Ron Reed

TWIN PEAKS

202 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

This series would have grabbed me more, without the supernatural/horror elements--but it’s interesting how many actors were also in Star Trek shows and films…

Madchen Amick (Anya in “The Dauphin”)—Michael J. Anderson (Rumpelstiltskin)--Richard Beymer -- John Billingsley (Dr. Phlox) –Frank Collison --Cullen Douglas--Miguel  Ferrer (commanded the Excelsior, ST3)–Patrick Fischler– Meg Foster (Jake Sisko’s “Muse”) - Hank Harris (Jack in “Carbon Creek”, ENT)-- Ashley Judd (Wesley Crusher’s first kiss)-- Robert Knepper (Wyatt, Troi’s fiance)—David Lander --Rob Mars -- Derek Mears --Wendy Robie –Brenda Strong --Carel Struycken (Lwaxana Troi’s valet, Mr. Homn) – John Savage (Capt. Ransom, VOY) – David Warner (Gorkon in ST3)--Ray Wise (Liko in “Who watches the watchers”)

[Shouldn’t this thread be in the TV section?]

Edited by phlox

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3 hours ago, phlox said:

This series would have grabbed me more, without the supernatural/horror elements--but it’s interesting how many actors were also in Star Trek shows and films…

Madchen Amick (Anya in “The Dauphin”)—Michael J. Anderson (Rumpelstiltskin)--Richard Beymer -- John Billingsley (Dr. Phlox) –Frank Collison --Cullen Douglas--Miguel  Ferrer (commanded the Excelsior, ST3)–Patrick Fischler– Meg Foster (Jake Sisko’s “Muse”) - Hank Harris (Jack in “Carbon Creek”, ENT)-- Ashley Judd (Wesley Crusher’s first kiss)-- Robert Knepper (Wyatt, Troi’s fiance)—David Lander --Rob Mars -- Derek Mears --Wendy Robie –Brenda Strong --Carel Struycken (Lwaxana Troi’s valet, Mr. Homn) – John Savage (Capt. Ransom, VOY) – David Warner (Gorkon in ST3)--Ray Wise (Liko in “Who watches the watchers”)

[Shouldn’t this thread be in the TV section?]

The supernatural/horror elements were - for me - what made Twin Peaks so memorable. I haven't been able to catch this 3rd season yet, but the original is still the most frightening thing I've ever seen; like the nightmare of a sensitive soul, or the fantasy of a perverse one. I know a lot of people remember it for the Log Lady or the damn fine cherry pie and coffee or the homespun, gosh-darn decent facade of small-town America, but for me it all resonates with an almost unbearable sadness. I suppose that's not too surprising if you consider the main storyline. I still love it though. Should probably rewatch to see how I feel about it eight years on from my initial viewing; I was a pretty sheltered and very young man the first time I saw it.

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2 hours ago, Anodos said:

 I know a lot of people remember it for the Log Lady or the damn fine cherry pie and coffee or the homespun, gosh-darn decent facade of small-town America, but for me it all resonates with an almost unbearable sadness. I suppose that's not too surprising if you consider the main storyline. 

Indeed, based on Fire Walk With Me, I would argue that the gosh-darn decent facade is only important insofar as you have the main storyline. The supernatural bits (if that's what they are) are interesting precisely insofar as they underline the essential horror of the Laura Palmer case. Indeed, BOB is at one point posited as "the evil that men do," and although on a strictly literal level he's more than that, he certainly isn't less than that. I would argue that the supernatural elements, however they function on a plot level, demand to be read metaphorically as, for instance, the seamy underside of small-town America, rather than literally (that is to say, Twin Peaks operates on a wholly different register than, say, The X-Files).

I've wondered about this going in TV as well, but since Lynch is apparently thinking of--and, more importantly, structuring--the new season like an 18-hour-long movie, I think a case could be made that this thread is now more properly situated in this forum.

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15 hours ago, Anodos said:

 Should probably rewatch to see how I feel about it eight years on from my initial viewing; I was a pretty sheltered and very young man the first time I saw it.

Please do! I have watched it several times since I watched the Bravo run as a teenager. Most of it ages very, very well (excepting the spotty bits in Season 2). But I keep coming back to it the same way I do the novels or theology texts I revisit as I get older. It is not that I find anything new; it is just good to treasure my connection to the work.

