Lost in the Movies: October 2017

Lost in Twin Peaks #8: discussing Fire Walk With Me & the end of season 3 w/ Twin Peaks Unwrapped

This is the first entry in 5 Weeks of Fire Walk With Me. Next week I will discuss why the movie belongs in the Criterion Collection.

Although I initially planned to kick off my "5 Weeks of Fire Walk With Me" series with a review/response to the new Criterion Collection edition (look for that as next week's entry), it makes sense to begin with what I recorded first. A couple weeks ago, in anticipation of this upcoming release, I joined hosts Ben and Bryon of the Twin Peaks Unwrapped podcast for our first post-season three discussion. This is also the first official "Lost in Twin Peaks" segment since before the third season began (my appearances since then have been to discuss films or the ongoing series); hopefully there will be more to come this fall and winter.

We cover Fire Walk With Me from several angles, focusing on how the new season does or doesn't change our view of the material (particularly the ending of the film), why it would be a bad idea for David Lynch to release a recut of the movie including The Missing Pieces (as producer Sabrina Sutherland has said he would consider), and if the film functions as a standalone. My segment appears in the latter half of the episode; the rest is devoted to a fascinating discussion of the UK Twin Peaks Festival, sprinkled with snippets of Sutherland's Q&A. (And make sure you check out this episode's amazing cover art, which doesn't show up in the embed.) See you next week for more Fire Walk With Me.

"5 Weeks of Fire Walk With Me" begins next week

UPDATE: “5 Weeks of Fire Walk With Me will begin next week (the week of October 22) rather than this weekend as originally announced, and the podcast posts before the Criterion review.

This week the Criterion Collection released DVD and blu-ray editions of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. Considering its inclusion in a deluxe Twin Peaks boxset three years ago, this may seem anticlimactic; aside from a couple new interviews, it's nothing we haven't seen before. However, I think Criterion spine number #898 is significant and worth celebrating, for reasons I'll explain more in-depth in a few days, after I've had a chance to rewatch the film.

This review/statement of "Why Fire Walk With Me Belongs in the Criterion Collection" will discuss the new interviews and older special features, but will particularly pay attention to Fire Walk With Me's legacy as cinema, and not just a part of Twin Peaks. It will also kick off "5 Weeks of Fire Walk With Me" during which I am planning to celebrate this great, still underrated film with a new post each week. (This ended up appearing as the second entry instead.)

Early thoughts on Twin Peaks season 3: a conversation w/ Lindsay Stamhuis on 25 Years Later

A month ago, when the finale was only a week old, I took a few hours to chat with Lindsay Stamhuis (of the Bickering Peaks podcast) about the new season of Twin Peaks. Both parts of the discussion have now been published on 25 Years Later in print form (thanks to Lindsay for transcribing them!) and you can read them for yourselves. These were initial reflections so in some cases I'm asking more questions than teasing out answers - not that I'm necessarily much closer to final conclusions about most of this stuff now! What do you think?

(Samples of the conversations are featured below, followed by links to the complete conversation)

On The Return as David Lynch’s magnum opus: Yeah, that’s how it felt to me. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a work by a director where they’ve drawn on all of their work up to that point, just touched on all of it. Even though he has a specific style, Lynch actually has a pretty diverse body of work. You’ve got everything from Straight Story to Elephant Man, to Inland Empire, Wild at Heart, all of these very different modes or genres of filmmaking…he referred back to all of it. I mean, there were parts that I thought really gelled really well with every single one of his movies. And all the actors that were in it! I mean, there’s all these obvious motifs that he’s drawing on, so in that sense, yeah, I think it’s definitely a magnum opus.
“I think Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive were really key to the finale. I think if somebody hadn’t seen that, it would feel even more left field to them.”
Continue reading Part 1: Learn Lynch

On critical and fan reaction to The Return: With this series, it’s been great in a way: the critics just raved about this. I was shocked. It got the best reviews of probably anything I’ve seen in years, just non-stop gushing. The fan reaction has been a little more divided, but I would say—in my view—mostly positive. Maybe I just haven’t looked in the right or wrong places. But then at the end, there was that explosion of frustration: “No, what’s happening?” Maybe it’s sadistic of me but I kinda like that that happened. And it did happen to me a little bit too, maybe less because I was pretty happy with the finale or enjoyed it or whatever but like, you know, I felt a little of that feeling too, that: ”Oh no, is this gonna end? Oh my god, this is where we are?! Are we even gonna hear what she’s saying to him?!” Thank god Lynch can still do that to us! Even after he’s finally gotten to this point in his career where everybody accepts him and is willing to go along for the ride, he can still upset us.

With the release of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me on Criterion Collection this week, I'm planning something special. I had hoped to maybe do a full week of posts - a "5 Days of Fire Walk With Me" line-up covering various aspects and perspectives on the film, but it's Sunday afternoon and I haven't done anything to prepare for that so it seems unlikely. However, there is a podcast appearance already recorded, and I'll probably write at least one new piece, so stay tuned.

3 years of Journey Through Twin Peaks (& how it began, pt. 1 of 3)

Newfound Lake, NH
(site of some early inspiration)

On October 1, 2014, I uploaded the first Journey Through Twin Peaks video. Since then, this series has become by far my most popular work, and certainly one of the projects I'm proudest of. Journey took about four and a half months to complete, and began as the coming-together of several different ideas. By the fall of 2014, I had already been publishing a lot about Twin Peaks for six months, ever since I casually decided to read a book of Twin Peaks essays (Full of Secrets, edited by the late David Lavery) that had been sitting on my desk for four months, and in my online cart for half a decade before that. What follows is a short history of the process that led to this video series, if you find such things interesting! (Well, it was supposed to be short but it ended up kind of long - in fact I will follow up at another time with parts 2 and 3, as I enjoyed revisiting this process, however navel-gazey...)

Thank you to everyone who has watched, shared, commented on, or otherwise engaged with Journey Through Twin Peaks. I hope it continues to help people in their own journeys with this work.

And here is where the playlist for Journey Through Twin Peaks begins:

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