Lost in the Movies: THE ARCHIVE Chapter 35: Dawn of a New Frontier (September 2019 - March 2020)

THE ARCHIVE Chapter 35: Dawn of a New Frontier (September 2019 - March 2020)


Behind the scenes, following a radical re-design of my site, the fall and winter of 2019 - 2020 involved lots of viewings to prepare for Journey Through Twin Peaks (and simultaneously catch up with the most hyped new releases of the past year), as well as canvassing for Bernie Sanders while following the rapidly-unfolding news from the Democratic primary. My Journey research entailed the old series and many films by Peaks directors; the new movie list included a Tarantino, a Scorsese, a wildly controversial and zeitgeist-capturing "comic book film," and a soon-to-be groundbreaking Best Picture winner; and the primary roller coaster ranged, in the period covered here, from Bernie's sluggish early autumn climaxing in a heart attack to his gamechanging endorsement by AOC, fallout with former ally Elizabeth Warren, steady climb to frontrunner status after a series of early wins, and grim turnaround as Joe Biden suddenly surged following South Carolina. On my site, however, that Peaks/film/political activity mostly occurred "offscreen," as I released a steady stream of backlogged work completed in the past year (most of it looking back on the mid-teens, the early zeroes, the early sixties, or all of the above)...the only exception being a massive "mother of all podcasts" episode for patrons in late January, in which I discussed those Peaks directors, those 2019 films, that enthusiasm for Bernie, and much, much, much, much more.

Subjects outside of that particular podcast include the launch of my "Unseen" series reviewing big films of the decade that I missed until now, a month of tangentially Halloween-ish horrors and thrillers, an exploration of Mary Sweeney's quiet solo work and its relationship to the work she did (and didn't do) for David Lynch, a couple of coming-of-age films set in the early zeroes (an era just now hovering in the twilight between recent and remote past), and two seasons of Mad Men covering the early sixties - now officially my longest viewing diary.

The title and above image for this archive chapter obviously evoke the era captured in Mad Men, but both derive directly from my highlight, SEVEN AMERICAN GENERATIONS: iGen, millennials, X, boomers, silent, greatest, and lost; inspired by the end of the decade (and millennials approaching middle age), I illustrated and explained every generation in every era over the past century, exploring what it means to age as history keeps marching on - proven by the very period represented here (and the chaotic weeks that immediately followed).

SEPTEMBER

Welcome to the new Lost in the Movies
After months of work, my new site design is unveiled; the blog format is replaced by dedicated pages for various topics, approaches, and other miscellany briefly described here

Mad Men - "For Those Who Think Young" (season 2, episode 1)
The series shifts from Thanksgiving 1960 to Valentine's Day 1962 as a new season kicks off

Working on videos + The Unseen, Mad Men & Movie Reviews: a fall update
Charting my course for at least three months (six, as it turned out) with viewing diaries, podcasts, and reviews carrying the load on Mondays and Wednesdays

Mad Men - "Flight 1" (season 2, episode 2)
Pete's family tragedy yields both a moral crisis and a business opportunity

Black Panther (The Unseen 2018)
A new series - reviewing one of the most popular films of a given year that I haven't seen before - starts with the Marvel blockbuster that double as sociopolitical phenomenon

Mad Men - "The Benefactor" (season 2, episode 3)
Brutally cutting comedian Jimmy Barrett and his seductive wife Bobbie present problems for Don, and a dinner with them and Betty only complicates the matter

September 2019 Patreon podcasts: LOST IN TWIN PEAKS #8 - Season 1 Finale and LOST IN THE MOVIES #58 - Twin Peaks cinema - The Double Life of Veronique (+ favorite films archive #12 - 2: Jammin' the Blues, Citizen Kane, It's a Wonderful Life, The Godfather Part II, The Passion of Joan of Arc, Gimme Shelter, Stille Nacht I-IV, The House is Black, Day of Wrath, Vertigo, Lawrence of Arabia & Twin Peaks Reflections: Trudy, Gerard, Eileen, the general store, the mountain top, Packard Saw Mill fire/Access Guide)
My second "Twin Peaks Cinema" entry centers a film from the Twin Peaks era with a very Lynchian interest in doubles; meanwhile I round up the last batch of eleven from my "Favorites" series

