• Drunk Napoleon

    I enjoy eating cheese. And I continue to eat cheese.
    – David Lynch

    What did we watch?

    • Drunk Napoleon

      The Shield, Season Four, Part Two
      https://twitter.com/drunknapoleon/status/855066034994270208

      Season four is the exact middle of the story. My first time, I noticed (and loved) that everyone had an individual agenda, which increased the political sense of the story with everyone making alliances, breaking alliances, lying, spying, and generally being dramatic. This time, I notice the specific context – there’s now enough history to force everyone’s hand, but there’s still room for everyone to incite a few more incidents. In this case, pretty much the only thing Vic incites is his attempts to get the Strike Team back together, but Lem and especially Shane are still going full steam ahead.

      Expanding on that note about Vic, he’s become a secondary part of Rawling’s story, in a way that reminds me of how the heroes on Cowboy Bebop would end up being second fiddle to the guest character, except over a whole season. Rawling’s story is one that not only works best in the relentless world of The Shield, it works best as one small but crucial part of it.

      Someone as pure as her could only exist AND burn out in the unsentimental world of The Shield – as a pure representation of Being A Cop, she’d be either a Gibbs-esque protagonist, a magical one-episode superhero, or a villain who is set up to be terrifyingly invincible only to be taken down in one shot. Here, she’s a dramatic player whose only difference is that she pursues one motivation relentlessly, which makes her awesome in both the slang and the archaic senses of the word.

      The thing is, if she was the protagonist of an entire Shield-esque drama, her story would be very unsatisfying. Giving her protagonist status of exactly one season (and not even the first or last season’s) means the burning out of her story is satisfying.

      From a dramatic perspective, I love the idea of each Captain being a response to the previous one by the brass. The untrustworthy and ambitious Aceveda is replaced by the more effective and honest Rawling. The relentless and uncompromising Rawling will be replaced by yes-man Billings. I forget precisely how Claudette gets the job, and that’ll be fun to see tomorrow – I remember when talking about Collateral that part of the fun of a drama is that I remember my broad emotional reaction but not the precise details, and that goes double for a story so drowning in cliche like The Shield.

      (With literary stories like Mad Men, I vividly remember my intellectual reaction AND lots of specific details, but my emotional reaction fades – I remember that Pete is motivated to be the King, entitled to respect, but it takes putting the show back on to say “Oh, right, he’s an irritating prick”. Breaking Bad actually gets the best of both worlds, with me forgetting precise details AND my emotional reaction wearing off.)

      I can finally articulate why I see the value of ownage as a storytelling device. I was put off it initially because at that time I was sick of people comitting ownage for the sake of ownage in general, but I can admit it’s very satisfying – the first time through, I started off judging Vic and looking at him from the outside and only learned to come around to seeing things from his point of view, while this time I fully surrendered myself to the characters and found it more satisfying.

      What’s important, though, isn’t the ownage; it’s the fact that the show feels it, and feels it with absolute sincerity. When Vic gets off a funny line, or beats the crap out of an asshole, or tricks the people around him, the show is genuinely and actually cheering him on in the moment. Vic feels it, the show feels it, and so we feel it. I don’t need to point out the show explores the consequences of feeling that ownage.

      (It’s taken a very long time to get me to the point where I can respond to the criticism “This makes violence/evil/etc look cool” with “You’re god damned right”)

      I think the crucial thing is that it be something the writer sincerely feels, and that any action infused with a sincere motivation will work – though I admit nothing comes to mind that’s as applicable to so many situations as ownage, which can be delivered verbally, physically, or emotionally in ways that, say, loyalty can’t. It gets us from one individual beat to another in a pleasurable way.

      (This also feeds into what people who don’t like the series think of it – they can’t engage with ownage at all, or at least not with this particular flavour of it)

      I suppose then, the question for planning a drama is “what are feelings I can sincerely express?”. Then you create a world where someone can feel multiple things that appeal to you – maybe ownage, love for one’s family, loyalty for one’s crew, and self-preservation. Then you start cutting each of those motivations off until there’s nothing left.

      https://twitter.com/drunknapoleon/status/855247394841088000

      • ZoeZ

        Recognizing the innate appeal of ownage feels crucial to portraying it honestly. I’m sure people who try to show it only as dismal think they’re getting at the truth and stripping it of its glamour, but really, if it weren’t fun, if it didn’t feel awesome, if it could never be effective, people wouldn’t do it. It’s like drugs: you have to show the high in addition to the consequences.

        This season always hits me directly in the heart. In a way, they finish setting their fates into motion here, but I always need them to do it: I need them to come back together and to risk themselves for each other and win through, even knowing the price of that victory and even knowing they’d all probably be better off far, far away from each other. Like you said, they’re assholes. But I love them.

        There’s a Mountain Goats song that, while actually about a toxic romance, has a line that always makes me think of the Strike Team: “People say friends don’t destroy one another / What do they know about friends?”

        • Drunk Napoleon

          “Invent nothing, deny nothing.”

        • Drunk Napoleon

          On your second point: I remember my first reaction to Season Four was pining for the good old days, when the Strike Team were getting into schemes together that didn’t have much consequence beyond the episode, so I know exactly what you mean, and in fact that feeling is even stronger on rewatch seeing as I know these men so much better.

      • Fun fact: Dave Snell’s wife plays that woman, so it was a post-melt moment.

      • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

        (This also feeds into what people who don’t like the series think of it – they can’t engage with ownage at all, or at least not with this particular flavour of it)

        In my opinion, it’s a combination of thinking it’s more important (and makes you a better person) to judge Bad People On TV than to engage or even empathize with them, and this idea that Real Artistic Television is supposed to only engage us on an intellectual level, and anything that engages us on a visceral level is by definition base and lowbrow.

        (wallflower, as always, said it best when he said “The Sopranos is lifelike; The Shield is alive”; I think most critics prefer “lifelike” to “alive.”)

        • Drunk Napoleon

          I was actually thinking of people for whom The Shield simply isn’t to their taste – someone who doesn’t care for cop shows, for example, isn’t gonna get into The Shield no matter how alive it feels.

      • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

        The relentless and uncompromising Rawling will be replaced by yes-man Billings. I forget precisely how Claudette gets the job, and that’ll be fun to see tomorrow

        As I recall, the instigating event is Claudette going off to the Assistant Chief about how having Kavanaugh around is destroying morale, and going off on Billings on passively letting it happen. I don’t recall the exact sequence of events beyond that.

