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Ron Reed

TWIN PEAKS

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5 hours ago, M. Leary said:

Right. Except there is always a universe out there with a Wally Brando in it. (And everyone else in the last interior shot of the Twin Peaks police station.)

Yes. And Dougie is there, too. There is a very conscious doubling of finales here. Chapter 18 is a postscript, what Cooper calls the "curtain call."

 

4 hours ago, M. Leary said:

This pairing was so exquisitely framed as the kind of physical pairing which occurs for reasons other than mere physical pleasure, after time and desire have bloomed into something a bit like desperation but more a way to tell someone you both belong to the same story at the same time.

Both Cooper and Diane lose themselves there, and it's where the horror first begins to creep in. There is a suggestion that Diane is reliving the trauma she experienced at the hands of Mr. C, and she covers Cooper's face as though she's desperate to hide it.

 

4 hours ago, M. Leary said:

But also... I have enjoyed taking this journey through The Return with you all. This has been a very helpful place of reflection and I learned a lot.

Yea, verily.

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2 hours ago, Mr. Arkadin said:

I'll add that I have pre-ordered Mark Frost's Final Dossier. I anticipate that it will offer answers to questions no-one asked.

Same here. Or to questions people asked that are manifestly not within the show's real zone of interest.

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I wrote 3,000 words on Twin Peaks: The Return. I'm not sure how coherent any of it is. But I was grateful for the conversation here which helped solidify some of my thoughts.

Quote

In episode three of Twin Peaks: The Return, David Lynch doesn’t side step any possible confusion over the idea of toxicity, he steps directly into it, portraying the spirit of BOB – an entity of malice who inhabits? possesses? individuals – as literally toxic, poisoning a highway patrolman who comes across the vile vomit of Agent Dale Cooper’s (Kyle MacLachlan) doppelgänger who has crashed his car while escaping being drawn back into the Black Lodge. BOB has possessed Agent Cooper’s doppelgänger and has been living in this simulacrum for 25 years in the “real world,” since the end of the original Twin Peaks series as Agent Cooper has been stuck in the Red Room of the Black Lodge.

If that seems at all hard to follow, it is. If you haven’t seen, or at least are familiar with story of the original Twin Peaks television series and its prequel film, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, you won’t easily be able to jump into Twin Peaks: The Return nor be able to make much sense of the plot. In fact, even if you are familiar with what has come before, you might find yourself hard pressed to keep up with what follows. At the same time, the specific intricacies of the plot serve not so much as a linear narrative as linked scenes, which taken together form the story; more abstract, or dreamlike than centered around causality. The Man from Another Place, also known as The Arm, from the original series, for instance, is now a talking tree. Why? Is there some greater meaning or symbolism in this? Or is there some sequence of events that make this evolution make causal linear sense? Or is the talking organic mass on top of the tree “just a head” as Lynch called it?

This juxtaposition of The Arm’s symbol-less metaphor and the literal symbolism of BOB’s toxic regurgitation as Agent Cooper’s doppelgänger is a fundamental element of what Lynch is doing with Twin Peaks: The Revival and indeed much of his work. It is also a key response – a mirror, if you will, reversing front to back, maybe rightly – to cultural confusion surrounding storytelling and listening (storytelling is fluid, not rigid and listening is active, not passive).



 


"It's a dangerous business going out your front door." -- J.R.R. Tolkien
"I want to believe in art-induced epiphanies." -- Josie
"I would never be dismissive of pop entertainment; it's much too serious a matter for that." -- NBooth

"If apologetics could prove God, I would lose all faith in Him." -- Josie

"What if--just what if--the very act of storytelling is itself redemptive? What if gathering up the scraps and fragments of a disordered life and binding them between the pages of a book in all of their fragmentary disorder is itself a gambit against that disorder?" -- NBooth

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Oops! I forgot to add the link! Haha. Thanks.


