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 Friday #5:
30 from 3 by Yoshishige Yoshida

from Erosu purasu Gyakusatsu
(Eros plus massacre; 1969)

from Rengoku eroica
(Heroic Purgatory; 1970)

from Kaigenrei
(Coup d'etat; 1973)


Vanwall said...

This continuing series of brilliant images, it's fantastic - it elevates your blog beyond awesome, to a kind of sublime transcendence. Damn this is great stuff! Keep up the good work, Tom!

Tom Sutpen said...

Thank you, Rob!

Z said...

wow! I feel like there's way too much stuff around me all the time now. Huzzah for all the negative space. Gonna have to check this out.

alx said...

What an incredible post! I'm so glad to be reminded of those films as I'm suddenly reminded of what cinema can be in the hands of artists.

I seldom leave comments, but this series of images is why I come and visit your site every single day. Thanks for posting this.

H. P. L. said...

I found especially interesting the second movie. Urban industrial alienation, eh? My kinda stuff. I'll have to check it out.

justjack said...

Really gorgeous screen captures; I can't fathom that they are not carefully composed stills, but in fact are moments in time taken from moving pictures.

Also, they are a supreme tribute to the rule of thirds.

I see (or rather, feel) elements of Kurosawa and Ford, but there's far more sensuality in these images than one would find in those old masters. Stunning.

Grebs said...


idodialog said...

I've seen a few of Yoshishige Yoshida's films. They appear to emerge from a sensibilty akin to Ozu (for whom Yoshida worked). But his works also include rather tedious suburban melodramas.
These extraordinary stills, reminiscent to me of Antonioni (and coming from the same era) simply could not be made by an American, and no film which might contain them could ever emerge from Hollywood - whose whole purpose and rationale is at odds with the attempt here to see "the other" through the unique eye of the camera.

Gerard Saylor said...

Where is Godzilla?