Lost in the Movies (formerly The Dancing Image): February 2018

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Patreon update #8: Carnival of Souls, Upstream Color & The Shanghai Gesture (+ Christopher Nolan & more) and preview of Come On Over, Veronique (Kieslowski Montage)


The podcast's second triple feature covers three disparate films - a low-budget cult classic from the sixties, a recent sci-fi art film, and a decadent piece of Hollywood exotica. All three tell stories of young women in over their heads, seemingly contending with much larger forces beyond their control although possibly the struggles they face are primarily in their own heads. Additionally, I take a look at the quirky Twin Peaks Access Guide, revisit Christopher Nolan (covering most of the films I didn't talk about in my recent double header), and explore in era in my own blogging history when I began to indulge in image-posts, including a survey of all the films I saw in the movie theater between the late eighties to the late nineties, Twins as a 4-year-old to Affliction as a 15-year-old.

And I preview my second montage in a month this week, a clip from my fusion of Amy Winehouse and Krzysztof Kieslowski, which you can see by becoming a third-tier patron for $10/month. For the rest, a mere dollar can be your key. See you on the other side...





Line-up for Episode 8

INTRO
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WEEKLY UPDATE/Patreon: 3rd Tier Biweekly Preview - Come On Over, Veronique (Kieslowski Montage)
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WEEKLY UPDATE/recent posts: updated Twin Peaks picture gallery
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WEEKLY UPDATE/works in progress: finished minor characters
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FILM IN FOCUS: Carnival of Souls
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FILM IN FOCUS: Upstream Color
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FILM IN FOCUS: The Shanghai Gesture
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TWIN PEAKS REFLECTIONS: The Access Guide
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OTHER TOPICS: Christopher Nolan's other films (outtake from Interstellar/Prestige episode)
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OPENING THE ARCHIVE "The Image Emerges" (January - February 2010), this week's highlight (They Once Were Coming Attractions: memories of my movie past, 1988 - 1998)

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Patreon update #7: Blade Runner 2049 w/ Max Clark (+ music of Journey Through Twin Peaks & more)


update: this was originally published without the link to the podcast, which has now been added!

Every now and then, I will have a friend on the show as a guest. Max Clark, one of my oldest friends and a fellow commentator on film, is also a patron who chose this week's topic as his Film in Focus. Because it's an extended discussion, this episode will feature only one movie although from now on, double/triple/quadruple features will be the norm.

Blade Runner 2049 is one of the few films I saw in theaters in 2017 (coincidentally or not, while visiting Max in Boston). I enjoyed it and thought it would provide a rich subject for conversation, and it did. We focused on questions around the character Joi (does she have any humanity, and if not what's the point?), the ubiquity of Replicants in the world of this sequel, the political allegory of 2049, and of course its relationship to the original film among many other aspects.

Additionally, I highlight the musical bookends and markers of my Journey Through Twin Peaks series, muse on why I prefer Winter to Summer Olympics, and dig a bit into my fascination with Aldous Huxley.



INTRO
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WEEKLY UPDATE/recent posts: updated links for 32 Days of Movies clips
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WEEKLY UPDATE/Patreon: Films in Focus
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WEEKLY UPDATE/works in progress: re-scheduling Twin Peaks Character Series, Buster Keaton for Voyage into the Movies, Baudelaire for Cinepoems, Mad Men viewing diary
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FILM IN FOCUS: Blade Runner 2049 w/ guest Max Clark
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TWIN PEAKS REFLECTIONS: Making Journey Through Twin Peaks, pt. 2 - the music of Journey Through Twin Peaks
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OTHER TOPICS: The Winter Olympics & North Korea
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LISTENER FEEDBACK: High-Rise, Aldous Huxley, A Field in England
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OPENING THE ARCHIVE: "Open Season for Blogging" (November - December 2009), this week's highlight: For the Love of Movies interview

BECOME A PATRON

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Patreon update #6: Inherent Vice, Monkey Business & High-Rise (+ history of video essays, Donkeyskin/Fire Walk With Me & more) and preview of the TWIN PEAKS Character Series "Rules"


Rounding up the last of the January Film in Focus topics, I didn't think this triple feature would have a thematic or aesthetic throughline. In fact, however, all three movies are characterized by a narrative descent into chaos, disintegrating social norms until we are just as bewildered as the figures onscreen. I liked one of these films quite a lot, had a mixed but generally positive reaction to another, and didn't care at all for the third, but I had a good time digging into each first-time viewing.

Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice adapts Thomas Pynchon's Big Lebowski/Long Goodbye-esque tribute to the slacker-as-sleuth genre. Surprisingly, this is the first Anderson film I've reviewed on this site (the only other acknowledgement of his work was a #WatchlistScreenCaps image for The Master several years ago). Howard Hawks' Monkey Business is a madcap (or maybe not so madcap as you'd expect, initially) screwball comedy with some interesting subtexts about Hollywood, aging, and the generation that came to prominence in the thirties Golden Age. Ben Wheatley's High-Rise is another notable adaptation, this time of J.G. Ballard's iconic text of the seventies; the acidic satire opens with a calmly dystopian interior landscape and closes with a peculiar Margaret Thatcher quote and song from The Fall.

Additionally, I dig into the history of the video essay form over the past ten years, and how the desire to experiment with that form led to Journey Through Twin Peaks; I find some more Mark Frost-written Hill Street Blues episodes, and I receive some great feedback exploring Fire Walk With Me's fairy tale links, especially to the disturbing fable Donkeyskin by Charles Perrault. This is the longest episode yet - hopefully you find it enjoyable.

Finally, if you're thinking of becoming a 3rd-tier patron ($10 a month), I've just published a couple pages of the introduction to my revised Twin Peaks character series explaining (among other things) how I will cover the complicated characters of Cooper and Laura, and offering links to the timeline I'm using as a frame of reference for The Return.


Line-up for Episode 6

INTRO
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WEEKLY UPDATE/recent posts: creating Journey Through Twin Peaks
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WEEKLY UPDATE/Patreon: 3rd tier Biweekly Preview - intro to character series, February films in focus - suggest several titles
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WEEKLY UPDATE/works in progress: minor characters, Fire Walk With Me history
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FILM IN FOCUS: Inherent Vice
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FILM IN FOCUS: Monkey Business
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FILM IN FOCUS: High-Rise
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TWIN PEAKS REFLECTIONS: Making Journey Through Twin Peaks, pt. 1 - the history of video essays, form in the Journey videos
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OTHER TOPICS: 2 more Mark Frost-written Hill Street Blues episodes, Dario Argento on the Joe Franklin Show
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LISTENER FEEDBACK: Marie Antoinette, watching the Twin Peaks killer's reveal at 13, Fire Walk With Me as a fairy tale (comparison w/ Donkeyskin) and Christian martyrs' tales
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OPENING THE ARCHIVE: "Examining the Options" (June - October 2009), this week's highlight: Lawrence of Arabia

BECOME A PATRON

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Creating Journey Through Twin Peaks (pt. 2 of 3)


In Part 1 of this look back at my video series, I focused on the build-up to its creation as well as the fast-paced, relatively brief process of putting together the first part. This entry examines the much longer period spent on the subsequent three parts, concluding with the presentation of the complete Journey Through Twin Peaks at this time three years ago on February 4. Part 3 will eventually chronicle the creation of new Journey chapters focused on The Return, which have yet to be produced but will hopefully be available this summer.

On the morning of October 3, 2014 less than twenty-four hours after I'd put the finishing touches on the first part of Journey Through Twin Peaks, the entire context of Twin Peaks - and with it, my little video project - was forever altered. David Lynch's and Mark Frost's simultaneous Twitter teases would be revealed within days as what many suspected: Twin Peaks' return to television as a limited series on Showtime in 2016. This was a cosmic coincidence for my purposes; not only had I just launched what would become my most ambitious online work just as it became newly relevant, but this same week I'd announced that I'd be devoting the following six weeks exclusively to Twin Peaks, including perhaps the longest interviews ever conducted with John Thorne, publisher of the legendary fanzine Wrapped in Plastic. We'd spoken during the summer, and at one point we mused about the future of this world we were both falling back in to. (John, whose involvement with the work had obviously been far more extensive than my own, hadn't written or engaged with Peaks much at all in the previous decade; the magazine's last issue had been 2005 and its co-founder, Craig Miller, had passed away a few years later.) As exciting as The Missing Pieces was for Peaks fans that had been starved for new content since the early nineties, John noted that this was all a bit of tempest in a teacup - or, perhaps, a coffee cup.