        • Drunk Napoleon

          I just got up to that part, and it’s pretty much immediately after that – a whole “yeah, we need someone who knows how this shit works and can keep it functional” deal.

    • Alien: Resurrection–Solidly entertaining, not the least bit because it is by-far the grossest entry in the Alien series. That alien-human hybrid is truly disgusting, almost as disgusting as the way it dies. I guess I should have expected nothing less from the director of Delicatessen.

      • That room full of failed experiments is absolutely horrible!

        (This is not a criticism)

        • Yes, it definitely deserved to be burned to the ground, so good on Ripley 2.0!

        • Miller

          This is probably the most Whedon thing in the movie, the corruption of self by corporate interests, and it is indeed horrific. And while there is a lot of Firefly here I think this scene foreshadows a similar one in Cabin In The Woods.

      • Drunk Napoleon

        I don’t particularly care for that movie, but I do enjoy playing “spot-the-Firefly-idea” with it.

        • Yes, there are a lot of Whedonisms in there. It’s not overbearing, but it’s fun. I didn’t realize he’d written it, so I actually cheered when I saw his name in the opening credits.

          • Drunk Napoleon

            Personally speaking, I think Whedon manages to hit the perfect level of cutesy nine hundred and ninety-nine times out of a thousand, but every once in a thousand lines he overplays the cutesiness and writes an absolutely toothgrindingly awful line, and that this movie feels like all those lines together in one movie.

            But he’s gone on record as saying he hates the movie and feels like his vision was completely butchered, so it might be that the actors are playing it wrong (I know “Who do I have to fuck to get off this ship” was particularly awful, and it came down to Weaver saying it really weirdly). Rumour has it that Firefly is partly a reimagining of what he was trying to do with Resurrection.

          • Conor Malcolm Crockford

            Also why some of the lines in X-Men are *terrible* and some of them are excellent (“Prove you’re you.” “You’re a dick.” “…okay”)

          • Drunk Napoleon

            In fairness to “Do you know what happens to a toad when its struck by lightning?”, it was originally going to have some setup that was taken out that would have made it awesome.

          • Conor Malcolm Crockford

            Yeah I think I remember that – Whedon also mentioned that they just wanted his dialogue and none of his ideas on how to structure it better (I still think it’s a pretty good, surprisingly sad superhero movie).

          • Miller

            WRONG! /johnmclaughlin. There is no setup that does not make that line asinine, although Berry does it no favors. Whedon’s cute/awful ratio is much closer to .500 for me. But I also think Alien: Resurrection is pretty good.

      • The Narrator

        I don’t get why people don’t like that movie, when it objectively has Ron Perlman shooting a spider at point-blank range.

        • Do people not like it? I thought it was a ton of fun. I know nothing about its reputation.

    • ARQ – a Netflix original sci-fi movie that essentially combines a Groundhog Day-esque time-loop with a home invasion, to pretty solid effect. I’m a sucker for time loops and this is a good example, with plenty of twists and a couple of new ideas I haven’t seen elsewhere. It’s lacking any real personality though – if it had some more interesting characters or a sense of visual style beyond “generally slick” then it could have been quite special, I think. But as it is, I still had a pretty good time.

      • The Ploughman

        Does it feel to anyone else like a patent expired on the basic premise of Groundhog Day recently? That idea has been innovative since it came out in the early 90s, but aside from a Star Trek: TNG episode, I can’t really think of anybody that imitated it until recently: Source Code, The Edge of Tomorrow, Before I Fall and now this. And in the case of the middle two they were based on other material.

        • There’s an X-Files episode with its premise, too. I also think there also might have been a Lois & Clark episode, too.

        • clytie

          There’s a really good episode of Supernatural called “Mystery Spot” with that premise.

        • ZoeZ

          It shows up a lot in made-for-TV Christmas movies, too: Selfish Protagonist must repeat the holidays until they learn to hug their family members and stop answering their cell phone with all those business calls. (Are these movies all Hook spin-offs?) …It was also the premise of a Sweet Valley Twins Christmas special that I may or may not have read several times in my youth.

          • The Ploughman

            So I’m learning from these responses that this patent – or possibly dark magic curse – only allowed the idea to be used in television for twenty years. The availability for big screen use is only now coming available.

            Also, it’s interesting how quickly the cell phone went from “symbol of workaholic” to “everyday necessity.”

        • pico79

          It’s a bit earlier, but there are also a couple of Twilight Zone episodes that do this: in both cases, it’s a form of eternal punishment for a perp to relive either his death or his victims’.

    • Conor Malcolm Crockford

      Rewatched a chunk of High Rise up to the hour mark. Wheatley reminds me of Ken Russell without that kind of over the top quality – a similar sense of humor and dynamism. The film is a little bit more human and more focused on class than the book, but it preserves Ballard’s sense of the uncanny and how humans can tilt into insanity without really knowing it. Also Luke Evans is fucking great in this movie.

    • ZoeZ

      The Leftovers, “Two Boats and a Helicopter.” @conormalcolmcrockford:disqus said this one would be a doozy and that was no lie. After two episodes following the whole cast–but especially the Garveys–the show narrows in on Reverend Matt (the always-brilliant Christopher Eccleston). Matt has so so far only made small appearances, handing out flyers explaining that the Departed weren’t saints and were in some cases villains, and here we see the likely source of that particular ideological passion. The episode title is of course a reference to the old joke about the man who prays for rescue and then rejects the seemingly non-miraculous, human solutions that God sends his way, and Matt spends 90% of this episode making me writhe in fear by doing basically the opposite of that.

      It’s an extended exercise in wondering when the rug will be pulled out from under your feet and while I can see that getting on someone’s nerves, I actually found the heightened, nightmarish quality about that a plus. The Leftovers has already been clear that, religious or supernatural or neither, its characters live in a world full of signs and wonders, and so Matt’s day of trying frantically to get the money that will save his church feels–appropriately enough–like an intensified version of that for the man who knows signs when he sees them. Terrific acting and some hard-to-bear tension. Also, at one point, I yelled, “Physically murder this man!” at Matt as some advice, so: emotional investment complete.

      • Conor Malcolm Crockford

        Chris Eccleston does not get enough credit for his acting in this show. He’s the perfect balance of deeply kind and horrifically passionate. Also Matt has a “twin” foil on the show as a man of steady faith and I’m curious who you think it is.

