Posts Tagged ‘david bowie’

There’s so much we could talk about when it comes to part fifteen of David Lynch and Mark Frost’s Twin Peaks 2017/Twin Peaks : The Return/Twin Peaks season three —

We could, for instance, talk about what I call “The Ballad Of Norma And Big Ed.” Nadine (played with an extra spring in her step by the great Wendy Robie) has finally given her long-suffering husband (Everett McGill) his freedom, and he heads right for the Double R and the woman he loves, the woman he’s always loved (Peggy Lipton) — only to have his heart broken one last time when cheeseball Walter (Grant Goodeve) puts in an appearance. Norma sends the slick operator and his franchise operation packing, though, and two minutes later she’s agreed to be Mrs. Big Ed Hurley. I’d like to talk about this. I’d like to talk about it a lot, in fact.

We could also talk about the trip “Evil Coop” (Kyle MacLachlan) makes to the world/realm/dimension above the convenience store, and about how he finally meets Phillip Jeffries (not David Bowie, obviously, but a disembodied voice who apparently has taken up residence inside one of those vaguely bell-shaped devices that we’ve seen so much of inside what we’ll call “The Zone”), and about how Phillip can blow numbers in smoke. We could talk about what those numbers mean — or might mean — and speculate on who or what this “Judy” he’s always going on about is.

We could talk about “Evil Coop” clocking Richard Horne (Eamon Farren), who I still maintain is his son, before they hit the road together bound, I’m assuming, for Las Vegas, where Duncan Todd (Patrick Fischler) has just met his end at the hands of Jennifer Jason Leigh — who likes ketchup with her fries, apparently. Lots of it. And we could talk about how the way Tim Roth dotes on her is actually rather adorable.

We could talk about the harrowing extended finale that perpetual loser Steven (Caleb Landry Jones) finds/comes to, meth skank in tow, out in the woods is actually one of the more disturbing scenes in the entire series, and about how Lynch’s goddamn fucking genius sound design literally makes the entire thing work and elevates the demise of a “throwaway” character into one of the most gut-wrenching things that’s ever been shown on television. Yup, we could talk a whole lot about that.

Once we ran through all that, we could talk about how overhearing the name “Gordon Cole” in a movie has seemingly brought a glimmer of awareness to Dougie Jones (MacLachlan), and how the crackling of electricity from an outlet threatens to bring about more. We could talk about his (literal) “tuning fork” and what the holy hell is happening to him as the lights flicker and his wife, Janey-E (Naomi Watts) understandably freaks out. We could talk for hours, in fact, about what this all means going forward.

We could theorize, as well, on just what’s going on between Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn) and her husband, Charlie (Clark Middleton). Are they stuck in some sort of decaying time loop, endlessly repeating the same thing over and over again, while never really going anywhere — or doing anything — at all? Or is it just the most screwed up co-dependent-bordering-on-mutually-abusive relationship of all time? We could also talk about whether or not she’s really going to kill him.

Once we’d exhausted all these big subjects, we could move on to the smaller things, like James Hurley (James Marshall) getting into a fist- fight that gives his buddy, Freddie (Jake Wardle) a chance to show off his super-powered gloved hand, or the young girl freaking out hard on the floor of The Roadhouse while The Veils play, or the fact that the coolest emcee in the world, J.R. Starr, is a big ZZ Top fan. We could also talk about how great it is to see Harry Dean Stanton one more time, even if it’s in the far distance, and about how he’s proving to be, in many ways, the ultimate “glue guy” in this series. These things are all worth talking about, as well — and I guess, for a moment at any rate, we’ve done precisely that.

But more than any of the above — hell, more than all of it combined — I want to talk about Margaret Lanterman, better known as “The Log Lady,” and the extraordinary artist who brought her to life and made her an icon — the late, great Catherine E. Coulson. She died before this show made it onto our screens, and I have no doubt that all of her various phone calls to Deputy Hark (Michael Horse) were filmed in one afternoon, so fragile was her health, but if you thought you’d seen bravery from her in earlier parts (and we certainly have), tonight proved that she’d saved her most powerful performance — heck, one of the most powerful performances anyone has ever given — for her last. She talks about dying, and about how it’s not an end, but a change. She talks about her fear. She talks about the unknown. She talks about what may lie ahead. She talks about everything that matters — everything that could ever matter — and says so much with so few lines. Above all, though, what she does — in a more public way than any thany any actor has before — is say goodbye. And it’s not even acting at this point. This is Coulson, speaking from her heart, about what she’s going through. Her log is turning to gold, and so are her words. But me? Shit, I don’t mind admitting that I was turning to jelly as I watched this.

