Lost in the Movies: THE ARCHIVE Chapter 24: Paris, Portmeirion, and Other Planets (December 2015 - April 2016)

THE ARCHIVE Chapter 24: Paris, Portmeirion, and Other Planets (December 2015 - April 2016)

In the wake of autumn's Evangelion immersion, several new subjects emerged to complement my continued focus on Twin Peaks throughout the winter. Lincoln Center's pairing of David Lynch and Jacques Rivette not only led me to New York to cover the entire retrospective but also prefigured a year-end montage using a couple Rivette films, followed by some more coincidental Rivette tributes (including a long-postponed video collaboration completed the previous summer and, sadly, an obituary triggered by Rivette's own passing). Meanwhile, British cult classic The Prisoner replaced Evangelion as my TV viewing diary and the release of The Force Awakens inspired several Star Wars pieces; together - along with the exploration of my familiar Favorites once a week - these all served as recurring, even reassuring touchstones into the new year.

Subjects include the uncanny correspondence of Lynch's late films with Maya Deren's Meshes of the Afternoon, the kaleidoscopic color spectrum of the Czechoslovakian Daisies, a tribute to the Honorary Oscar winners shunted from the main broadcast, an intense visual immersion into the spirit of Arthur Rimbaud, and the convergences and divergences of two "horse-obsessed Sterling Hayden goes on a fifties heist" movies...and those are just the subjects of my video essays!

Another video essay is my highlight, The Passion of Anna K. (video essay on Jean-Luc Godard & Anna Karina), which matched the larger spirit of this period: at once tightly structured and free to explore.


The Prisoner viewing diary begins...
Line-up for the sixties British series as I watch it for the first time

Lured in by Lynch & Rivette: a retrospective at Lincoln Center (+ status update for coming week)
I attended and reviewed a week-and-a-half-long film series in New York consisting of David Lynch/Jacques Rivette double features

The Favorites - The River (#77)
Jean Renoir's first color film displays his father's gifts with an eye-popping palette

Blue Velvet & The Duchess of Langeais (Lynch/Rivette Retrospective #1)
The first double feature poses the question: is General de Montriveau his film's Jeffrey Beaumont, or its Frank Booth - or both?

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me & Joan the Maid Part 1: The Battles/Part 2: The Prisons (Lynch/Rivette Retrospective #2)
Maybe the strongest double feature, and probably my strongest review of the series, pairs two blonde teenage martyrs played by brilliant actresses born in '67 who gave life to the legends that preceded them

The Prisoner - "Arrival"
Number Six finds himself in a resort/prison, shot in Portmeirion but set in God knows where

Eraserhead & Paris Belongs to Us (Lynch/Rivette Retrospective #4)
Lynch's and Rivette's eerie black-and-white debuts make an obvious duo but this juxtaposition reveals as many differences as similarities

The Favorites - La Roue (#76)
Not just groundbreaking montage but earnest melodrama marks Abel Gance's dynamic vision

Wild at Heart & L'Amour Fou (Lynch/Rivette Retrospective #3)
Thematic similarity aside, these are also crucial transitional films for both directors

Lost Highway & Duelle (Lynch/Rivette Retrospective #5)
Quasi-noir surrealism in Los Angeles and Paris

Mulholland Drive & Celine and Julie Go Boating (Lynch/Rivette Retrospective #6)
Of course! The pairing that inspired the series in the first place forms a giddy five-hour dream of magic, mystery, and cinema

The Paradox of Twin Peaks & David Lynch: interview with Andreas Halskov, author of TV Peaks
The Danish scholar chats about his in-depth book, emphasizing Peaks as innovative television and expression of Lynch's vision

Inland Empire & The Story of Marie and Julien (Lynch/Rivette Retrospective #7)
A late Rivette that may be his most Lynchian, and a late Lynch that is definitely his most Rivettian

The Prisoner - "Dance of the Dead"
The Village throws a carnival

The Favorites - Pandora's Box (#75)
Louise Brooks is a revelation as the Jazz Age reaches its roaring climax

The End of 2015, a status update: Star Wars & more (5 days this week)
With the end of the year approaching and a major endeavor concluded, I laid out my plans for 2016 (and sooner)

The Force Awakens: thoughts on the phenomenon & film
The dawn of a new Star Wars era, viewed as an individual film but also an indicator of larger (troubling) trends

The Prisoner - "Free for All"
Number Six is determined to subvert the system from within via an electoral campaign - but is this possible?