Mad Men - "Three Sundays" (season 2, episode 4)
As the title suggests, this episode employs a clever format spanning three weeks and three characters' ongoing stories

OCTOBER

Devil's Bride
For the month marked by Halloween, I focus on horror films and spooky thrillers, starting with this Norwegian tale of sixteenth-century witch trials

Mad Men - "The New Girl" (season 2, episode 5)
Don weathers a crisis with Bobbie while Peggy flashes back to her own unresolved crisis from the end of last season

Twin Peaks Unwrapped - Mulholland Drive pilot (w/ Mya McBriar and John Thorne)
Before it became a twenty-first century cinematic masterpiece, Mulholland Drive was an abandoned nineties TV pilot, now only available via fuzzy 4:3 VHS dubs on YouTube - what are the differences?

Mad Men - "Maidenform" (season 2, episode 6)
In one of the series' most schematically themed episodes, Peggy struggles as the only woman in her position at Sterling Cooper

Mary Shelley
This biopic of the Frankenstein author spurred thoughts about the Romantic vs. Enlightenment eras as well as the nature of the biopic genre

Mad Men - "The Gold Violin" (season 2, episode 7)
Every invitation backfires as Don climbs socially and Jimmy begins to drive a wedge between the Drapers

Get Out (The Unseen 2017)
I finally watch one of the decade's masterpieces, inspiring one of my longest "Unseen" reviews to dissect the style, theme, and historic context of Jordan Peele's racially-charged horror film

Mad Men - "A Night to Remember" (season 2, episode 8)
After seeding doubts in person, Jimmy's Utz ad provides the final push Betty needs to confront Don and set off a separation

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
My Halloween run of reviews closes with this classic of German Expressionism, whose connections to David Lynch's storytelling structures I find particularly fascinating

NOVEMBER

Mad Men - "Six Month Leave" (season 2, episode 9)
Duck's drinking habit finally takes him down; meanwhile, the rest of the office grieves Marilyn Monroe

October 2019 Patreon podcasts: LOST IN TWIN PEAKS #9 - The Season 2 Premiere and LOST IN THE MOVIES #60 - Twin Peaks Cinema: La Dolce Vita (+ favorite films archive #1: Masculin Feminin & Twin Peaks Reflections: Johnny, Sylvia, Mike, the Red Room, the room above the convenience store & Nadine's drape runners/Part 13)
My Favorites reading series concludes with a French New Wave classic, as I also ask: what in the world do Fellini's Roman escapade and Lynch's TV prequel have in common?

Mad Men - "The Inheritance" (season 2, episode 10)
Family issues run through this episode as sixties America begins to shake off the order and obligations of the fifties

La La Land (The Unseen 2016)
This musical stirs memories of a moment already passed - personally (my move from California) and politically (the shock of Trump's election)

Mad Men - "The Jet Set" (season 2, episode 11)
One of my favorite episodes of Mad Men takes a Polanski/Fowleresque turn as Don abandons a business trip to fall in with a strange family in southern California

"Twin Peaks was awfully busy that night, wasn't it?": discussing the season 1 finale w/ Twin Peaks Unwrapped (+ Lindsay & Aidan of Bickering Peaks)
With special guests who conducted a deep dive into Mark Frost's work, we dig into the only Peaks episode that Frost directed

Mad Men - "The Mountain King" (season 2, episode 12)
Don visits an old friend in California who reminds him of his early Draper days, and helps him to re-consider his future

November 2019 Patreon podcasts: LOST IN TWIN PEAKS #10 - Season 2 Episode 2 and LOST IN THE MOVIES #61 - Twin Peaks Cinema: Lost Highway & Updates on Journey Through Twin Peaks (+ Duelle, Twin Peaks Reflections: Ed, James, Hawk, the cemetery, Sparkwood & 21, Cocaine in Twin Peaks/Part 6 & more)
A Lynch film steps into the "Twin Peaks Cinema" slot; how do its double characters, its plot mechanics (pun intended), and its mid-nineties Lynch style connect to or contrast with the original series, prequel, and follow-up?