        • ZoeZ

          At the moment, I’m inclined to say Laurie, especially given their “conversation” in Kevin’s backyard: they both radiate a deep and sincere faith in their respective beliefs and try to be kind, and they’ve both alienated their families and communities by pursuing intense emotional responses to the Departure.

    • The Zookeeper’s Wife (Niki Caro, 2017): Hey, this one was pretty good! Once the third act comes around, it begins to suffer from a problem a lot of biopics have where they try to stuff too many real life events the lead character had into one movie (for instance, the titular character is abruptly revealed to be pregnant and then has the baby in the span of ten seconds) and I wish the Jewish characters had more personality to them. However, it’s otherwise an engaging movie that’s well shot, goes more for quiet tragedy than over the top grandeur and has a terrific performance from Jessica Chastain. You also get some cute animals too, like some adorable lion cubs and a baby elephant!

      • clytie

        My favorite biopic is Ed Wood in part because it only covers a small amount of time.

      • The Ploughman

        This movie keeps staying in my blind spot, I think because when I first saw the poster I assumed it was a retelling of We Bought a Zoo from the POV of Matt Damon’s wife.

        • clytie

          They should do a whole series to cash in on that big We Bought a Zoo money. I know Damon’s character had a couple of kids and they could get POV movies too. Then when their older and have kids of their own, launching We Bought a Zoo: The Next Generation.

    • Babalugats

      Jackie – Having your actors look directly into the camera and state the theme, has got to be the easiest and most efficient way to communicate your message. Heavy handed though it might be, that theme is interesting and the Kennedys are always fascinating subjects. Still, some of the dialogue is hard to swallow. Would the president’s chauffeur really not know who James Garfield or William McKinley were? This movie reminded me a bit of Todd Haynes not-Bowie biopic, that was in love with the idea of Bowie, but didn’t much like his music. This movie thinks that the most important thing about Kennedy was how pretty his funeral was, and that everybody in the audience already agrees with that. I was also a bit disappointed by the score, which is good, but not the revelation that Under The Skin’s score was. Portman is inspired casting, though.

      Paterson – Repetition is such a running theme in this movie that I decided to watch it twice. Repetition that connects people, and repetition that highlights their uniqueness. It’s about finding meaning in patterns and coincidences. It’s about the depth, creativity, and soulfulness that most people hide away during their professional life. It’s about a world overflowing with beauty. With more great art and great people than anyone could hope to encounter in a dozen lifetimes. One of the most deeply and honestly optimistic movies I’ve ever seen. There’s a loneliness to this movie too. Everybody being paired off draws attention to everyone who isn’t. How could you ever hope to understand something as wild and complex and unpredictable as another human being? It’s also a little absurd how happy it made me to see that the Moonrise Kingdom kids are still in love.

      • Conor Malcolm Crockford

        Paterson is so fucking great – I felt a cleansing meditative spirit just rush through me while watching. The symmetry and humanity of the film are weirdly liberating to me as well – Paterson to me has a huge ambition but you have to look for it.

        And lord some of the dialogue on dreams is so oddly beautiful and poetic – Paterson and Laura’s ease of intimacy is perfectly captured. Fuck, I love this movie more the more I talk about it.

      • The Narrator

        I wouldn’t be too happy with Sam and Suzy still being in love, Manchester by the Sea revealed that she’s cheating on him with Redford.

    • Cavs vs Pacers, or How LeBron Is Still the Best – The glory of a pro basketball game is that comebacks like the one we saw last are always possible. The fatal flaw of the sport is ALSO that comebacks are always possible.

      MST3K 2.0 – Started on it this morning, as it’s perfect subway viewing. It’s not like anyone is watching to see how the movie comes out. But the first few minutes, with the origin of the new test subject, were a bit offputting. Is there going to be an arc? Did anyone ever watch MST3K for the sketches? Fortunately, the movie starts and while it will take some getting used to Jonah Ray (as it did when Mike Nelson arrived), it’s still the same show. Well expect for Gypsy having a real voice and Tom being able to fly. (The new Tom and Crow actors slide in to the parts quite well.)

      • Actually…there is supposed to be a sketch arc. Hodgson said he was able to do this thanks to the new style of binge watching in order.

        They’ve had arca before, just not with Joel. There’s a mini-arc in the old season episodes where Pearl gets caught by Romans and Mike has to rescue them.

        • I have seen very little of the Pearl era. When there are Turkey Day marathons or when the films are released on Netflix, Pearl is pretty much missing, so I haven’t even had a chance to watch more. But it never impressed me.

          I have no great desire to binge watch the new series. Some things are best in small doses. (I barely binge watch anything as it is.)

          • Pieces of that Roman arc is in the old episodes available on Netflix right now. I think it’s in teens. I think they included those eps because they had an arc, not because they’re the best.

      • The Ploughman

        I’ll found out for myself at some point, but I’ve been curious how they handle the lack of need for commercial sign? Is it like the movie where they just jump back in the theater? The commercials were always kind of a part of the rhythm of the original show.

    • Miller

      Better Call Saul, the rest of Season 2 — a bit of a low-key conclusion after the intensity of the penultimate episode. But consequences are marking everyone, particularly Mike — the show has been quietly ruthless in educating him in the ways of villainy and drawing out rather unflattering parallels to Walter White, it puts a new spin on Mike’s disgust with Walter and leads into his need for a boss rather than being his own agent. Chuck is twisted beyond hope in his fraternal loathing but more clever than anyone else, he’s a coiled spring ready to snap. Kim is finally, wholly complicit and committed — her instructions to Jimmy that are not instructions are fantastic. But her complicity is because of her belief in Jimmy, “You made a commercial!” has real love in it. That is the ultimate talent of Jimmy’s, though — selling something.

      Supergirl season one episodes — a crossover with the Flash has an amusing spin on alternate Earths as competing TV channels. But it also has utterly wretched writing, with shitty villains given even shittier dialogue and a schmaltzy climax stolen from Spider-Man 2 without the verve and passion Raimi needed to pull it off. Just awful and a disturbing indication of where this show might be going.

      30 Rock, “Game Over” — the idea of Octavia Spencer as Tracy Jordan is not just hilarious but wonderfully freeing, tasteful brilliance is its own prison and I think minority actresses get stuck in it more than other people. Hilarious stuff, although I do not want this to be the end of Dr. Spaceman.