John's friend had attended the red-carpet premiere for The Missing Pieces in Los Angeles and observed (in John's paraphrase) "it was the same types of people who are at every Lynch event, it was a fairly small venue. From the outside, it has this glamour to it like it was a big event, and Twin Peaks was in the air. But in fact it was a small event magnified by social media and the internet." John himself added, "I’m glad it’s still there and I’m glad it’s getting press coverage but there’s a small core devoted." We both reflected that the old Lynch - the one who savvily played the "Czar of Bizarre" for mainstream media in the early nineties - would have capitalized on this momentum rather than calmly letting it pass. I remembered the odd buzz of the spring, when (twenty-fourth!) anniversary pieces were popping up left and right, Twin Peaks would randomly trend on Twitter, and the first announcement of the deleted scenes was made; I noted that if Lynch and Frost wanted to seize the moment with some sort of revival, this would have been the opportunity. But a couple months had passed since the blu-ray, Brad Dukes had already made the rounds to promote his oral history (the first of a tsunami of Peaks literature though at the time it seemed an unprecedented one-off), and if there was any chance of Twin Peaks re-emerging in the broader public consciousness, it was rapidly fading. And then, of course, the news.

By the time that particular interview went up, I'd already conducted another with John to wrestle with this unexpected windfall. Those Wrapped in Plastic interviews were published three weeks in a row after the first part of Journey Through Twin Peaks; also in October I interviewed Martha Nochimson, author of The Passion of David Lynch and David Lynch Swerves, and continued a deep dive into the archives of the Twin Peaks Usenet forms (alt.tv.twin-peaks) where early internet adopters discussed the series in the early nineties. After all, the Journey videos were only supposed to be one part of my now expanded "Twelve Weeks of Twin Peaks," a central feature perhaps but not the only show in town. And while the blog content was exclusively Peaksian, I still found room for non-Peaks endeavors elsewhere - for example, tweeting my "alternate Oscar" picks, a new year every day, throughout the fall. By early December, however, the video series had taken over the weekly Peaks posts altogether; by the end of the month, when a much-delayed Part 3 finally premiered, I had dropped the "Twelve Weeks" limitation entirely and was dedicated to publishing about Twin Peaks as long as it took to finish this project, and as the new year dawned my Twin Peaks immersion became exclusive and all-encompassing, not just yielding by far my most popular work but changing me in the process.

This is the story of how I created parts 2 - 4 of Journey Through Twin Peaks, and what that experience meant to me.


Saturday, February 3, 2018

Patreon update #5: Marie Antoinette & Heart of a Dog (+ The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer, French response to #MeToo, Roman Polanski, SMILF, The Stepfather & more)


Another double feature this week, as we approach the end of January rewards (next week I'll be covering at least three Films in Focus). Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette is paired with Laurie Anderson's Heart of a Dog and I finally finished - and covered - The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer. I also finish the extended "Other Topics" I started several weeks ago with a lengthy passage that begins with the controversial response of many French actresses to #MeToo, winds its way through Roman Polanski and a SMILF episode focused on Woody Allen and winds up digging in to The Stepfather (all subjects linked to The Secret Diary, though the timing was largely coincidental).

Thanks to all the patrons who made January a success. If you're not a patron, don't worry - though I've been focused on the podcast lately, another public post is coming very soon (tomorrow being the anniversary of my Journey Through Twin Peaks video series) and hopefully this month will see some very long-gestating projects finally debut.




INTRO
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WEEKLY UPDATE/Patreon: revised last biweekly preview & upcoming guest appearance
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WEEKLY UPDATE/works in progress: minor Twin Peaks characters, The Wire/Mad Men viewing diaries, Kieslowski/Winehouse montage, looking for Cinepoems, History of Journey Through Twin Peaks, The Last Laugh for Voyage into the Movies
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FILM IN FOCUS: Marie Antoinette
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FILM IN FOCUS: Heart of a Dog
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TWIN PEAKS REFLECTIONS: audiobook of The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer
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OTHER TOPICS: French response to #MeToo & From Revolution to Ethics (history of left attitudes on post-1968 sexual conduct), Roman Polanski, Repulsion, Woody Allen, SMILF season finale, Brad's Status (the neurotic midlife crisis film in transition), The Stepfather
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LISTENER FEEDBACK: The Last Jedi & Christopher Nolan
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OPENING THE ARCHIVE: "Covers, Characters, and Wonders" (April - June 2009), this week's highlight: Reading the Movies