Lost in the Movies: 15 Years of Lost in the Movies: highlights from every year

15 Years of Lost in the Movies: highlights from every year

Fifteen film/cultural highlights and fifteen Twin Peaks/David Lynch highlights, one from each year that Lost in the Movies has been active...

(Usually I reserve Sundays for 8am Patreon cross-posts, but today - as I continue to work on the Episode 100/podcast finale - I'm making an exception for a special occasion)

On July 16, 2008, I published my first blog post on what was then called The Dancing Image. Today there are 1,924 posts on Lost in the Movies - although "post" is a very uneven unit of measure. Some of these posts consist of a single image or comment while others gather, in one place, hours upon hours of video or audio material (or the equivalent of dozens of pages of prose). Some of those presentations took minutes to assemble while others took years. Variety has certainly been a staple of my work from the beginning, eventually encompassing video essays (narrated and non-narrated), podcasts (guest and conversational), written essays (film reviews and broader topics), screenshot line-ups, multimedia projects, lists, interviews, and somewhere in there a short film...which itself mixes media. You can explore some of my highlights by category on the recently-updated "Top Posts" page; while this anniversary presentation will overlap with that collection it will neither encompass nor be encompassed by it.

This is not the first time I've offered an anniversary retrospective, and of the three big ones this will the most modest - fitting for the awkward fifteenth year which does not have the same ring to it as "five" or "ten" but is worth marking nonetheless. For the fifth anniversary in 2013, I wrote up a history of Lost in the Movies to crystallize a busy half-decade; for the tenth anniversary in 2018, I went all out, leading up to the big day (and spilling out past it) with a series of podcast discussions on each mini-era within that decade, climaxing with a massive archive collection that I've continued to maintain.

Now, for the fifteenth anniversary in 2023, I'm offering a couple highlights for each completed year. One highlight is a David Lynch or Twin Peaks project (or, for sparse years, a post with a fleeting Lynch/Peaks mention); the other is a piece focused on any other film or cultural subject. I wanted these picks to be accurate snapshots of the time, in addition to everything else.

I hope you'll be encouraged to discover or re-visit the work below, and may this also whet your appetite for what's still to come...


Lynch/Peaks highlight: Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
Reviewing Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me immediately after first viewing, I was deeply shaken, with many conflicting reactions to sort through

Film/Culture highlight: The Way We Weren't: Art Under Bush
Newsweek collected many perspectives on "the ways artists responded to the Bush era" and I found most of it pretty risible. This was my response.


Only Lynch-focused post this year: The Short Films of David Lynch
A collection of Lynch's (mostly) early work - the last time I reviewed his films for half a decade

Film/Culture highlight: Reading the Movies
This was definitely my signature post in 2009 - a collection of movie books that influenced me as a child, teenager, and young adult, with an invitation for other movie bloggers to join

Worthy of note: I didn't emphasize my first video essay, directed by De Palma, only because it was re-presented in 2013 in an improved aspect ratio and accompanied by a conversation with Kevin B. Lee, so it's final form doesn't quite belong to the year it was first presented.


Only Lynch-focused post this year: The Posters of David Lynch
The last of my poster galleries - for Lynch, 1977-2006 - was the last time any post was focused on him until March 2014

Field of Dreams is not just a film about baseball, it's a film about the sixties - particularly how a segment of baby boomers envisioned their own past and legacy in the late eighties


A visual surprise closes this chapter of my film clip collection, confirming the explosive end of an era and perhaps even a climax in cinema history

One of few Lynch references this year: A Dark Dawn 1990 - 1993 • "32 Days of Movies" Day 27
Fire Walk With Me is featured among other film clips from the early nineties, a time of Dickensian extremes: hope and promise alongside frustration and worry


How are these two iconic detectives, both played by Bogart, different from one another?

