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04/30/2018

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Okay, I need to watch the darn thing. I'm sort of stuck because I want to re-watch the original which I only saw as it was played out on TV all those years ago. Used to go over to friends houses and watch with various people. Most eventful television memory I have, other than sports, of course.

I purchased the blu-ray discs of the original series; so they are just waiting for me to watch. I'll probably do the same with the new series, and I need to re-watch FWWM beforehand. Also, just saw that the one time in the theater and it was confusing since it came after the TV show.

Yeah, you should. The prequel does answer the big question ("Who Killed Laura Palmer?") which isn't answered until way into the original series. But since you've seen it that won't matter. Can't remember whether there is any other advantage or disadvantage to seeing FWWM first.

Man, I end up with a lot of typos in these things. I usually don't have that much time to proofread. I just corrected about half a dozen.

I described the new series as "a very complicated and sometimes nearly-unintelligible narrative." In fairness, I should add that at least some of the things that seem unintelligible at the time do eventually end up making sense in light of something that comes later.

"Can't remember whether there is any other advantage or disadvantage to seeing FWWM first."

A lot of people who watched FWWM before seeing Twin Peaks apparently found it incomprehensible, which would make sense. I've watched the first series three times including its original TV appearance, and FWWM twice. I'd say that the latter definitely makes more sense and has more emotional impact after having watched the series.

(Side note: last year Criterion put out FWWM in a "director approved" release, with interviews and such, in conjunction with the new TP series. They also did 'Mulholland Dr.')

As far as the new series goes, I pretty much agree with you 100%, Mac, although I will say that I felt somewhat cheated by the ending.

The ending is very frustrating. It's the single biggest reason to think that another series was planned. Or at least the door was being left open for one. Kind of an obvious sequel-teaser. I felt a little less cheated when I discovered, reading some episode summaries, that I had missed something very important.

[**spoiler**]

I thought Laura ("Laura"? "Carrie?") just started screaming for no apparent reason. But in fact it's provoked by her hearing her mother calling her name. It's pretty faint, and my hearing is not what it used to be, and the sound wasn't turned up all that high, so I (we--my wife too) just didn't hear it. So that at least makes it a little more intelligible. I haven't sent the last dvd back yet so I replayed that bit just now with the sound up and heard it.

**SPOILER!!

I caught that, but I meant the entire notion of Cooper "going back in time" in order to prevent Laura's murder. It struck me as a bit of an "and then he woke up and realized it was all a dream!" thing, which served to undermine the power of the original story.

**spoiler continued**

Oh, yeah, I thought you meant just that very last scene in front of the Palmer house. Yes, that was just sort of...eye-roll, shoulder-shrug, ok-fine-whatever. But then it made me wonder whether avoiding one catastrophe only meant that a different one happens. And then there's the last bit which circles back to the original. Oh well....

***spoiler cont.***

"then it made me wonder whether avoiding one catastrophe only meant that a different one happens."

Right -- for instance, in which universe was Sarah Palmer the monster/alien? Was that some sort of doppelganger too, or was she the little girl who had that insect-thing crawl into her mouth?

**spoiler**

I guess if this keeps going we can get down to a single asterisk.

I don't have any doubt that Sarah is (or is inhabited by--whatever) the other evil entity, Judy. And I think she was the little girl. Seems like there was some relatively small bit of positive evidence that she was, but I can't remember what now. "Judy" I think is the spectral thing that comes out of the glass box and kills that couple early on. And it's the same thing you see in that bar scene with Sarah, where she opens her face. Whether this is meant to be in the same universe as the original Leland story I have no clue. Though if I'm remembering rightly the first we see of her in the new series is when she's watching those gruesome nature videos, and that *seems* to be in the same universe. Well, who knows? If I had easy access to the dvd I'd watch that scene of Sarah in the grocery store and see if all that shouting she does there sheds any light.

"Well, who knows? If I had easy access to the dvd I'd watch that scene of Sarah in the grocery store and see if all that shouting she does there sheds any light."