"It's a dangerous business going out your front door." -- J.R.R. Tolkien
"I want to believe in art-induced epiphanies." -- Josie
"I would never be dismissive of pop entertainment; it's much too serious a matter for that." -- NBooth

"If apologetics could prove God, I would lose all faith in Him." -- Josie

"What if--just what if--the very act of storytelling is itself redemptive? What if gathering up the scraps and fragments of a disordered life and binding them between the pages of a book in all of their fragmentary disorder is itself a gambit against that disorder?" -- NBooth

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Or is the talking organic mass on top of the tree “just a head” as Lynch called it?

I believe it's a wad of chewing gum.

"That gum you like is back in style."


P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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I've managed to avoid spoilers for TP:TR until I have the time to view it for myself in its entirety, which I've decided to do via its Blu-ray release this December. I watched FWWM this past August for the first time in theaters, and now it's had its own individual release via Criterion.

So, I wanted to ask this community: if I were to purchase Twin Peaks Season 1 and Season 2, and FWWM, what DVD/Blu-ray versions or sets would you recommend? Looking on Amazon, I've seen "The Entire Mystery," "The Gold Box," and individual sets. Any reason to get the Criterion FWWM separate from the other sets?

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I have The Entire Mystery. From what I can tell, the Criterion blu-ray essentially replicates the extras in that set (though it's got the essay! of course). There were issues with sound in some pressings of that set, but I never noticed any problems with mine.

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Based on the Arts & Faith 2020 Top 100 Discussion, I started watching the pilot this last week to see if I got or appreciated the show any better than I did 30 years...

Speaking of 30 years, I assume it is okay to dispense with spoilers.

So here is my first question -- and it's sort of important if I'm going to keep watching.

Has anyone who has written about the show gotten Lynch or Frost to speak about who (among actors/writers/directors,etc.) knew what *from the beginning*? That is, did he always know who killed Laura Palmer? I get that some actors don't want to have foreknowledge (as in the case of Game of Thrones), but there is a material difference to me in a show that calls on you to question or think about human behavior and reactions and what they signify between, say, an actor who is told, "Sob in shock and surprise" and "Sob as though you are shocked and surprised?" 

I'm in no way comparing the auteurs in terms of style or talent, but this is why I won't invest anything in any story that J.J. Abrams does. He absolutely has talent on the episodic level, but things always also fall apart under the weight of keeping things indeterminate. 

I want to know if the show is just weird in a James Joyce way -- I'll make it weird and figure people will kill themselves trying to figure out who the man in the Macintosh is as long as I never say--and weird in a Hitchcock/Vertigo sort of way -- I have something in mind about *why* Judy lets Scottie do some of the things he does, I'm only withholding that temporarily. 

Also: does anyone know how closely or in what way Lynch works with his cinematographers and editors? They are listed as different people for Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks, and the guy credited for 29 out of 30 episodes of Twin Peaks has a lot of television credits, but there strikes me as an impeccable sense of camera proxemics (even in scenes where not much action is happening) and editing (how long to hold a shot). Maybe I'm imagining that since they are two different cinematographers, but..

Edit: There were two different TP threads, so I went ahead and merged them. 

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My understanding is, and I could be mistaken, that Lynch planned to leave Laura's death an unsolved mystery, and initially even he didn't know who killed her. I think the network forced him to reveal the murderer, and he went with one of the more shocking options to fit with his thesis about the nature of evil.


"Anyway, in general I love tragic artists, especially classical ones."

"Even the forms for expressing truth can be multiform, and this is indeed necessary for the transmission of the Gospel in its timeless meaning."

- Pope Francis, August 2013 interview with Antonio Spadaro

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Lynch and Frost always knew who the killer was, and once the mystery is revealed it's impossible to imagine the show with any other murderer. The particular crime is the point of the show. When they told the actor, Lynch said, "It was you. It was always you."