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phlox wrote:
: . . . Miguel  Ferrer (commanded the Excelsior, ST3) . . .

He didn't command it (that was Captain Stiles); he was the executive officer. :)

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Posted (edited)

3 hours ago, Peter T Chattaway said:

phlox wrote:
: . . . Miguel  Ferrer (commanded the Excelsior, ST3) . . .

He didn't command it (that was Captain Stiles); he was the executive officer. :)

Woops...sorry!

Here is Catherine Coulson (the Log Lady) working as camera assistant on ST 2 

BS2.jpg

Edited by phlox

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Is there anything on television as striking as the shot of Dougie-Cooper shedding a single tear? I'm serious--MacLachlan's face, and particularly his eyes, held worlds of melancholy in that one scene.

I didn't catch this live last night, so I watched it this morning. Twice. Plotty things are starting to come together a bit, all tying back to Twin Peaks, ultimately. It feels like the show is starting to click into a long-term pace, which is good because--as much as I loved the first two episodes--eighteen hours of Black Lodge stuff would probably not be the best way to go.

The Return has ruined television for me, though; I'm three episodes behind on American Gods--a show that apparently only has eight episodes, anyway? So it's near the end. And I haven't watched more than two episodes of House of Cards. I just...I can't work up the interest. Not with Twin Peaks around.

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Agent Cooper, Holy Fool.

I wish they were still releasing this in two-episode blocks. I want to stay in that groove for longer than an hour.

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There were two shots in this last episode which I can't recall seeing elsewhere in Lynch:

A night shot, wide, of Albert in really heavy rainfall. Excepting a few points in

Inland Empire, Lynch does not film scenes with heavy rain.

A very Malick, wandering, POV, shot of Carl looking up at trees dappled by sunlight

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15 minutes ago, M. Leary said:

There were two shots in this last episode which I can't recall seeing elsewhere in Lynch:

 

  Hide contents

A night shot, wide, of Albert in really heavy rainfall. Excepting a few points in

Inland Empire, Lynch does not film scenes with heavy rain.

 

 

  Hide contents

A very Malick, wandering, POV, shot of Carl looking up at trees dappled by sunlight

 

Both of those were great. We've not seen enough of Dern's character yet, but Carl is fascinating to me.

His ability--derived, apparently, from his childhood abduction as narrated in 

The Secret History (he was one of three children abducted; the Log Lady was another and the third is dead) to see the soul/garmonbozia leaving the dead child really puts him in a different position from that he occupied in FWWM. In the movie, he's just a colorful side-character; here, what with the meditation/treegazing and his attempt to comfort the mother, Carl is looking much more like one of these agents of empathy that Lynch is stocking the season with--Carl, Sonny Jim, the nameless security guard who takes Dougie home, the limo driver.... Every episode is overshadowed by Laura Palmer, simply because her face literally opens each one in a ghostly manifestation during the title sequence. And the notion of empathizing with or bearing with the suffering of others is central to the series now. I mean, it always has been--those uncompromising shots of Sarah Palmer weeping demand some sort of response--but it's more foregrounded here, less drowned out by eccentricities (or, rather, the eccentricities play more completely into the theme). Another example: Truman's wife, who was introduced--like Nadine--as a shrill caricature, but who is revealed in this episode to be deeply broken, which gives Truman's responses both to her and others around him a new dimension as well (his passivity is in some sense a way of loving his wife, but it's also possibly his own response to his son's suicide).

All television requires patience, and serialized television particularly so, but it's interesting to see the ways in which this series pushes back against contemporary recap culture. It's virtually impossible to make a hot-take out of it, because the story is rolling out so slowly and deliberately that any snap judgement is apt to be undone in the very next chapter.

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Vikram Murthi: In Praise of Dougie

The superficial pleasures of Dougie-Coop begin with Kyle MacLachlan’s performance, some of the best work he’s done in his career. Channeling characters like Peter Sellers’ Chance in Being There, Spielberg’s E.T., and Jacques Tati’s Monsieur Hulot, MacLachlan mines the full range of human emotion with his blank expression and clumsy movements. He approaches Dougie-Coop like walking Play-Doh, something to be molded by his environment, even as Agent Cooper lies dormant inside. By solely reacting to the actions of others, MacLachlan trades in his characteristic poise for stubborn passivity, in turn negating the traits that defined Agent Cooper. This minimalist technique succeeds on its own merits, but it also makes the smallest gestures — an imitated thumbs-up, a gracious smile, or a tearful face — feel remarkably significant. Every episode featuring Dougie-Coop adds new weight to MacLachlan’s performance, providing him with more avenues for subtle emotional engagement.

