Lost in the Movies (formerly The Dancing Image): 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"

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

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