I'd forgotten about that scene. When I watched it I had the entire series in hand from the library, but I only had three weeks to watch it. I may watch it again at some point but I want to watch FWWM again first.

Btw, I also recently rewatched Blue Velvet and found parts of it much more disturbing/unwholesome than I had remembered. There's definitely a strong moral vision there, but man, the bad stuff is really bad.

Funny you should mention that. I saw the first half hour or so of BV many years ago, probably not too long after it came out, and stopped watching because it was too disturbing. I was thinking today that maybe I should give it another try, I guess hoping that there is some undiscovered Lynch that I would really like. So I read a synopsis online and thought "well, no, probably shouldn't." You've confirmed that.

I love Blue Velvet!

I think I'll continue to give it a miss.

Possibly of interest to fans of the music in Lynch's work: Chrysta Bell, who plays Special Agent Tammy P (Preston?) in The Return, is primarily a singer, and she and Lynch collaborated on an album called This Train. I just listened to a few samples and it sounds promising. Haven't looked on YouTube yet but there's probably at least one full track, if not the whole album.

Interesting. I thought I'd heard her name before -- according to wiki she sang one of the songs on the Inland Empire OST.

Which I don't remember at all.

There is one longish song with a girl singer from IE that I liked a lot, but not sure if it's the same one. I'll have to look it up.

Glad I stayed north of Birmingham!

I love those tall grasses. Was it wet? It usually has the best color when it is wet.

Re David Lynch. It strikes me that he is unwholesome in much the same way as Charles Williams, only in a different direction. I thought Mulholland Drive was a great movie, but I doubt that I could bear to watch it again. It occurred to me that I could drive by there when I was in LA, but then I thought, "No way."

AMDG

Yes, the grass was wet...most likely. I don't remember specifically at that point but it was raining off and on for the whole 350 miles.

I'll probably watch Mulholland again, sooner or later. I'm not in a big hurry, though.

Am planning to watch FWWM this weekend. Mulholland is a desert isle film for me, but it's been several years since I last watched it.

Something I meant to mention earlier: Kyle McLachlan does a pretty amazing job, playing three characters who are all completely different from each other.

I watched FWWM last night. Turns out it was part of the BluRay of first season that I purchased. It is much better than what I remembered from seeing it in the theatre. There was also as much Special Feature stuff equal to time of the movie. Watched some, but it being a week-night I had to give up at some point.

Not "first season", all of original run I should say...

I'm finding that my appetite for seeing the whole thing again has waned a bit as I cooled off from the new series, of which my opinion is drifting more in the negative direction. I still have the Netflix dvd with the last two episodes and considered watching them again, but don't really have much enthusiasm for it so I think I'll send them back today. I just discovered that the local library has The Final Dossier so I may get it.

Part way through the new series I saw this Rolling Stone piece linked to and wondered if its title was justifiable. But I didn't read it because I figured it contained spoilers. It does, but fairly mild ones. And I don't think I agree with it.

Why 'Twin Peaks: The Return' Was the Most Groundbreaking TV Series Ever.

The Chrysta Bell song 'Polish Poem' is the one that appears near the end of Inland Empire. It's on the Lynch/Bell album 'This Train.'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlJak1kz4Nk

The album seems difficult to get except as a download.

The song has more than a couple things in common with this one from the new series:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njloaV9eE7I

I didn't remember the song but listened to the samples from This Train (on eMusic) and was convinced. It's on Tidal so almost certainly also on Spotify et. al. I'm trying to decide whether to buy it or just stream it.

I listened to it last night on Tidal. It's really good. More eroticized on several tracks than I might like. Not as pretty and nostalgic as Floating Into the Night but definitely worthwhile.

Nice. I liked the couple clips I heard.

Watched FWWM Sat. night -- scarier than I remembered, with a lot of connections to the new series. Sheryl Lee's performance is outstanding.