One of very few Lynch references this year: Neon Genesis Evangelion, Episode 2 - "The Beast"
In the aftermath of his fast-paced battle with an Angel, Shinji (and the audience) is at last properly introduced to his environment - in the sparsest Lynch/Peaks year yet, a single sentence alludes to Twin Peaks (planting the seed for my later video essay)


Recounting the creation of the film from first concept to final edit (began working on the film itself, and publishing parts of it, in 2012)

One of few Lynch references this year: #WatchlistScreenCaps, 9/1 - 9/8
Another ten screenshots, featuring a classic from each decade (including my first-ever rewatch of Fire Walk With Me)


My first video essay in a year and a half, a non-narrated montage exploring how Lynch handles themes of abuse in his early work - this remains one of my strongest pieces of work

Lady and the Tramp presented as a silent comedy, TV sitcom, horror film, prison movie, musical, melodrama, and romance

Worthy of note: I didn't emphasize Journey Through Twin Peaks as a whole (which spans 2014 - 15) and specifically "7 Facts About Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me" (which premiered on New Year's Eve of this year) because that video series and that particular chapter are by far my most popular works, and thus probably already familiar to anyone who'd be reading this (not necessarily true of later, less-viewed chapters).


One of my favorite video essays analyzes eye contact in a film about the birth of a saleswoman

"Neon Genesis Evangelion ... is a robot saga the same way Twin Peaks was a cop show." - Comic Buyers Guide (starting with that sentiment, I created one of my favorite videos for the site)


Shots from Deren's Meshes of the Afternoon rhyme with shots from Lynch's films in startling, uncanny fashion

A video study of how Ousmane Sembene used his film's design to express its political outlook


My last Fandor video looks at both halves of the Oscar-winning documentary's title - what does the film tell us not just about O.J. Simpson but also the society that created, worshipped, and criticized him?

Lynch/Peaks highlight: TV Countdown - Twin Peaks
My first chance to comprehensively explore all three seasons of Twin Peaks together, since the series placed #2 in the Wonders in the Dark television countdown


Film/Culture highlight: Public 10th Anniversary Videos
Accompanying my anniversary podcast with many images for a video presentation

Fire Walk With Me is many things: an art film focused on trauma, a multifaceted participant in the horror genre, an example of Lynch's cinematic aesthetics and themes, and the culminating episode of a TV show (began working on this in 2017)


After our conversation five years earlier, I return to interview one of my favorite Lynch scholars in podcast form, exploring season three and other televisual topics

Bursting at the seams with era-defining collages and generational headshots, I illustrate a guide to which generation is which, when their milestones unfolded, and how they experienced various moments in living American history

Originally intended as a short Journey Through Twin Peaks chapter, this subject ballooned into three separate YouTube videos and finally a standalone Vimeo presentation which documents the eerie aesthetic similarity of Lynch's six Peaks episodes alongside his ten feature films, the sensibility and style of his editor/companion Sweeney both before and after their decade-plus collaboration, and the ups and downs of Lynch's trips to the Cannes Film Festival over the years...among many other goodies (full standalone video presented at the bottom of this link, as an update)

Given how politically fraught 2020 turned out to be, for my public presentation I added a brand new coda just ten months after originally recording these reviews for patrons


Part of a broader analysis tracing the path to season three, my most ambitious single video essay is a grand twenty-three minute voyage across the Peaks co-creator's literature, television, and cinema - encompassing everything from Jazz Age golf footage to eighties cop drama clips to illustrations of nineteenth-century adventures - produced from dozens of sources after months of editing and years of research (this chapter is included among all the other chapters in the middle of this link) (began working on this in 2021)

I offer my broad thoughts on the series in podcast mode in a nod to my behind-the-scenes activity (having spent the past month writing viewing diaries for seasons six and seven while publishing my earlier work)

Worthy of note: I didn't emphasize my massive Lost in Twin Peaks podcast coverage of Fire Walk With Me only because it was re-presented (and combined with some other material) in 2022, so its final form doesn't quite belong the year it was first presented


The Nazis host the last games in a dozen years before the war that they'll start, London and St. Moritz welcome the postwar era in glorious Technicolor (the only documentary to include both summer and winter events), and Americans are determined to win in the wake of 9/11

My first official Conversations repeat guest - and one of the longest-running repeat guests on this site - John is back for an in-depth exploration of The Return as analyzed in his brand new book (first part available to the public on YouTube)

Worthy of note: I didn't emphasize my Twin Peaks Cinema podcast on The Sweet Hereafter only because it was actually recorded a year earlier in 2021, so it doesn't quite belong to the year it was presented

2023 (stay tuned...)

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