoon Hotel" number and "By a Waterfall," with its undulating nymphs and Freudian imagery. I show it to my community college students every semester, and after a few snickers at corny Dick Powell they start to ooh and aah at the kaleidoscopes onscreen. Even my jaded media-saturated kids get a jolt out of the Berkeley magic.

I never tried the Jerry Lewis, though.

Thanks, Tom!

Max Allan Collins said...

THE LADIES' MAN is one of Jerry's best, right in there with THE NUTTY PROFESSOR. Those two movies, plus THE BELLBOY and maybe THE PATSY, are the explanation for why the French get it and certain Americans don't.

swac said...

I've only watched The Ladies Man on laserdisc, where the unmatted image exposes the top of the set, killing the illusion. I really need to get the DVD.

M said...

I think I might have to make this a double feature. Thanks for the accidental rental tips!

Sosie Vidal said...

also, this is very similar to Godard's "factory set" in Tout va bien.