    • Another episode of Amazing Stories. Joe Dante’s Boo!. This is so a dry run for Beetlejuice withoit Beetlejuice. Years ago, an elderly couple died and now they haunt the attic where nobody bothers them. They like the family that was living there, and they protect them from accidents. But that family wants to live closer to work and is replaced by a new family – a pair of crass 80s types: a guy who fancies himself an amateur porn producer and his porn star wife. The new couple install crass, awful, decorations including a bed with a mirror ceiling and mirror ball. The ghosts hate this and the people and try to haunt the people out of the house, first by acting like a pair of stereotypes then outright trying to kill them. Peace is restored when the first family moves back in.

      Oddly, there’s a lot of sex in this one. The ghosts resent being doomed to watching the new couple fucking late at night but they watch them for quite a while. There’s no nudity; the sex is under sheets. Just sex and sexual references.

      • Political note: That middle eastern guy from the Dem meeting on Tuesday? He appeared at a candidate’s forum last night and gave his full name: Hisam Goueli. He has also tried his hands at acting and improv.

        Apparently, in 2015, he appeared in a burlesque play based on Tennessee Williams called The Tennessee Tease. The still-live event page includes a poster of shirtless Hisam. Unf.

    • Defense Against The Dark Arts

      Kill Me Again. Has anyone ever heard of this? Apparently it’s the first movie by John Dahl (Red Rock West, The Last Seduction) and it’s very noiry. Val Kilmer plays a down on his luck Private Investigator who takes a job from a femme fatale played by Joanne Walley Kilmer to fake her death so she can escape from her psycho boyfriend. Little does he know she has a stolen brief case full of mob money and the psycho is on her tail. Michael Madson plays the boyfriend and every time he was on screen I tensed up because he appeared to be about a half a second away from going off on anyone and everyone.

      • Son of Griff

        Someone actually alluded to it in the neo noir thread on the short film article yesterday.

      • clytie

        As Son of a Griff said, someone here mentioned it yesterday. I’m planning on watching it this weekend as it’s streaming on Amazon.

        • Defense Against The Dark Arts

          Amazon must own Epix because their streaming lineup is almost identical to the Epix lineup.

          • clytie

            What else is good on Epix? I got an Amazon Prime account for Christmas and time off the next couple of weeks.

          • Defense Against The Dark Arts

            Epix drive-in has some good, lesser known, fare from the 70’s 80’s and 90’s.

      • Conor Malcolm Crockford

        Good reminder that I need to watch The Last Seduction as its up my alley.

        • Defense Against The Dark Arts

          Ain’t no Noir like a Neo Noir.

      • Miller

        I alluded to it! My comments get results, you stupid chiefs! Madsen is indeed terrifying here.

        • Defense Against The Dark Arts

          It was serendipitous.

    • clytie

      Nothing. I’m so embarrassed.

      That aside, I looked something up on The Lost Media Wiki (http://lostmediawiki.com/Home) and ended up spending too much time there. What piece of lost media do you most want recovered?

      My pick: The 8-hour cut of Greed.

      • Conor Malcolm Crockford

        This isn’t lost as much as really tucked away but I’d love it if they could release the official video recording of Bowie’s Diamond Dogs Tour complete with the massive sets. There’s like bootleg footage and bits in Cracked Actor but its not very high quality.

        • clytie

          My mom was at one of the shows on that tour so I’d like to buy her a copy.

      • Son of Griff

        Mine are unrealized projects, like David Lean’s NOSTROMO or Stanley Kubrick’s ONE EYED JACKS.

        • clytie

          David Lynch’s Ronnie Rocket, Mel Gibson’s Fahrenheit 451, and Kubrick’s Napoleon, are the unrealized projects I most wish existed.

          • Son of Griff

            I’ve read a draft of NAPOLEON, and a lot of the stylistic devices the script alludes to were incorporated into BARRY LYNDON (particularly the voice over and tableau vivant imagery).

    • The Narrator

      I went to my first Ebertfest last night, and am going back tonight for Elle, which has Isabelle Huppert in attendance.

      To Sleep With Anger: I loved this on this first viewing, and I have a feeling I’m going to adore it on future viewings. Danny Glover plays a mysterious intruder into a black family’s household, and what I especially like about the movie is how far it goes to leave the origin of Glover’s character a mystery. The feeling is that he’s supernatural in nature, but the evidence of that in the film is ultimately circumstantial and even contradicted by other parts of the film (my favorite bits of this are the utterly stunning opening, which seems like it’s setting up an evil force entering the house and turns out to be just an illustration of a character’s view of Hell, and Glover’s friends, who are set up like his demonic minions but who just harmlessly stick around the house after Glover dies). And Glover is just superb playing a mixture of gentility and malevolence, with the rest of the cast (made up of so many great African-American character actors) matching him.

      Charles Burnett did a Q&A with Hollywood Shuffle‘s Robert Townsend after the movie (where I learned that the neighbor kid playing trumpet really badly in the movie is actually autobiographical!), and when they introduced the movie, Townsend said Criterion would be recording at the screening. So hopefully those next viewings are allowed to come sooner rather than later.

      The Handmaiden: What a blast this was to watch with a large, responsive audience. And what a blast this movie is, hilarious, thrilling, gorgeously-shot, -designed, -directed, and -scored, and surprisingly moving. I know so many crazy things happen in this movie that it’s weird this is what has particularly stuck with me, but my god, the way the Count bites into that peach is something else.

    • Man with a robot arm

      Murder On The Orient Express (1974) – With its large cast, claustrophobic enclosed (and snowbound) space consisting of long dialog filled scenes with building tension I’m reminded of some of Tarantino’s films. We even go back in time seeing the murder and many of the mysteries being answered (but that’s done with many mysteries). Its very well acted and directed but in the end it just felt like another one of those entertaining enough 1970’s star filled (albeit with a better pedigree) disaster movies that were in vogue at the time. I’m not familiar with the book. I don’t know, maybe I would appreciate more of the film’s nuances if I were (or not).

      • Son of Griff

        Tarantino says that AND THEN THERE WERE NONE was a big influence on THE HATEFUL EIGHT. I rather like MotOE but its an extremely minor variation on the claustrophobic parlor mystery when compared to the other.

    • The Ploughman

      The Americans s5 e6 This is still a week behind, so… nobody spoil what’s happened this week! Hahaha just kidding, of course, the strength of this stretch of the show is that it’s unspoilable (or, from another perspective, discussing any episode spoils the last two and a half seasons). I’ll make sure and redact the one major thing that did happen which is that Paige meets with Gabriel for the first time and when I say Paige meets with Gabriel for the first time I mean we see five seconds of Paige and Gabriel locking eyes before cutting to credits, my wife and I singing do-do-do-do / do-do-do-do / do-do-do-do / do-do-do-do along with the music because that’s how we entertain ourselves.

