Jazz, to me, is one of the inherent expressions of Negro life in America: the eternal tom-tom beating in the Negro soul - the tom-tom of revolt against weariness in a white world, a world of subway trains, and work, work, work; the tom-tom of joy and laughter, and pain swallowed in a smile.
I came in on this movie after there had been a director and I came in after Tom Courtenay had talked to Ron Harwood about making a movie. So, you know Tom and Albert Finney had been friends since the beginning of their career as they became stars around the same time - Tom always reminds me that Albert was first with Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and then Tom with The Long Distance Runner.
Tom gets by, Navidson succeeds. Tom just wants to be, Navidson must become. And yet despite such obvious differences, anyone who looks past Tom's wide grin and considers his eyes will find surprisingly deep pools of sorrow. Which is how we know they are brothers, because like Tom, Navidson's eyes share the same water.
Mark Z. Danielewski
Tom's aunt Georgie spoke to me first, and Tom found me through her. At the time, I didn't actually think Tom was a big enough character to carry a story. If it had to be anyone from Saving Francesca, I thought, it would be Will Trombal or Tara. But the line in Francesca, 'I want to be the first male in the Mackee family to reach 40 and still have a liver' stuck with me, and in the end, Tom has been one of the biggest surprises. I'm glad I didn't kick him out of my head.
I was at a dinner party many years ago, sitting along from Tom Stoppard, who in those days smoked not just between courses, but between mouthfuls. An American woman watched in disbelief. "And you so intelligent!" "Excuse me?" said tom "Knowing those things are going to kill you" she said "and still you do it." "How differently I might behave" Tom said, "if immortality were an option
I was at a dinner party many years ago,sitting along from Tom Stoppard, who in those days smoked not just between courses,but between mouthfuls. An American woman watched in disbelief. "And you so intelligent!" "Excuse me?" said tom "Knowing those things are going to kill you" she said "and still you do it." "How differently I might behave" Tom said, "if immortality were an option
I didn't understand art, until one day Tom Brady took me to the museum, and we looked at the Picasso, and he said, 'Rob, that's a touchdown.' We looked at the Rembrandt and Tom said, 'Rob, that's another touchdown.' We looked at the Vermeer and Tom said, 'Rob, that's another touchdown.' And I said, 'No, Tom, that's just a field goal.'
Why, Tom - us people will go on livin' when all them people is gone. Why, Tom, we're the people that live. They ain't gonna wipe us out. Why, we're the people - we go on.' 'We take a beatin' all the time.' 'I know.' Ma chuckled. 'Maybe that makes us tough. Rich fellas come up an' they die, an' their kids ain't no good, an' they die out. But, Tom, we keep a-comin'. Don' you fret none, Tom. A different time's comin'.
With effort he opened his eyes again. Was someone there with him in the dusk? Yes. Someone was standing above him, looking down at him. Tom squinted, trying to see through the gloom. Then he realized: no. It was only the scorched painting on the wall. Those painted eyes with the line of blood trickling down beside them. 'Bad day, ' he thought up at them. 'It seems I've been murdered.' 'Yes, ' responded the eyes at once. 'That happens sometimes when you insist on telling the truth. People don't always appreciate it.' 'It's not so bad really, ' Tom told the eyes. 'Maybe I'll get to see you in heaven.' 'The road to heaven isn't death, Tommy. It's life.' Tom peered up at the eyes through the growing darkness. He thought he saw the whole painting recovered in its frame: Christ crucified, the rivulets of blood streaming down from under his crown of thorns. 'But you died.' Tom said to him. 'You died and went to heaven.' 'No, ' the eyes answered. 'I lived. That's the whole point. I lived. And now you have to live, Tom.
It struck her hard how it was often the ordinary acts that were angelic. Maybe there were angels in the sky and maybe there weren't. Maybe angels helped arrange for Tom to be the one to drive along right at that moment. She didn't know. But what she did know was that there were angels on the ground. She did know that Tom stopped the car, got out, and buried the kid's dead cat. He didn't have to, but he did. It was a small act, but it was huge. And that made Tom an angel to her, one no less divine than any angels that might be in the sky.
Izzi: Remember Moses Morales? Tom Verde: Who? Izzi: The Mayan guide I told you about. Tom Verde: From your trip. Izzi: Yeah. The last night I was with him, he told me about his father, who had died. Well Moses wouldn't believe it. Tom Verde: Izzi... Izzi: [embraces Tom] No, no. Listen, listen. He said that if they dug his father's body up, it would be gone. They planted a seed over his grave. The seed became a tree. Moses said his father became a part of that tree. He grew into the wood, into the bloom. And when a sparrow ate the tree's fruit, his father flew with the birds. He said... death was his father's road to awe. That's what he called it. The road to awe. Now, I've been trying to write the last chapter and I haven't been able to get that out of my head! Tom Verde: Why are you telling me this? Izzi: I'm not afraid anymore, Tommy.
Who is Tom? There is no Tom. If we sell a pair of shoes today, we give away a pair of shoes tomorrow. Originally we thought of "Tomorrow's Shoes," but I could only fit "TOMS" on the label. I had no idea everybody would want to meet him. There is no Tom; it's an idea for a better tomorrow.
Everybody granted that if "Tom" were white and free it would be unquestionably right to punish him-it would be no loss to anybody; but to shut up a valuable slave for life-that was quite another matter. As soon as the Governor understood the case, he pardoned Tom at once, and the creditors sold him down the river.
Once, when Tom was over here, to tease Rose, I asked him, "Before she was born, can you remember? Were things just the same as they are these days? Did it still rain and get dark and all the stuff it does now? Did the sun go up and down in exactly the same way?" Yes, " Tom said, and then he smiled at Rose and said, "No. Not really. Not exactly the same way.
John Steinbeck's 'The Grapes of Wrath' also speaks urgently to today's concerns: the cratered trail of dreams for Mexican immigrants seeking a promised land in the Western [United States]; the perfidy of banks in foreclosing on poor people's homes; and the insurgent urge of the book's protagonist, Tom Joad, to speak truth to police power. 'Wherever there's a cop beatin' up a guy,' Tom promises, 'I'll be there.' In Salinas, Calif., Ferguson, Mo., or Staten Island, N.Y., Tom's truth goes marching on.
Tom leaned in and spoke in a low, confidential voice, "Sir. You have a little something... " He lifted his forefinger surreptitiously to his own upper lip. Harrison brought his hand to his mustache to brush something off it, his eyes questioning. "What is it?" "Carpet remnant?" Tom suggested.