NBooth

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  1. One of the things Frost attempts to do in The Secret History of Twin Peaks is tie the town into larger historical trends going all the way back to Lewis and Clark. Which is interesting to me for reasons related to my research: insofar as the small town functions as a model of America, the attempt to tie it outward to world-historical events helps to underline the ways in which America is itself implicated in that history. More to the point: the prosperity and idyllic nature of the mythological 1950s small town occurs in the shadow of Hiroshima (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull stages its best sequence in this same recognition). Since Lynch's small towns are typically time-displaced 1950s small towns, it makes sense that he would see them an inextricably linked to the Bomb. Actually, it occurs to me that in this way Lynch and Frost are subtly different from their obvious spiritual kin (Kings Row, Peyton Place, etc) in that their insistence that the idyllic facade hides rot and corruption isn't just about repression (as in Kings Row) or sexual, racial, and social inequality (as in Peyton Place); it's about the very fabric of post-War America itself. Post-war prosperity is founded on the murder of innocents and that murder continues to be replicated as a constant return to the original sacrifice (garmonbozia is the food of the Lodge-dwellers: pain and sorrow). Laura herself comes to function as a sacrificial victim (the latest of many). This makes for a more interesting critique of the idealized '50s than we normally get, since what Lynch is saying is not that the '50s were too controlling or repressive, and therefore that their purportedly idyllic world was an oppressive perfection (see Pleasantville) but that they were never perfect because they always were watered by the blood of the innocent.
  2. "Michael Nyqvist, Swedish actor who starred in ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,’ dies at 56"
  3. Trying again.
  4. The Wrap breaks the news: Link to our thread on the never-materialized film.
  5. I actually feel a little sorry for people who haven't seen this season. Btw, I listen to several podcasts about this show and "Diane" is by far the best.
  6. It may be a little early for a thread, but I suspect that a few folks around here dig Emily Dickinson, so this news should be of interest: Cynthia Nixon's playing Dickinson in Terence Davies' biopic A Quiet Passion. Full confession: I can't stand Dickinson. I find her way too mannered and sing-songy. But I'm still kind of interested in seeing how this project turns out. EDIT: How does one edit tags? I ran Dickinson and Nixon together....
  7. This is Lynch's magnum opus. I started grinning about fifteen minutes into tonight's episode and didn't stop until the end. Just...beautiful and odd and offputting and wonderful. Thank God for Lynch and Frost and thank God for Showtime.
  8. Confirmed. Copy/paste what I said above, but maybe change the typo.
  9. I don't have a clear idea of Howard's style, either. Based on Willow, I think he could do a pretty good Han Solo movie--if he was in on it from the ground floor. With three weeks left in filming, I have no idea how Howard could even attempt to put a distinctive stamp on the movie.
  10. I mentioned Dolan's first English-language movie over in the thread on It's Only the End of the World. Here's our thread on Laurence Anyways. We don't seem to have a thread on I Killed My Mother, Heartbeats, Tom at the Farm, or Mommy. Anyway. The poster dropped today, which I think is reason enough to give the movie its own thread.
  11. Ron Howard is in.
  12. The Playlist has a clip with some new footage.
  13. I found a lot to admire in this movie; Guinness is as good as might be expected, much of the dialogue is sharp, it looks good. And it's chock-a-block with all sorts of great character-actors. Now, the Criterion essay argues that the social and political stuff in the movie moves it away from being a sentimental flick about living-like-you're-dying, and I can see that. There's certainly commentary here on the ease with which the other characters turn against Bird once they think he's run off (and in the semiotics of names, which I'm sure would prove a fruitful vein of inquiry). The plotting here does seem creaky, though; the twist is far less brutally efficient than it could have been and it doesn't really land, for me. Still. I liked it a lot and am interested to see what others made of it.
  14. So the creative differences where with Kasdan, it seems.
  15. Primarily Rodriguez's generalized antipathy toward the modern world. So I had that on the brain right before diving into the rest of the series. Good connection. And you have leprechauns, djinns, and all sorts of other non-divine personages running around, too. So I wouldn't be surprised if the saints made a showing. FWIW, the book hints at a deeper metaphysical reality beyond the gods, but it's a generalized pantheism, iirc. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if I half-remembered your comments when I was making my own.