      So what does this mean? Interesting the timing, since Gabriel saw the Lincoln Memorial and apparently checked off the last box on his America to-do list, so he can head back to the USSR. I love Anthony Langella, but if this means more Margo Martindale, then so be it. Maybe she can kick things into high gear.

      Meanwhile Henry has a sort-of girlfriend and eats a stuffed pepper. Glad he’s back in the thick of the action.

      Next Week, er, maybe Last Week:

      – “I get ten goddam minutes a week for reading in bed before I fall asleep with this lifestyle,” cries an exhausted Elizabeth. “If you’re going to use them to remember how terrible growing up in the USSR was, either sleep on the couch or defect.” A meaningful pause takes up the next ten minutes of the episode.

      – It’s revealed that Stan and Dennis have actually just been putting the muscle on random people in the hopes they get lucky and find a Soviet agent. Having found their first one in the previous week, they get cocky and start sitting on either side of whole park benches, restaurant tables, and theater rows, promising immunity to everybody in between them for giving up any enemy contacts they might have.

      • Apparently even Drew Magary over at Deadspin has figured out that FUCKING WELL NOTHING EVER HAPPENS ON THIS SHOW. I keep hearing that this week Gabriel goes off the show which fan-critics keep describing as some big deal but I suspect means that Character Actress Margo Martindale simplybecameavailable for more than one day per season again. (Also, it’s Frank Langella and Anthony Minghella, God rest ‘im.)

        • ZoeZ

          Fan-critic: You won’t believe this! Someone peacefully departs without incident!

          • “What The Americans has achieved is nothing less than a full deconstruction of a spy thriller. It dares to pose the question: what if a thriller was, in fact, not thrilling? What if spies, were in fact, not spying? As Philip and Elizabeth find their loyalties challenged at every turn without ever committing to decision about them, so the viewer must recalibrate h(er)(is) response to the show. The Americans challenges the very idea of loyalty in its viewers (to say nothing of this extraordinarily lesser value of ‘ownage’ I keep hearing about, which is the kind of the thing that appeals to viewers who don’t buy their coffee from locally sourced fair-trade microroasters, if we can imagine such a thing. Where was I? Oh yes) and rewards instead the viewer who maintains the disconnected, Jenningsesque stance of neither believing nor doing anything. If W. B. Yeats tells us that ‘the best lack all conviction,’ then surely The Americans towers over all.”

          • ZoeZ

            Ooh, Yeatsian burn! (“Surely some revelation is at hand,” the despairing viewer hopes.)

            The more they pull this “it seems like something will go wrong, but in fact, nothing does” move–Pastor Tim, Martha, Stan and Oleg, and now Gabriel–the more I feel like I’m in this imaginary conversation: “I know nothing happened, but that’s how it subverted your expectations!” “Yes. It subverted my expectation of being entertained.”

          • The Ploughman

            Honestly, pretty much all will be forgiven if all those elements converge on our heroes at once. To the shows credit, they haven’t eliminated very many dominoes. It just feels like they’re waiting for the green light to knock them down.

          • Whenever I read things like this (which is as little as possible), I mentally replace “the audience” with “you,” and find out that I’m just too stupid to appreciate the sophisticated, me-challenging (but apparently not author-of-the-article challenging) nature of whatever’s under discussion. I’ve discovered a lot more to enjoy, feel, think about, and write about in the position of audience member rather than critic.

          • Son of Griff

            Reminds me of an imaginary book review by Stanislaw Lem concerning a novel in which every sentence was written in the negative, simply describing things that didn’t happen.

          • pico79

            Rien du tout, ou la consequence. A great book (the Lem, I mean).

          • The Ploughman

            I completely forgot about updating Oleg’s investigation of Cabbagegate. It’s a great illustration of the Soviet Union spending their energy on the wrong problems, but it’s gone on so long that rather than disillusioned, Oleg looks just tired of playing.

            There’s enough pregnant pauses that I’ve gone a little MST on some scenes. When Phillip asks Gabriel why he’s leaving I responded “Because I’m bored as hell.” The performances backed up the line.

          • You know, we’ve all been thinking this is gonna kick into high gear in the last season but what if it follows the Sons of Anarchy model and just starts adding pauses and lengthening each episode to 90+ minutes? (Of course, if Claudia starts chopping off body parts I’d be cool with that.)

        • The Ploughman

          “Make sure Google his last name,” I thought to myself, “You know how you always get the spelling mixed up with the director with the similar name. But don’t bother looking at the first name. You’re good there, you’re too smart to need to look at the first name.”

          • Drunk Napoleon

            Once again, hubris leads to a tragic downfall!

        • The Ploughman

          Martindale has been showing up for a scene a week (keeping alive my pet fan theory that Claudia and Gabriel gave a go at being a hot steamy couple like P&E sometime in the past). I would welcome her back with open arms.

          Also, there’s a weird scene involving a door-to-door Mary Kay saleslady. My wife insisted it was product placement (“Just like Project Runway“). I insisted it had to be connected to something because Elizabeth acted so weird around it. Either it was a signal from an agent or the basis of a lecture to Paige not to let people into the house or something. As of the end of the episode, no, just a random Mary Kay sales pitch to the characters.

      • ZoeZ

        I am so behind and I can’t get myself to catch up, so I’m glad I still have your recaps to keep me apprised.

        • The Ploughman

          Glad to be of service. I fully expect the last season to kick some ass, but so far in this one you could be told about three things (maybe four) and jump right into the season without being confused.

          Again, as of a week ago.

    • pico79

      Finished Season 1 of Chewing Gum and I think I’m in love with Michaela Cole (who won a much-deserved BAFTA for her work.) Is this a golden age for this kind of singular, non-white-male, auteur-driven comedy? Cole joins Ansari, Glover, Rae, Bloom, and others in proving just how much greatness you can mine from the format. Poor Margaret Cho was born just a generation too soon.

    • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

      The Shield, Season 3, Episodes 13 and 14: “Fire in the Hole” and “All In”. My friend is going through these for the first time, and she’s already getting sick over the things Lem has to do to protect the team, and how that increasingly strains his conscience to the breaking point. She even said something like “I want Lem to quit being a cop and go be a schoolteacher,” Prezbylewski from The Wire being the obvious analogy there. (I did tell her things look up– Lem does get to work with kids next season, after all!– but obviously I didn’t have the heart to tell her where it all ends.)