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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. 

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In its expansive reach, Episode Eight draws in material from a lurid crime thriller, an old-fashioned romance, late-90s-style Nine Inch Nails, The X-Files, Eraserhead, Malick's Tree of Life, Weir's Last Wave, and Kubrick's 2001, while carefully refraining from cutting the cord that keeps us tethered to the story of Laura Palmer. I've never seen cinema like it — and it is cinema. We're not even halfway through this series, and it has already broken the mold that the original series made, and anything can happen now.

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14 hours ago, Overstreet said:

In its expansive reach, Episode Eight draws in material from a lurid crime thriller, an old-fashioned romance, late-90s-style Nine Inch Nails, The X-Files, Eraserhead, Malick's Tree of Life, Weir's Last Wave, and Kubrick's 2001, while carefully refraining from cutting the cord that keeps us tethered to the story of Laura Palmer. I've never seen cinema like it — and it is cinema. We're not even halfway through this series, and it has already broken the mold that the original series made, and anything can happen now.

Yup. And don't forget the influence of Brakhage and other experimental filmmakers, of which Lynch is one.

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I don't have much to add, except that this is clearly the cinematic event of the summer, and probably the year.  It's clearly not for everyone, yet I really feel like any cinephile who isn't watching is really missing out.

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4 hours ago, StephenM said:

I don't have much to add, except that this is clearly the cinematic event of the summer, and probably the year.  It's clearly not for everyone, yet I really feel like any cinephile who isn't watching is really missing out.

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. 

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Posted (edited)

On 6/26/2017 at 6:32 PM, Overstreet said:

In its expansive reach, Episode Eight draws in material from a lurid crime thriller, an old-fashioned romance, late-90s-style Nine Inch Nails, The X-Files, Eraserhead, Malick's Tree of Life, Weir's Last Wave, and Kubrick's 2001, while carefully refraining from cutting the cord that keeps us tethered to the story of Laura Palmer. I've never seen cinema like it — and it is cinema. We're not even halfway through this series, and it has already broken the mold that the original series made, and anything can happen now.

Such a great list of references here, especially The Last Wave. I have seen a few references to Brakhage, which I don't think quite fit. The charcoal folk run very close to Pat O'Neill. The seamless blend of practical and special effects is exhilarating. I couldn't help but think of Lynch's early shorts throughout this entire middle sequence.

I would love to hear every detail about the effects production for the nuclear piece. The gradation detail on the dust clouds at the base of the blast is so exquisite. I have never seen anything like that. The intense colorific parts were familiar - as this is the same bunch who ran the effects for Noe's Enter the Void. But if we could get a second by second technical commentary on everything between NIN and the bobfrog, that would be great.

From a historical perspective, this connection between atomic sciences and a particularly late 20th century brand of evil intriguing. Cities which participated in developing raw materials for the Manhattan Project (like St. Louis) are starting to have difficulty in figuring out how to handle the hazardous waste from uranium production dumped fairly carelessly so long ago. In terms of St. Louis history, it is very hard not to draw a direct line between the dumping of such waste in north/northwest parts of our city and dramatic crime, education, health, and quality of life disparities in those same areas.

Edited by M. Leary

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My friend Jordan wrote a great piece about Pat O'Neill recently and posted some compelling side-by-side comparisons on Twitter yesterday: tweet 1, tweet 2, tweet 3.

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4 hours ago, M. Leary said:

From a historical perspective, this connection between atomic sciences and a particularly late 20th century brand of evil intriguing. Cities which participated in developing raw materials for the Manhattan Project (like St. Louis) are starting to have difficulty in figuring out how to handle the hazardous waste from uranium production dumped fairly carelessly so long ago. In terms of St. Louis history, it is very hard not to draw a direct line between the dumping of such waste in north/northwest parts of our city and dramatic crime, education, health, and quality of life disparities in those same areas.

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.

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Darren H said:

My friend Jordan wrote a great piece about Pat O'Neill recently and posted some compelling side-by-side comparisons on Twitter yesterday: tweet 1, tweet 2, tweet 3.

Nice. My immediate response was Decay of Fiction, with the multiple exposures.