DECEMBER

Mad Men - "Meditations in an Emergency (season 2, episode 13)
The Cuban Missile Crisis none-too-subtly pairs with the Drapers' marital (and maternal) moment of truth

Inside Out (The Unseen 2015)
Inside a preteen girl's mind, her personified emotions navigate the collapse of her familiar childhood frames of reference - and how does this relate to the world of 2015?

Mad Men - "Out of Town" (season 3, episode 1)
A new season begins on a minor key as Don and Sal spend a revealing night in Baltimore

Twin Peaks Unwrapped - Season 2 (w/ Sam Iswitt)
A fan of the much-maligned second season subplots joins us to rank twenty-two episodes in one of my most fun Unwrapped guest appearances

Mad Men - "Love Among the Ruins" (season 3, episode 2)
Betty's father slips further into cognitive decline and Don must make a decision

SEVEN AMERICAN GENERATIONS: iGen, millennials, X, boomers, silent, greatest, and lost
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

Descriptions/credits for "Seven American Generations"
Larger images and attributions fill a differently-ordered line-up of the illustrations for my big generational post

Mad Men - "My Own Kentucky Home" (season 3, episode 3)
Peggy gets stoned at the office while Roger holds a party at a country club
The Unseen 1919 - 2018
At year's/decade's end, I unveil the full line-up for my new Unseen series, which will look even further back (over a century)

Mad Men - "The Arrangements" (season 3, episode 4)
Eugene's reminiscences - of World War I and more - form a requiem


JANUARY

December 2019 Patreon podcasts: LOST IN TWIN PEAKS #11 - Season 2 Episode 3 and LOST IN THE MOVIES #62 - Twin Peaks Cinema: River's Edge (+ history of baby boomers/sixties, Twin Peaks Reflections: Invitation to Love, Sarah, Andy, One Stop Gas/Lydecker Veterinarian's Clinic, Prison, Albert vs. Twin Peaks/Part 7 & more)
Although I'll dive more extensively into the work of Twin Peaks episode directors within a month, for now I focus on three-time director Tim Hunter's quirky eighties teen drama, whose ties to Peaks are numerous and obvious (starting with a young woman's corpse on a shoreline)

Mad Men - "The Fog" (season 3, episode 5)
A drugged mother's mind wanders through surreal dreamscapes while her body undergoes the pangs of birth

Zama
An eighteenth-century bureaucrat languishes in colonial Argentina, haunted by a mysterious bandit; both the novel's author and the film's director experienced their own tumultuous traumas around or after its making

Mad Men - "Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency" (season 3, episode 6)
"The British are coming!" is the rallying cry of Mad Men's mid-season until a grisly, darkly comical shock alters the nature of this corporate invasion

Thirteen
A teen drama from the early zeroes, now seventeen years in the past, provokes meditations on the passage of time and the subtle shifting of eras, as well as the film's marvelous use of place

Mad Men - "Seven Twenty Three" (season 3, episode 7)
In another cleverly-structured episode, we discover what led Don, Betty, and Peggy to where we first find them - an unsigned contract, some cheerful but untrustworthy hitchhikers, and two propositions from older men

Guardians of the Galaxy (The Unseen 2014)
Before a returned Star Wars could scratch the cultural itch, this supposedly minor Marvel space opera became an unexpected smash

Mad Men - "Souvenir" (season 3, episode 8)
Don and Betty travel to Rome in the era of Fellini and Antonioni, earning their chic moment on the Via Veneto

Lady Bird
Greta Gerwig's acclaimed directorial "debut" spurs thoughts about her own career and the 2002/2003 moment depicted onscreen

FEBRUARY

Mad Men - "Wee Small Hours" (season 3, episode 9)
The civil rights movement and the Rockefeller presidential campaign provide a backdrop for Don's and Betty's growing strain