Not everyone knows that Coulson was one of Lynch’s oldest and closest friends. The two went all the way back to his Philadelphia days, and she was even his assistant director on Eraserhead. He credits her with sparking his interest in TM, which has become, in a very real sense, the center of his life and his being. And she created the character of the Log Lady more or less from whole cloth, with only minimal suggestion from her decades-long friend and artistic collaborator. Lynch dedicated part one of this series to Coulson’s memory, and tonight, after Hawk said one last, stiff-upper-lipped “goodbye” to her on the phone, and the lights went out in her cabin for the final time, and Michael Horse, Kimmy Robertson, Harry Goaz, Robert Forster, and Dana Ashbrook bowed their heads in a silent display of respect, he dedicated this part to Margaret Lanterman. I realize that I’m referencing the wrong show altogether here, but goddamnit — so say we all.

 

Anybody else still reeling? ‘Cuz, I mean, part fourteen of David Lynch and Mark Frost’s Twin Peaks 2017/Twin Peaks : The Return/Twin Peaks season three was one “holy shit!” moment after another —

In fact, about the only thing that wasn’t surprising to find out tonight that Lynch’s Gordon Cole has Monica Bellucci dreams — but they’re considerably “cleaner” than yours or mine would most likely be, and Ms. Bellucci even offers cryptic hints as to the very nature of dreaming itself within them. Let us, then, turn our attention away from this and toward our catalogue of shocking instances —

Holy shit! It’s one of my favorite scenes from Twin Peaks : Fire Walk With Me — the one with David Bowie’s Phillip Jeffries — and this time it comes complete with something vaguely approximating explanations! Great to see Bowie again, and he needn’t worry about appearing only in flashback — that’s all Kyle MacLachlan gets this week, too.

Holy shit! Diane (a role that Laura Dern is now just straight-up inhabiting) just told Cole, Albert Rosenfeld (Miguel Ferrer) and Tammy Preston (Chrysta Bell) that Janey-E is her sister! I didn’t see this  coming at all — in fact, I’m not even sure I buy it, to be honest. We all know she’s in cahoots with “Evil Coop” — could she just be trying to steer all of them to Las Vegas in order to meet, one would assume, their potential doom? Gotta think more about this one. Let’s check in on things in the town of Twin Peaks proper —

Holy shit! John Pirruccello’s Deputy Chad is busted! Have fun going from working in a jail to living in it, asshole! A really nice moment showing Cole and Lucy (Kimmy Robertson) speaking on the phone for the first time in 25 years is followed by the long-anticipated trek to “Jack Rabbit’s Palace” by Sheriff Frank Truman (Robert Forster) and Deputies Andy Brennan (Harry Goaz), Hawk (Michael Horse), and Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook). The pleasant reminiscences Bobby is experiencing don’t last long, though, because —

Holy shit! It’s Nae Yuuki, the woman from “The Zone” in part three with her eyes sewed shut — here? On our world? And holy shit! It’s another vortex! And holy shit! Andy’s been taken into it! And holy shit! He meets Carel Strucyken, whose “real” name isn’t “The Giant,” but “The Fireman’! And holy shit he shows Andy the two Coopers! And the Woodsmen! And the being from the atomic explosion that created Bob! And — hey, wait a minute : does Andy actually know more than we do now? That would be a first.

They bring the prone, strange-sound-emitting woman to jail in order to keep her safe — Andy informs us that “she’s very important and people are trying to kill her” — and there she gets to make the acquaintance of both Deputy Chad and a gruesomely injured local drunk (Jay Aaseng) who has the annoying habit of repeating everything he hears while blood drips from his mouth. I wouldn’t blame her for wanting to high-tail it off this sorry plane of existence already.

Holy shit! James Hurley (James Marshall) works as a “rent-a-cop” minimum wage security guard! Come to think of it, this one’s not too surprising either — but the story that his youthful co-worker, Freddy (Jake Wardle) tells him certainly is. One day poor Freddy got sucked up into a vortex and met a guy called “The Fireman,” who told him to go buy a single rubber glove at a particular hardware store near his then-home in London. The glove would give him super-strength in the hand he wore it on. Then he was to fly to a town in Washington state called Twin Peaks, and there he would meet his destiny. So, hey, now he’s just waiting for that to happen, I guess — and odds are that something big’s gonna go down, because when Freddy got to Heathrow to buy his plane ticket, he found that one was already waiting for him. James finds his friend’s tale both incredible and believable in equal measure, but now it’s time to have a look at the furnace — and something awe-inspiringly creepy is just around the corner with this whole routine maintenance check, believe you me.

Next up it’s back to Grace Zabriskie’s Sarah Palmer, who’s varying up her routine by drinking at a dive bar rather than at home. A redneck MAGA dickhead approaches her and when she declines his company, he immediately lays into some trip about her being a “cunt” and a “bull dyke” and a — well, you know the routine. She tried to warn him off. She really did. But then it’s holy shit Sarah Palmer holy shit Sarah Palmer holy shit Sarah Palmer holy shit Sarah Palmer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

“False faces” apparently run in the Palmer family — remember, Laura pulled a similar “trick” earlier this season — and one torn-out throat later, Alex Jones and Mike Cernovich have one less YouTube subscriber.  Of all the “holy shit!” moments in part fourteen, this one was, for my money, the — errrrrmmmm — “holy shittiest!” of the bunch. Like I said, still reeling.