30 minutes ago, NBooth said:

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.

This is it right here. Parts of St. Louis are little more than "time displaced" 1950s towns, incubators of that very tension you are describing. Lynch seems to reveal or uncover this brute American fact. Hope you write more on this somewhere.

Edited by M. Leary

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Quick thought: how much stuff do we see in this episode from various versions of the Biblical Apocalypse? The demonfrog is an obvious one, and it seems that there's some footage of locusts in the bomb sequence. What happens to Dark Dale after the NIN performance *could* bear resemblance to some versions of antichrist. Is there more? Are Lynch and Frost drawing on Revelation in this episode, and what does that do to our reading of the series?

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Posted (edited)

I do not see any direct Christian reference in this season, either by image, narrative, or symbol. This was not the case for season 1:4, which had a really unexpected scene of Bobby remonstrating before a crucifix in his house. Generally, Lynch just does not work with Christian imagery or archetype, which often creates a bit of tension given what you describe above in terms of his evocation of 1950's America.

Here is a short list of direct references to material religion in his work, there are surely a few I have missed:

Christian Imagery

Angel imagery, crucifix scene, "Trinity" test  (Twin Peaks)

Bible/crucifix/cathedrals/scripture reference (Psalm 23) (Elephant Man)

Church and crucifix (the Grotto) (A Straight Story)

A church (Blue Velvet)

The images in Elephant Man and A Straight Story are important as they connect directly to the plight of the lead in each film, who we are to suppose are translating their experiences through a set of Christian motifs (this is clearer in Elephant Man than A Straight Story). The TP and Blue Velvet examples are difficult, as they seem to do little more than evoke the absence of any expected Christian imagery. In none of these cases does Lynch use the Christian image as a template for the viewer, leading us to experience the film as an evocation of a traditional Christian narrative ideal.

Buddhist Imagery:

Tibetan Book of the Dead (Twin Peaks)

This reference is immensely important, present at what is arguably the apex of the series. In addition, the concept here of something immaterial leaving the human body and passing through a series of abstractions toward oblivion - wherein each stage of passage has its own narrative and symbolic sense - is intimately tied to the plot of Twin Peaks. So much so that I don't think one can really get Twin Peaks without at least passing knowledge of bardo.

--

So here is the case I would make: Lynch is consciously working as a secular filmmaker, playing with common codes and symbols in the US post-WW II through a kind of Geertz fantasy. One of the deep ironies of Lynch's filmmaking is that he no longer finds the Christian symbol necessary to make a connection with his audience. We are all now more immediately connected by gestures and expressions of violence and conflict, his characters all marred by domestic violence, war trauma, commerce, economy, or now - the Trinity test. That whole Christian narrative arc of death/resurrection or failure/redemption is alien to Lynch's work, as the related psychology is too thin to really capture the way we process trauma. So instead of Jesus, we get Wally Brando. Instead of a redemption arc, we get Alvin on his tractor. Lynch has had to draft a whole new grammar to do what he wants to do.

The other issue here, though, is the dualism which has always been present in Twin Peaks. This is far more Eastern than Western in scope, though we don't quite know how it will play out.

Edited by M. Leary

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Rebekah Del Rio was in last night's episode;

 

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Btw, those are good points, M. I'm chewing them over still. 

Meanwhile

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Audrey's back, and some viewers aren't happy about it. Case in point.

I dunno, perhaps it's because Audrey's return was promised from the start but put off so much that it could never bear the weight of expectations, but there seems to be a bit of discontent floating around. I don't buy it. For one thing, I think the character is a thoroughly natural development of what we saw previously. For another, her husband is almost literally the freaking worst, so she seemed less shrewish here than reasonably incensed.

Anyway. The show is definitely settled into a more traditionally Twin Peaks rhythm at this point, including a wonderful scene featuring Sarah Palmer and another featuring Ben Horne and Frank Truman. And the Audrey scene. Oh, and a lovely scene with Carl Rodd, who's another one of these characters that has become unexpectedly central in certain ways. The "don't sell your blood" scene should probably be filed with the other examples of good-goodness as opposed to ironic or subverted goodness in the Lynch canon.

I halfway expected Dougie to go away in this episode, since the title was "Let's Rock," but now I'm back to thinking we're going to have him with us until episode 16 or 17. Which, honestly, I'm pretty happy with.

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