January 2020 Patreon podcasts: LOST IN TWIN PEAKS #12 - Season 2 Episode 4 and LOST IN THE MOVIES #63 - The Longest One Yet w/ Bernie 2020 endorsement, Class violence in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, The Irishman, Joker, Parasite & Twin Peaks Cinema: What Did Jack Do?, Wiseguy, Twin Peaks directors' films (Halloweentown, Zelly & Me, Now and Then, The Escape Artist, The Wizard, Frances, Pay the Ghost, Heaven, After Dark My Sweet, Code Name: Emerald, Losing Isaiah & Matthew Blackheart: Monster Smasher + Midsommar, Shin Godzilla, Ah Wilderness, My Brilliant Career, listener feedback, podcast recommendations, the 60s in the 80s, Twin Peaks Reflections: Bobby, Einar, the Log Lady, the Log Lady's and Jacques' cabins, The Ghostwood Deal/Part 1 & much, much, much, much more)
My most massive episode - by about a nine-hour long shot - is divided into six chapters and another five bonus mini-episodes covering everything from deep-dive conversations about Peaks mythology to a feature film each from the entire Peaks directorial staff, from the violent climaxes of four hot new 2019 films to dozens of political topics from the past year, and finally my case for Bernie Sanders as he surges to the forefront for the Democratic presidential nomination

Mad Men - "The Color Blue" (season 3, episode 10)
Don's affection for a local teacher leads to a long drive with her misfit brother

Her (The Unseen 2013)
In my final Unseen entry during this period, the early teens tech craze yields a vision of the future that leaves me, in a good way, wanting much more (especially about the ethical, even spiritual implications of an artificial intelligence love affair)

Mad Men - "The Gypsy and the Hobo" (season 3, episode 11)
As Roger relives a youthful fling, Don and Betty reach a moment of truth fueled by Betty's discovery of Don's biggest secret

Daguerréotypes
Agnès Varda's seventies work study - a nonfiction peek into a series of shops on a Parisian avenue - makes for an interesting comparison to Louis Malle's Place de la République, another French documentary of the same era

Mad Men - "The Grown Ups" (season 3, episode 12)
Finally, the moment we've all been waiting for, directed by prestigious guest filmmaker Barbet Schroeder: the JFK assassination

February 2020 Patreon podcasts: LOST IN TWIN PEAKS #13 - Season 2 Episode 5 and LOST IN THE MOVIES #64 - Twin Peaks Cinema: Baraboo (+ Return of the Secaucus Seven, Twin Peaks Reflections: Blackie, Audrey, Nadine, Horne's Department Store, Jacques' apartment, Dr. Jacoby's tapes/Part 5 & more)
Lynch editor and longtime collaborator Mary Sweeney, who originated The Straight Story as writer/producer, makes her directorial debut with another Midwestern small-town slice of life forming an interesting comparison piece with Twin Peaks - perhaps even more so with The Return

MARCH

Mad Men - "Shut the Door. Have a Seat" (season 3, episode 13)
Following a frequently dark and dramatic season, Mad Men leaves us with a bouncy Billy Wilder-esque caper as Draper's merry band conspires to both save and abandon Sterling Cooper; meanwhile, a marriage reaches its own long-awaited crossroads

March 2020 Patreon podcasts: LOST IN TWIN PEAKS #14 - Season 2 Episode 6 and LOST IN THE MOVIES #65 - Twin Peaks Cinema: Storyville (+ The Big Chill, Twin Peaks Reflections: Jacques, Hank, Catherine, Black Lake Water Processing Plant, Jacoby's office, Who Shot Cooper?/Part 8 & more)
A Mark Frost-directed political thriller proves timely for both the 2020 campaign and the release of a Frost interview book, as I release my final podcasts before the era of new Journey Through Twin Peaks begins (along with, well, other things)

Next: The Audiovisual Runway (March - May 2020)
(in which I resume and wrap up YouTube video series on my way to covering season three in Journey Through Twin Peaks)


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