Montage: Two and One (Jacques Rivette & Brian Eno) (video)
Playing the numbers game with the filmmaker and musician in my audiovisual tribute to close off a Rivette-heavy month (though there's still more to come)


The Favorites - Gone With the Wind (#74)
Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable ensure termitic focus within the elephantine excess of one of Hollywood's most sumptuous productions

Fragments of Cinephilia, Pt. V
Re-publishing responses to many postwar Euro classics I was seeing for the first time in my early twenties

The Prisoner - "Checkmate"
Number Six's greatest virtues - his intelligence and his stubbornness - work at cross-purposes in an escape attempt

The Favorites - Ivan the Terrible, Pt. II (#73)
Sergei Eisenstein's take on the historical epic (designed like a live-action cartoon) is at once resolutely theatrical and cinematic

The 3 1/2 Minute Review: Revenge of the Sith (video)
My complicated feelings toward the third Star Wars prequel, boiled down into 210 seconds

The Prisoner - "The Chimes of Big Ben"
An elaborate escape plan goes in...an interesting direction

The Favorites - Scarface (#72)
"Get out of my way, Johnny, I'm gonna spit!" I love everything about this Hawks classic, even (maybe especially) the most blatant censor's intervention ever ("He's-a disgrace to my people!")

Did David Lynch fight Showtime out of loyalty to Twin Peaks actresses?
Questions about Lynch's six-week walkout from negotiations with Showtime the previous year, led by the Obnoxious and Anonymous podcast

The Language of Birds: Jacques Rivette's OUT 1 (my video essay collaboration w/ Covadonga G. Lahera)
As part of a longer collaborative series, we played around with footage from the epic experimental Out 1, creating and escalating an aesthetic dialogue

The Prisoner - "The Schizoid Man"
Six plus Six equals Twelve - which one is the double?

Entering Twin Peaks: comment collection #1 (summer 2014)
Assembling highlights of my forum posts and online comments from the summer the Twin Peaks blu-ray came out

The Favorites - Jaws (#71)
The iconic power of the Great White and the engaging chemistry of the human characters, straddling cinema's different qualities as early Steven Spielberg often does

Side by Side video: The Asphalt Jungle & The Killing
Comparing/contrasting a couple heist films, whose similarities only emphasize their divergent outlooks

The Prisoner - "The General"
Taking on the tech elite who want to control education, a half-century ahead of schedule

The Favorites - The Seventh Seal (#70)
The cinematic evocation of a medieval aesthetic and atmosphere

Jacques Rivette, 1928 - 2016
Concluding a couple months of Rivette-focused work with a tribute on the occasion of his death


Meet Me at Sparkwood & 21
My appearance on No Ship Network's podcast to discuss my work, my interests, and (of course) Twin Peaks with hosts Em and Steve

The Prisoner - "A, B, and C"
Spying on dreams to find out the big secret

The Favorites - God's Country (#69)
Excavating the traditions, troubles, and eccentricities of a farm town in Indiana

Cinepoem: Rimbaud's "The Stolen Heart"
Collage of spoken word, translated text, distorted cinema, and abstracted photography convey a powerful Arthur Rimbaud poem

The Prisoner - "Many Happy Returns"
You can't go home again - or can you? (Love this episode)

The Favorites - Satantango (#68)
An experience to get lost inside, both dense and sparse, close-quartered and wide-open

Fragments of Cinephilia, Pt. VI
Looking back at my 2006 questions and reactions from almost a decade later...the last chance I'd get since IMDb wiped its message board archives a few months later

The Prisoner - "It's Your Funeral"
The plot against Number Two is more complicated than it initially seems

The Favorites - The Apu Trilogy (#67)
Together, these films reflect not only the growth of the protagonist but also of Satyajit Ray

The Passion of Anna K. (video essay on Jean-Luc Godard & Anna Karina)
Non-narrated montage arranging clips from Karina's seven Godard features to follow a close structure and tell a kind of story

Honoring Twin Peaks Day tomorrow with Twin Peaks Unwrapped
Joining several other commentators on a podcast to mark the anniversary of Cooper's arrival in Twin Peaks

The Prisoner - "Living in Harmony"
Now this I was not expecting at all - is there any genre The Prisoner doesn't dip into? (They even go so far as to re-imagine the opening montage!)