Ken, the reboot of Battlestar Galactica is my version of how you describe JJ Abrams -- a story with a pretty good beginning and end and several seasons of occasionally enjoyable "let's try out this idea" in between. Twin Peaks ain't that. After spending so much time with Lynch over the past 15 years, I think the main storyline of Twin Peaks and the episodes Lynch himself directs are coherent. There are fascinating fan theories that tie together every loose thread in ways that would make the greatest Joyce scholars proud! If you throw in Fire Walk with Me and The Return, it definitely has a well-designed shape, though one that isn't immediately apparent. Btw, I won't vouch for most of season 2, which Lynch had little involvement with, but if you stick with the show, be sure to watch the episodes he directed, in particular the reveal episode and the finale.

I think it's fair to say that Lynch is the true author of the formal style of everything he directs, regardless of the cinematographer and editor, and I think that's more true of Lynch than most auteurs.

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3 hours ago, Darren H said:

I won't vouch for most of season 2, which Lynch had little involvement with, but if you stick with the show, be sure to watch the episodes he directed, in particular the reveal episode and the finale.

Those particular episodes you mention here are so tonally and visually distinct from nearly every other moment in Season 2 that it really exemplifies the uniqueness of Lynch's vision as an artist. He was doing something different, and those episodes really stand out.

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11 hours ago, kenmorefield said:


Has anyone who has written about the show gotten Lynch or Frost to speak about who (among actors/writers/directors,etc.) knew what *from the beginning*? That is, did he always know who killed Laura Palmer? I get that some actors don't want to have foreknowledge (as in the case of Game of Thrones), but there is a material difference to me in a show that calls on you to question or think about human behavior and reactions and what they signify between, say, an actor who is told, "Sob in shock and surprise" and "Sob as though you are shocked and surprised?" 
 

Pretty much know what performance and actor you're talking about here, which I think is a masterful performance, but I'd echo what Darren said (Lynch and Frost knew and told the actor), but at the same time it's not quite as simple as one or the other ("display grief" vs. "genuine grief") when it all comes together.


"A director must live with the fact that his work will be called to judgment by someone who has never seen a film of Murnau's." - François Truffaut

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Reviews and essays at Three Brothers Film.

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On 5/19/2020 at 9:07 AM, Anders said:

Pretty much know what performance and actor you're talking about here, which I think is a masterful performance, but I'd echo what Darren said (Lynch and Frost knew and told the actor), but at the same time it's not quite as simple as one or the other ("display grief" vs. "genuine grief") when it all comes together.

Yes, I agree that the acting considerations are over-simplified, though I think they can manifest themselves if/when writers call on characters to do things that run counter to how the actors have heretofore understood their own characters. 

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Ken, the reboot of Battlestar Galactica is my version of how you describe JJ Abrams 

Well the tried and true example is always George Lucas. I'll go to my grave convinced, no matter what he says, that he had no idea Luke and Leia were brother and sister until when creating the story for Empire Strikes Back or that the force was midi-chlorians or that Darth Vader was Luke's father when Obi-Wan told him Luke something that was only true from "a certain point of view." 

To a certain extent, some continuity errors can be harmless, but as anyone who has ever taken pleasure in a PTC post on the Terminator or Aliens franchise can attest, the long(er) term consequences of comitting any specifics to paper or film before knowing in general what the story is and where it is going can cause some meta-narratives to implode. I'm not entirely sure from discussion whether that happened with TP. It sounds like "no," in the sense that Lynch had an idea of what the story was -- but it also sounds like he wasn't always able to execute that idea and so the overall narrative suffered by becoming something other than what it might have been. 

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Lynch has said often that he likes television because you get to keep telling the story. His creative approach involves latching onto strong ideas/images and then gradually discovering the connections between them. With feature films that all happens before the shooting begins, and I'm pretty sure The Return was fully scripted before they went into production (it was all shot well ahead of the broadcast), but the original Twin Peaks takes some meandering and uninteresting turns , especially in season 2. It's an actual soap opera rather than an homage to a soap opera. BUT the core concept of Laura Palmer, Dale Cooper, the red room, the black lodge, Bob, etc. is solid.

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