      Something she also said: “We’re going to see more of Ronnie, right? He’s been sort of the quiet guy, but I feel like there’s a lot more there.” Oh, just you wait.

      The episodes themselves– I’d forgotten just how clearly Lem gets pushed to his breaking point with all the terrible things he has to do. Man, and poor O’Brien.

      I’d also forgotten that this is where we get one more go-round with the Decoy Squad. (And that remarkable idiot who tries to claim child pornography is protected as free expression.)

      Oh, and naturally it’s Ronnie who figures out “It was never about the money to Lem.”

      What else? Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which was “fine” except for the outstanding Boyle/Holt plot and interactions. Fresh Off the Boat was pretty good if a little predictable.

      • We were talking yesterday of The Shield‘s dialogue, and reflected how perfectly written Ronnie’s best (or perhaps second-best) line is:”Page one of Shane’s memoirs wasn’t exactly new information. It’s difficult to prove, fortunately for you.” The line isn’t “Vic, I know you did it,” which is simultaneously too confrontational and too sympathetic. The action of that scene is Ronnie conveying to Vic not just that he knew, but that he accepted. Compare it to the confrontations Vic had with Lem in “Enemy of Good’ and with Shane in “Chasing Ghosts”; what makes the line work is that Ronnie delivers it as a truth agreed upon. Ronnie conveys “we both knew this, Vic” (his smile says “and did you really think I didn’t?”) “and now let’s move on from there.” The line doesn’t stand on the moment of revelation, it moves past it;
        the scene has to be small because to make it big (again,
        as it was with Lem and Shane) would violate the action of Ronnie.Now that is boss writing, most of all because it never declares itself as such.

  • Conor Malcolm Crockford

    I buy that Lost Highway is a rough draft for Mulholland Drive’s themes and structure but when it works it really works. The Mystery Man scene is uniquely disquieting and haunted, a specter you can’t quite shake off.

    Side note, I found out Pullman’s little speech on photography is pretty much how Lynch feels about it.

    • clytie

      As much as I love Mulholland Drive (in my favorite film of the 2000s and one of my favorites of all-time), I also love Lost Highway, and think part of the reason that it’s so underrated is because of Lynch revisiting the themes are structure with MD, and Lynch had never made that latter LH would be more highly regarded.

      • Conor Malcolm Crockford

        I think part of the difference is that MD feels really timeless even if it clearly was contemporary where LH feels very…90s? Its more of a time capsule with the haircuts and the soundtrack.

        • clytie

          Good point. Plus, it’s not not just the haircuts and music either, but you can really see the O.J. Simpson stuff in it, which automatically screams “90s.”

        • Babalugats

          Can any movie that features Billy Ray Cyrus really be called timeless? That family is like hanging a calendar in the frame.

          • Conor Malcolm Crockford

            I mean the movie doesn’t make a big deal about his cameo – he’s just the pool guy.

          • clytie

            Lynch was unfamiliar with Cyrus before he auditioned, and cast him on the strength of that audition.

      • LH was really strikingly divisive on its release. Way more so than Mullholland Drive. With the lowered quality of Twin Peaks Season 2 (back half), and the critics were still bitter about Fire Walk With Me (also reviled on its release, but has seen a reassessment in the past five years), they saw LH as a continuation of Lynch’s bafflingly non-normative self-indulgent construction. They’re not wrong in that observation…the problem is that he makes really good movies within that framework.

        I think The Straight Story (an excellent and under-discussed film in Lynch’s filmography) was when the critics released him from movie jail. Lost Highway’s disastrous home video treatment hasn’t helped.

        • clytie

          I own the infamous “TWO THUMBS DOWN” poster.

          LH doesn’t even seem to have the cult than Dune, a similarly divisive upon released Lynch film. Of course, just by being a sci-fi film based on a popular book it has more of an advantage.

          • I honestly don’t get the Dune cult. That movie is only interesting to me because it’s such a trainwreck of manipulation and compromised vision. I’ve only seen it once, but…that was enough.

  • Remember folks; Delgo is available to buy on Blu-Ray, so is Bucky Larson: Born To Be A Star, but NOT Lost Highway!

    • In the UK, Lost Highway has a blu-ray and the other two do not! We got it right for once!

    • clytie

      Does anyone else confuse Delgo and Doogal?

    • Son of Griff

      A growing number of contemporary foreign films are not getting blu-rays in the U.S. either. I suspect that libraries are considered to be the main purchasers, and they are reluctant to go for the more expensive format.

      • My library purchases a good deal of Blu-Rays, but yeah, they are rarely foreign films (or even American indies).

  • Babalugats

    This is my favorite Lynch movie by a mile. It’s the only one where I actually feel that disturbing dreamlike sensation that everybody describes in the rest of his work. And I think it’s the perfect balance between his surreal non-narrative instincts and the shorter more focused quality of his more commercial work.

    I first watched this as a kid after my cousin had stumbled across it in his dad’s vast, unkempt VHS collection. Really more of a pile than a collection. It was a decaying copy of a poor transfer and that ended up enhancing the strangeness and the creepiness of the film. It was almost like stumbling across the video from The Ring. I’m not sure the film would benefit from the clarity of blu-ray. It seems best watched through a murky haze.

    • It’s really deserving of seeing in widescreen at least. Lynch’s films are so formally strict, that P&S never cuts it.

      • clytie

        I bought a promo VHS tape of it on eBay because I wanted to watch it in widescreen.

        • Fun fact: they released a Widescreen VHS only as DVD was kicking off. Then they had a P&S DVD until 2008 when the WS DVD was finally released in the midst of the high def wars. Now I’m waiting for Blu Ray since 4K is taking off. Come on format gods.

          • CineGain

            Despite the advanced quality in picture we still don’t have the majority of films released on Blu Ray. The blame obvious goes out to the studios who are neglectful with regards to most of their catalog, as they’ll released big titles to third party sources. I’m sure Criterion will try to grab rights of LH, with the Janus documentary going to be released this year and their recent release of Mulholland Drive.

          • I don’t trust Janus since they still haven’t released Until The End of the World: Directors Cut. They better be deep diving for extras, given the wait between theatrical touring and disc release.

          • Son of Griff

            A more likely culprit would be music rights.

          • clytie

            Mine is definitely a promo. Several times during the film, a message scrawls across the screen saying that if I’m watching it then it was illegally obtained and to call some number. It was worth it to see it in WS!