Before things end, though, we get one more conversation at the Road House referencing this missing “Billy” character (the one Audrey Horne seems so fixated on, as well), and then J.R. Starr gets a “holy shit!” moment all for himself when he introduces Lissie to the stage and makes is abundantly clear that he’s a big fan.

Holy shit this was some good stuff.

 

 

 

"Moon" Movie Poster

"Moon" Movie Poster

First, the good news : at some unspecified future date, the world’s energy problems are finally solved. Now, the bad news : in order to get the mysterious substance known as “helium 3” to power earth’s now-abundant fusion plants, we need to mine it from moon rocks, leading to long, lonely stretches of isolation for the astronaut-miners who plunder the far side of our satellite for precious minerals. I imagine the gig must pay well, but three-year stints alone on the moon with only a clunky faceless service robot for company? No thanks.

Such is the position Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell of “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind” and “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” among other fine performances) finds himself in at the beginning of “Moon,” a brilliant metaphysical science fiction film that marks the debut feature from British writer-director Duncan Jones (David Bowie’s son). Absolute isolation with only his trusty metal buddy Gerty (voiced by Kevin Spacey) to talk to. Things take a turn for the well and truly unexpected, though, when Sam wakes up from crashing his rover-type vehicle in his tiny base’s infirmary only to be confronted by a slightly younger and less-haggard looking version of —himself.

From the beginning, “Moon” confounds expectation. My first thought was that we were headed for another evil computer story, a la the HAL subplot from “2001” (mostly down to Spacey’s initial creepiness of Spacey’s delivery—but hey, he’s a robot, shouldn’t he sound—well—robotic?), but in truth what we’ve got here is an intense exploration of isolation, the meaning of memory, and an exploration of what it means to truly be human that can probably only be compared in terms of theme and style to Tarkovsky’s “Solaris” (we won’t even go near Steven Soderbergh’s horrendous 2002 remake of that classic because I could drone on for ages about what an absolute bastardization of everything good and decent in this universe that waste of celluloid represents).  It’s only a skin-deep comparison, though, as “Moon” really does stake out a thematic territory all its own and, like the heavy-duty lunar equipment central to its premise ( done entirely with models, by the way, as is the base itself—no CGI here, thank the heavens—all of which give the proceedings a vaguely “Space:1999” feel that is, I’m sorry to use the term, way cool) mines it for all it’s worth.

“Moon” is a tricky flick to review because you literally can’t talk about anything after the crash without giving away major plot points, so, in the interest of actually hoping to get anyone who might be reading this to see it, I’ll refrain. I will, however, offer a caveat or two—

If you don’t like Sam Rockwell, you won’t like this film. He’s essentially the only character, even though there’s more than one of him. He gives an incredibly diverse and affecting performance that should be worthy of Oscar consideration, and to say he carries the film would be a massive understatement. He IS the film, and in the hands of a lesser actor we’d be in serious disaster territory here. It’s one of the finest performances of recent years, but if you’re not a fan of Rockwell’s you NEED to skip this movie.

Along those same lines, if metaphysical studies of the human condition aren’t your thing, “Moon” won’t be, either. It’s a deeply introspective work and a provocative meditation on just what it is that constitutes the very notion of humanity itself. If you’re in the mood for mindless summer fun, again, give this a pass.

But if you want to be challenged about what the concept of existence itself can actually be defined as, then “Moon” is a movie you owe it to yourself to see. It’s intensely atmospheric, true, but there is genuine substance underneath it all, much more than we’ve, sadly, become accustomed to of late. “Moon” is a film that makes you think, and then think again. It poses key questions about our nature as people and doesn’t dispense easy answers. It’s provocative without being preachy, and invites philosophical queries of genuine depth without being self-indulgent or resorting to navel-gazing. It’s a very-near-perfectly-constructed character piece that presents complex material in a naturally-flowing and entirely unforced manner.

And I can’t leave any discussion, one-sided as it may be, about the film without saying “three cheers for nepotism!” Jones proves himself to be a truly able director in his own right, but what are the odds of something this singularly character-driven, and without a truly “bankable” star in the lead role, getting made if he’s the son of a janitor instead of a music legend? I’m betting zero. So here’s to those who were impressed enough by the director’s pedigree to green-light his project. And here’s to Jones for not wasting his opportunity by giving us another self-involved, unbearably pretentious “arthouse” flick and instead making a film that isn’t afraid to take its audience on a journey inside without providing a trail of breadcrumbs to lead them back out. “Moon” isn’t afraid to ask probing questions, but it leaves the answers up to you to determine. As such, it’s a true rarity in modern filmmaking—a movie that will mean something different to each individual viewer.