I read somewhere that she was a local girl whose part was originally meant to be not much more than being dead and wrapped in plastic, but David Lynch saw something in her, especially in that little video of her and Donna clowning around.

I thought for a long time that the title was supposed to be read as an invitation to "Firewalk with me." But when people say it in the films it's "Fire, walk with me." Or maybe just "Fire. Walk with me"--two separate statements. We haven't had any explanation of what it means, have we?

Rebekah del Rio has a pretty great voice.

No, I've never heard or read an explanation of it.

In an interview in the extras on the FWWM DVD Lee says that prior to getting called for Twin Peaks she had only done theater, never any film or TV work.

By the way: I wondered in this post what the Buenos Aires thing was. Yesterday I was looking for something in The Secret History and noticed that Phillip Jeffries disappeared in BA. So there is some kind of connection. Was that mentioned in FWWM? I think Jeffries only appears there, right? Not in the series itself?

Also, speaking of Chrysta Bell: I was disappointed in the character of Tammy. Not in Bell's performance specifically but in the character and the way she's used, or rather not used. She mostly just seems to be there to be slinky. Nothing much would change is she weren't there. But The Secret History is a lengthy dossier carefully investigated and annotated by her, so I expected her to be a more significant presence in the film.

"The Secret History"

For a minute there I was thinking Donna Tartt.

AMDG

I've never read anything by her.

She's a real good writer. I've only read The Goldfinch but want to read the other two. But it is modern literature, Mac. You don't like that. :) I've been reading The Overstory by Richard Powers, which is quite interesting. I guess you could call it "environmental" lit. All about people and the fight to keep ancient trees from being toppled by the lumber industry.

I think he might like The Secret History. I thought it was beautiful and beautifully written and profoundly disturbing.

AMDG

I just read an article in Commonweal online called "How Religion Got Trump" by Kenneth Woodward. Apropos of nothing, of course. But he mentions Dreher near the end, and he (Woodward) happened to be the commencement speaker when I graduated from a Catholic college with my BA many years ago. It is the kind of article that you all talk about occasionally. You need to either have a subscription to Commonweal, or only to have read under a certain number of articles in the past month. I found it interesting, but not eye-opening in any way.

Yes, Janet. I want to read The Secret History also.

" it is modern literature, Mac. You don't like that"

Not so! Didn't I just finish raving about Sigrid Undset? Don't I love Flannery O'Connor and Walker Percy and...? But I suspect you mean more contemporary. Well, it's partly just a matter of limited time. There's still so much older stuff I haven't read that I'm pretty sure is good.

Here's a link to that Woodward piece.

https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/how-religion-got-trump

I don't have time to read it right now. But I did scroll down to the bit about Dreher. I haven't read The Benedict Option and am not planning to, but Dreher has denied over and over again that he "calls for the church to withdraw from roles in the national public square". What he says in his blog posts is more that Christians shouldn't put their hope in politics, which is a different thing. And that we should in fact be prepared to become political pariah, but because we'll be forced out, not because we choose to be.

I think Jeffries appears only in FWWM, but he may also be in "Missing Pieces," which is apparently a full-length collection of deleted scenes from FWWM arranged into some semblance of order. It comes with the Criterion version but I haven't watched it (and don't know if I will).

I think you're right about Bell's character -- she really didn't do much.

Re Donna Tartt, I read The Goldfinch and really liked the first and last sections, but the long middle section with Boris, the drugs, etc., seemed to go on way too long. I didn't like it enough to give Secret History a try yet, although I may at some point.

One of the more interesting contemporary fiction writers I've come across recently is Melissa Harrison, a Brit whose third novel is coming out this fall. I liked her two previous ones, Clay and At Hawthorn Time, very much, the former a bit more than the latter. Both are smallish in scope and fairly "quiet," but they're considerably deep psychologically and emotionally and have a strong sense of place (Harrison is also a nature writer).

Okay, I'm starting a book list right now.

I haven't read Goldfinch, so I don't know how it compares with The Secret History, but I don't recall that the latter ever bogged down anywhere.