            I never bought the WS DVD for the reason you describe. It’s almost as these people don’t want our money.

          • Son of Griff

            I doubt that its a matter of want (particularly with this title), but of tangled issues with the ownership of home video rights.

  • This came out a year after Soderbergh’s Schizopolis and they’re perfect Mirrored Movies, both three-act surrealist works about infidelity, murder, protagonists who will themselves into another identity, over- and underlit compositions, a guy who can move between the realities (Mystery Man/Elmo Oxygen), exact musical cues that repeat themselves across realities, and yes yes Robert Loggia never actually demands “your brother, eight hours, $15,000” he quite clearly could at any moment.

  • The Narrator
  • CineGain

    Question-Let’s discussed some of our favorite movie trailers and what makes one succeed in ways that will lure you to watch the work.

    • The original teaser for The Ring, which doesn’t seem to be online anywhere. A series of disconnected short clips from the film with no explanation, no overtitles, and no words beyond Naomi Watts repeating in voiceover “before you die you see the ring.” The last shot was her screaming with no sound but a dial tone. The movie almost lived up to that.

      The best trailers set the tone for the movie without giving away the incidents; PT Anderson gets this. He cut together for a great trailer for Magnolia and another great teaser for There Will Be Blood. If you compare his teaser with the studio trailer for the latter (“There will be. . .VENGEANCE”) you can see the craft that magnificent bastard puts into everything.
      https://youtu.be/cxcegktcxSM
      https://youtu.be/3DHKNjO0fhs

    • The Ploughman

      A bit of an echo of @disqus_wallflower:disqus here, I like to get the flavor of the film without feeling like I’ve seen a summary of the whole thing. When I’m a third of the way through a film and I realize I’ve already seen what I thought was the climax in a trailer, I’m super happy. The most recent successful example of this I can think of is 10 Cloverfield Lane, which was deliberately obtuse about everything, but even more than we realized ahead of time.

    • Recently, Deadpool – the filmmakers showed worried fans in 2 minutes that yes, they understood the character, and we could trust them. Also for permanently linking Shoop to the Merc with a Mouth for me.

    • pico79

      Where the Wild Things Are. That was a goddamn amazing trailer. I think it helps that they picked the right music cues and synced up the visuals to give the trailer itself something of an arc: it starts glum and builds to a heady ecstasy.

  • pico79

    In turn, Lynch has bleached the story so that almost every character is white (Richard Pryor makes a cameo as the owner of Pete’s place of employment).

    I mean, that’s one more black actor than you’ll find in nearly anything else he’s done. I love Mullholland Drive as much as the next person, but it makes La La Land look like Straight Outta Compton in that regard.

    Also: one of the best-known David Foster Wallace essays was written about his experience visiting the set of Lost Highway, and he helped me ease my way into Lynch when other things weren’t working:

    This is one of the unsettling things about a Lynch movie: You don’t feel like you’re entering into any of the standard unspoken and/or unconscious contracts you normally enter into with other kinds of movies. This is unsettling because in the absence of such an unconscious contract we lose some of the psychic protections we normally (and necessarily) bring to bear on a medium as powerful as film. That is, if we know on some level what a movie wants from us, we can erect certain internal defenses that let us choose how much of ourselves we give away to it. The absence of point or recognizable agenda in Lynch’s films, though, strips these subliminal defenses and lets Lynch get inside your head in a way movies normally don’t. This is why his best films’ effects are often so emotional and nightmarish. (We’re defenseless in our dreams too.)

    • Back when I was on the Dissolve Facebook group, I made that Wallace essay semi-infamous by asking people about what he says regarding Tarantino vs. Lynch. DFW isn’t very flattering of ol’ Quentin.

      • pico79

        He’s not wrong! (I like Tarantino.)

      • God knows I love Infinite Jest¹ but that essay was the most literary, self-satisfied² version of the “Tarantino is just a shallow ironist who cares about nothing and appeals to people who care about nothing” argument.

        ¹All my favorite DFW* works are the long ones, which means IJ and The Pale King. I’m actually not that impressed with him as an essayist; he needs the longer work to develop his sympathies for his characters and his ideas.**

        *God rest ‘im.
        **”His” ideas includes the ideas he disagrees with, and that’s something he develops in his longer fiction. His essays never really allow any voices other than his own.

        ²I definitely have met far more annoying*** hipsters in the anti-Tarantino brigade than the pro-.

        ***Not claiming to be non-annoying here.

        • pico79

          Heh, I think we have exactly opposite views of DFW. I like his novels well enough, but all as ambitious-but-flawed works (especially true of IJ: half-sublime, half-disaster). I feel like he’s much stronger in his shorter works, especially essays. That said, my favorite thing he ever wrote is the “turns a page” chapter of The Pale King.

          Have you read the Zadie Smith essay on Brief Interviews? It’s probably colored my thinking on Wallace, for better or worse.

          • I have not! I shall check it out.

            My favorite DFW would be the Eschaton section of Infinite Jest,¹ a perfectly escalating twenty pages of comedy. Somehow his short-form stuff works better in long-form context for me. Probably second place is the James O. Incandenza filmography; among other things, it gives you pretty much the entire backstory if you look carefully.²

            ¹You’d think* I could be consistent with the abbreviations.

            *You’d be wrong.

            ²Also a pretty great parody of the academic version of “so bad it’s good” thinking; see my comment idem.

          • pico79

            I’m enjoying the footnotes! As far as his formal innovations go, I’m partial to the network of mapping comments in “Host,” though I can see why people would bail on that quickly (and, much as I’d love to, there’s no way I can do that on Disqus without just building the image in Paint and posting it here. Heh.)

            Hard to find a single representative line in Smith, since the essay itself meanders through a whole host of difficult topics, but I like this bit on Wallace’s interrogation of reader (she argues that the key to his works is his desire for the readers’ “faith in something he cannot possibly ever finally determine in language: ‘the agenda of the consciousness behind the text’.”):

            If one is used to the consolation of “character,” well then Wallace is truly a dead end. His stories simply don’t investigate character; they don’t intend to. Instead they’re turned outward, toward us. It’s our character that’s being investigated. But this is not quite metafiction. The metafictionist used recursion to highlight the mediating narrative voice; to say essentially “I am water, and you are swimming through me“… What’s “recursive” about Wallace’s short stories is not Wallace’s narrative voice but the way these stories run, like verbal versions of mathematical procedures, in which at least one of the steps of the procedure involves rerunning the whole procedure. And it’s we who run them. Wallace places us inside the process of recursion, and this is why reading him is so often emotionally and intellectually exhausting.