Oscar Blues montage: Honoring Spike Lee & Gena Rowlands
Highlighting the recently-marginalized Honorary Academy Awards with two montages - "Spike Lee: Four Strategies" and "Gena Rowlands: Getting Closer" - cut to Miles Davis and John Coltrane in a live version of "So What"

The Favorites - Rear Window (#66)
A globetrotting adventure/romance/mystery filtered through a single room and window, anchoring itself down to express multiplicity


Status update, 2/29
A Leap Day check-in on the progress of an ambitious visual tribute

This Prisoner episode avoids a high concept - rare but solid

"The world in an hour and a half" according to Godard...Robert Bresson's spare film manages to tease a sprawling, communal narrative

Creating a narrated trailer for the clip series I arranged nearly five years earlier, explaining its purpose and highlighting its chapters

An unexpected face in the mirror

The Favorites - The Best Years of Our Lives (#65)
Fusing Old Hollywood's larger-than-life storytelling with postwar slice-of-life realism

Dinosaurs, Sharks, and Aliens: a visual tribute
Screenshots of the slow-burn buildups and dramatic reveals in Steven Spielberg's first four big creature features (best viewed by slowly scrolling through desktop mode on a computer screen)

The Prisoner - "Hammer into Anvil"
Six and Two play mind games

The Favorites - 42nd Street (#63)
Giving over-the-top visual form to what it feels like to to pull off the big show after intense preparation

The Medium & The Message: 7 Forms of Filmmaking in Lynne Sach's STATES OF UNBELONGING (video from Fandor Keyframe)
One director uses different approaches/formats to bring her closer to another (recently deceased) director

The 3 1/2 Minute Review of The Dark Crystal
Both fantasy and sci-fi, a fable with a very unique aesthetic

The Prisoner - "The Girl Who Was Death"
One of the wackier episodes, hated by some, loved by others

Welcome to Dead Dog Farm: discussing Twin Peaks episodes 17-23 with Twin Peaks Unwrapped
A guest appearance on a podcast to address the dreaded mid-season 2

Seeing the Big Picture: Twin Peaks comments #2 (summer 2014)
Stray reflections on Twin Peaks, some quite lengthy, from the summer of 2014 - including reasons why there would never be a new series!

A Year of Video Essays from Lost in the Movies
My biggest year of videos, with lots of diverse activity on Fandor, my own YouTube series, and some more random entries along the way

The Colors of Daisies (video for Fandor Keyframe)
Vera Chytilova and Annabella Lwin bounce across the color spectrum in a rapid one-minute montage

The Prisoner - "Once Upon a Time"
As the end approaches, The Prisoner dips into a quasi-experimental theater approach


The Favorites - Barry Lyndon (#62)
Is Barry a Jack Torrance-like loser, does he have more self-awareness, or is he in fact a noble soul despite the narrator's insistence?

The Favorites - Apocalypse Now (#61)
Considering both the theatrical cut and the Redux: the first may be more iconic but does the second have more depth?

Maya Deren & David Lynch: Spend a "lost afternoon" with my video essay MESHES OF LYNCH for Fandor Keyframe
Shots from Deren's Meshes of the Afternoon rhyme with shots from Lynch's films in startling, uncanny fashion

Mike and Other Mysteries - Twin Peaks comment collection #3 (fall 2014)
A final round-up of Twin Peaks comments from 2014, leading up to the announcement of The Return

The Prisoner - "Fall Out"
Who's Number One? I watch The Prisoner finale for the first time...

The Power of the Dark Side: a visual tribute to Anakin Skywalker's vision
Clone Wars yields a cave of forgotten nightmares

The Favorites - Civilisation (#60)
Despite the broad scope of this documentary series, the "personal view" is key to its success

1000 Posts on Lost in the Movies
At the time this was my thousandth post (although later I beefed up the archive with a number of pieces originally written for other sites back in 2009-2010)

The Prisoner: A Conversation with Christopher Yohn
My viewing diary complete, I chat with the fan who chose its viewing order

The Favorites - Dekalog (#59)
My last Favorites entry for several months packs ten mini-films into one epochal epic, a view of the ten commandments in the last years of Communist Poland

Slowing down - status update
After a very busy summer, fall, and winter - and over a year of steady activity on the site - I needed a breather (and an excuse to use the Rover pic)

(I covered this period on Episode 23 of my Patreon podcast)

Next: Finishing the Favorites (May - November 2016)
(in which I focus exclusively on daily reviews of favorite films day after a slow summer)

Previous: A World Without Uncertainty (August - December 2015)

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