AMDG

Goldfinch is terribly long. Not only is that middle section too long, but I thought the opening section was too. Nonetheless, I did enjoy it and she is a very gifted writer, so one day I want to read her other two. She writes very slow, seems to average one book a decade.

That's good to know about Secret History, Janet.

She also narrates the Audible version of True Grit, and I thought she did a great job. I never realized how funny that book was until I listened to it. Not that DT makes it funny, she is pretty deadpan like the character, but it's just subtly hilarious.

AMDG

I finished the new Twin Peaks last week. So a few comments:
- It's the best thing I've ever seen that was "made for TV". In that it's the only thing I've ever seen on TV that wasn't some sort of re-doing re-packaging of something that has come before. I guess only Lynch can do that. You don't know where it is going. I liked the ending.
- Dougie parts were probably my favorite. I think that is because they were inherently silly. Mac mentioned missing the flavor of the old series which had its share of silliness. All the silliness in the new series is with Dougie.
- I also enjoyed Lynch, Miguel Ferrer, Chrysta Bell episodes a good deal.
- However, Kyle MacLachlan was really amazing, and should win awards for this bravura performance.
- My favorite episode was I think called "Gotta smoke?" New Mexico and testing of nuclear bomb, woodsmen, etc.
- I have always found Laura Dern and Naomi Watts very attractive, even now as middle aged starlets.
- After a while I got tired of the music in the roadhouse at the end. For some reason I very much disliked Rebekah del Rio's song. Though I loved when she sang in Mulholland Dr.

Not to put down Twin Peaks, but if you haven't anything else on TV that wasn't a repackaging or something, you *really* need to see some of the things that have been done in the past ten years or so, like The Wire and Breaking Bad. I'd rate both those as highly as TP, although they're very different. I think The Wire is the best of all of them. BB is really good but as it goes on gets more and more painful as more and more terrible things happen.

I thought the Dougie stuff went on too long though some of it was hilarious. Ditto on McLachlan's performance as essentially three distinct characters.

I think it was "Gotta light?"

I was disappointed in Tammy/Chrysta Bell because the role was so slight. I'd read Mark Frost's book and she is sort of the guiding hand in it. So I was hoping and expecting she would have a bigger and more interesting role to play.

My 'Big 4' of recent made-for-TV series are, in no particular order, The Wire, Breaking Bad, Broadchurch, and the Danish Killing. I'm tempted to add Rectify, but haven't watched the final season yet.

I'd agree with those except that I still haven't seen the original The Killing. Looks like buying the dvds is still the only option I have. I think I did check the library for it a while back but they didn't have it.

Rectify is well done but I didn't get that far with it. Too much of a creepy wallow-in-the-misery thing.

I'd put the Netflix original Bloodline up pretty close to those. Not quite but close.

Perhaps he thought his health was failing in some way that would be bad for the Church.

AMDG

I think that comment wandered in from somewhere else. :-)

Douthat (I think) speculated that he (Benedict) didn't want to put the Church through another long dying-in-public like the one we'd just gone through with JP. You can see why. Still, it could be a problem precedent.

Ha. It did. But it doesn't surprise me. I mean, I gave Bill his Father's Day card yesterday.

AMDG

:-)

I read somewhere that the third season of Bloodline wasn't very good and that's part of why it got cancelled. But I do remember that you liked season one a lot.

True, the third season wasn't as good, but I would have watched more because I had gotten so interested in the characters. There was one very strange thing about the third season, something that was a very weird but possibly genuine religious twist. I've meant to watch the last few episodes again to see if I could figure it out. I would recommend the first season without reservation beyond the advisory that it gets into some intense psychological stuff. Kyle Chandler and Ben Mendelsohn are *great*.

And btw the first season is a pretty complete story. There's more to tell, but it doesn't end with a cliffhanger, so it wouldn't be hard to stop if you were so inclined.

ok, that's good to know.

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