  16. It may be a bit early for a separate thread, but Damon Lindelof is apparently developing a Watchmen tv series.
  17. 'Dunkirk' Is Christopher Nolan's Shortest Film Since Directorial Debut
  18. Lord and Miller are out.
  19. The movie has a new screenwriter in Christine Lavaf.
  20. I rented this yesterday, so I'll be getting to it tonight.
  21. Assume Spoilers I girded my loins and powered through the last half of this season yesterday. I like it a lot, but the last episode really crystallized some gripes I have about the show and (back of it) the novel. Admittedly, listening to Richard Rodriguez's interview on the initial Image podcast immediately beforehand probably kickstarted my gripes anyway. But here's the thing--and, really, some of the Jesus stuff plays into this in a way--there's a distinctly anti-modern undercurrent at work here. The finale's emphasis on fertility goddesses kind of underscores this romanticized idea that the Old Gods are elemental and primal while the New Gods are slick and shallow and whatever. So even though we know that Wednesday isn't trustworthy (and plot-stuff in the novel goes a long way toward complicating notions of the Old-New binary), the expectation seems to be that we will find Easter powerful and beguiling (and Bilquis similarly) in their use of sexuality while Media is pure titillation ("Wanna see Lucy's tits?"). All of this intersects with a bog-standard critique of modernity as articulated by, I dunno, Eliot or Pound. But here's the thing--the laziest way to appear Deep and Serious is to bemoan the shallowness of modernity. Eliot and Pound do interesting things because they recognize that modernity isn't something you can roll back--you have to adapt old forms to new circumstances. You have to "make it new." The project of modernism isn't about rolling back modernity or even just critiquing it--it's about finding a way to live within it. So. The Old Gods-New Gods binary here is a fairly lazy division along predictable lines, and it carries with it this fascination with fertility myths (fertility myths were also central to The Waste-Land, of course, though Eliot being Eliot the fertility was entirely male). Because the idea is that fertility--like thunder, for instance, or death--can't be rationalized or controlled by modernity (interesting, then, that the god who "goes bad" is the god of the forge--that is, a technology god; I have my doubts that Bilquis is staying with the New Gods for long, and certainly it isn't of her own volition). The New Gods are about control, the Old Gods are about...I dunno, existential surrender to Powers Other Than Yourself. I could talk this out to a fair extent, precisely because it's not a particularly novel set of ideas. Ok, but Jesus. This is what's interesting, because Jesus doesn't really fit into either pantheon. He's condescended to by the Old Gods, who treat him (all the hims) as a slightly slow-witted younger brother. He's not even particularly noticed by the New Gods. So he exists in a liminal space (which might be the real reason that Gaiman struggles to include him, rather than--as Noah Berlatsky suggests--because he's avoiding controversy). He's too new for the Old Gods and too old for the New Gods. He's also, interestingly, the only God who seems to be acting on behalf of his worshipers--failing, of course; dying, of course; but, at least, not demanding that they burn themselves to death or kill each other (and, yeah, Anansi's position in the slave narrative early on is complicated by the fact that his worshipers here had absolutely no good options). So Jesus is a weird fit for the divine congress presented in the show. Now, as to what that means--I have no idea. I suspect that the showrunners felt that expanding the story gave them the chance to deal with this huge gap in Gaiman's novel--the fact that Jesus is actually a more pertinent American God than Odin is. Which is fair. But they're obliged to tweak the mythology of the show to allow for multiple Jesuses [which, I am reminded, is mentioned in the book], mirroring the way in which Jesus is omnipresent in American life. What would be interesting would be to see these Jesuses aligning alternately with the New and Old Gods--so, like, there's the Jesus who runs a television station and the Jesus who's all into Celtic spirituality, etc etc etc. And that would mirror the transitional place that Christianity occupies in this sort of [anti?]-modernist myth: the last of the old, elemental religions and the first of the new religions of information and control. [Something to keep in mind in all of this, of course, is the fact that the pro-Old God stance is articulated by Wednesday--a not-exactly-reliable source--directly before he's called out for his meddling in Shadow's life by Laura. So we might get something more interesting than what I've outlined above going forward]
  22. America never shook its 19th C fascination with innocent children, so you could probably trace it back all the way to Uncle Tom's Cabin or The Scarlet Letter.
  23. Let's please keep Whedon as far away from Star Wars as humanly possible. EDIT: Zhang Yimou for Star Wars or bust.
  24. Same. I can't say I'm surprised at the reviews. The trailer felt weirdly muddled when I first saw it.