          • Sounds challenging!¹ I’ll just tack on something from the Acknowledgements section of A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, where he quotes one of his editors: “just how much reader-annoyance are you going for here?””

            ¹Non-ironic use.

          • Miller

            I’ll have to check this essay out. Being placed inside the process of recursion immediately brings to mind The Depressed Person.

          • Miller

            “It’s snowing on the MAP, not the goddamn TERRITORY, you dick!” God, I love the Eschaton setpiece, it benefits from the long-form context by having already given a sense of the characters at play so that stuff like Pemulis losing his shit is even funnier. And good point on the escalation — the first chapter of Broom Of The System, a brilliant short story in its own right, has a similar rise in tension that is comedic and disturbing. Wallace has a rhythm to his sentences and paragraphs that shifts from tidal to undertow and he needs length to get there, but I think he pulls that off in his essays as well as his fiction.

            As for Tarantino, he’s wrong but it’s a relatively minor sub-argument in a piece he gets so much right in, it doesn’t bother me. He has an interesting short piece slamming Terminator 2 that I think comes from a similar place, although there the problem is he’s less open to the ways T2 is good in its own right; his central argument is not inaccurate in how the sequel in some ways undercuts the original (which he likes a lot).

        • Some of his essays are pretty long! (though not Infinite Jest long, of course)

          In Wallace’s defense (I don’t really agree with him about Tarantino, fwiw), his argument was a lot more convincing in the mid-’90s when he was writing than right now, in his post-Hateful/Django/Inglourious period.

        • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

          I know I’ve shared this with you before, but for the rest of the group, here’s my favorite DFW essay, where he just destroys a latter-day John Updike novel. Not since Mark Twain and James Fenimore Cooper has one member of the literati so effectively sliced, diced, julienned, and made into a sauce another.

          http://observer.com/1997/10/john-updike-champion-literary-phallocrat-drops-one-is-this-finally-the-end-for-magnificent-narcissists/

      • clytie

        That essay includes the best summary of Lynch that I’ve ever read:

        “Here’s something that’s unsettling but true: Lynch’s best movies are
        also the ones that strike people as his sickest. I think this is
        because his best movies, however surreal, tend to be anchored by
        well-developed main characters-Blue Velvet’s Jeffrey Beaumont, Fire Walk With Me’s Laura, The Elephant Man’s Merrick and Treves. When characters are sufficiently developed and human to evoke our empathy, it tends to break down the carapace of distance and detachment in Lynch, and at the same time it makes the movies creepier-we’re way more easily disturbed when a disturbing movie has characters in whom we can see parts of ourselves. For example, there’s way more general ickiness in Wild at Heart than there is in Blue Velvet, and yet Blue Velvet is a far creepier/sicker film, simply because Jeffrey Beaumont is a sufficiently 3-D character for us to feet about/for/with. Since the really disturbing stuff in Blue Velvet isn’t about Frank Booth or anything Jeffrey discovers about Lumberton, but about the fact that a part of Jeffrey gets off on voyeurism and primal violence and degeneracy, and since Lynch carefully sets up his film both so that we feet a/f/w Jeffrey and so that we find some parts of the sadism and degeneracy he witnesses compelling and somehow erotic, it’s little wonder that we (I?) find Blue Velvet “sick”-nothing sickens me like seeing onscreen some of the very parts of myself I’ve gone to the good old movies to try to forget about.”

        • Wallace absolutely knows Lynch, and it’s clear from this essay that he’s a huge fan. It makes that essay really readable, despite Wallace being pretty out of his depth as far as in-depth film criticism goes.

    • Son of Griff

      I half agree with this. I find with Lynch, as with Bunuel, the grammatical codes of mainstream cinema are basically followed. You can watch their films and maintain a sense of spacial and temporal continuity. Where they become more fuzzy is in narrative causality, largely due to their films operating on dual (or multiple {or alternative}) story levels involving the same characters, in which the boundaries between narrative strands are deliberately obfuscated. Their adherence to traditional technique enhances the dream state, because it presents contradictory information in plausible terms.

      • pico79

        I don’t think that’s perpendicular to what he’s arguing: not formal distance but “agenda”. That is, we don’t understand the “why” of what we’re watching, and that makes us vulnerable and uncomfortable, because he’s worming his way in our brain and we can’t erect the typical defenses against it.

      • “Dreams feel real while we’re in them. It’s only afterwards that we realize something was strange.”

        What you said is so key to what Lynch does (also what Inception, The Manchurian Candidate, and eXistenZ do); you have to present dreams in the same cinematic language as reality for them to work. Once we start realizing we’re seeing a dream, we’re distanced from it, and we lose the power of the dream: the way it becomes our reality. What Lynch does is to alter the presentation of everything so that it all feels off; this can’t be real but it’s not a dream either. (See also: Shutter Island.)

        • Son of Griff

          Exactly. I found it off base that critics called the dreamscapes of INCEPTION TOO REALISTIC, when the whole premise of the story was about how to make dreams seem real.

          • Since I’m one of those critics, I think Inception pulls a dirty trick on itself. The bending cities were a large part of Inception’s advertising scheme and they were in the training module. The way games are usually structured is that the training mod is to acclimate the viewer for the weirdness in the later acts. Normally, it’s a stepping stone. When the city curled, it promised a Matrix-like dreamscape where landscapes and dream-reality was how you bent it. I thought it made a promise that it didn’t deliver, and even reverted to normal mode for the climactic five-hour sequence. If they hadn’t even promised that cities would bend…I’d still think it was boring, but not a complete failure.

          • What I appreciated most about Inception was the way Nolan matched ordinary film logic to ordinary dream logic–how in particular a film edit cuts between times and places and no one even blinks at it. (“Think, Ariadne. How did we get here?”) Walter Murch sez that the edit is the most unique and most dreamlike property of cinema.

    • I totally agree that Lynch works in a white-dominant mode. But, it feels especially noteworthy here given the racially charged inspiration material.

      • CineGain

        You also have the backdrop of Los Angeles into these films, a diverse city of many nationalities and Lynch paints the world as if were living in 1950. Which is why it doesn’t come across as mere “problematic” when the film is centered on largely white community as The Straight Story.

  • stickybeak

    Bill Pullman is …a famous jazz saxophonist

    So what are we talking here – Kenny G?