Sunday, July 30, 2017

plato's cave thirty four (being a film journal) it is happening again

From The Secret History of Twin Peaks, A Novel by Mark Frost

Mark Frost and David Lynch - Twin Peaks - 2017
From Part One

Recurring establishing shot for the environment of Twin Peaks. First shot we see after Cooper has his discussion with ???????? in Part One.

The above quote is from Colonel Douglas Milford, in an encrypted message to Major Garland Briggs. Briggs' response is the words "seared his soul". Briggs is revealed earlier as "The Archivist". His presence in the new series is quite strong, more discussion on this forthcoming.

plato's cave thirty three (being a film journal)

Christopher Nolan - Dunkirk - 2017

A film with virtuosic construction. In addition to Nolan making it one hell of a film with his vision, writing and direction; the following people (and many more) had much to do with the look and sound of the film and the extreme pleasure it was to watch.

music - Hans Zimmer

cinematography - Hoyte Van Hoytema
(Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Fighter, Interstellar, Let The Right One In, Spectre)

film editing - Lee Smith
(The Truman Show, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Batman Begins, The Prestige, The Dark Knight, Inception, X-Men: First Class, The Dark Knight Rises, Interstellar, Spectre)

sound effects recording - Peter Albrechtsen, John P. Fasal, Eilam Hoffman, Ken J. Johnson, Max Lachmann, Anders Lindahl, Mats Lundgren, Bernard Löhr, Mikkel Nielsen, Eric Potter
supervising sound editor - Richard King
re-recording mixer - Gregg Landaker, Gary Rizzo
sound effects editor - Michael W. Mitchell, Randy Torres
foley artist - Shelley Roden, John Roesch
dialogue editor - Hugo Weng

Sunday, July 23, 2017

plato's cave thirty two (being a film journal) it is happening again

Mark Frost and David Lynch - Twin Peaks - 2017
From Part One, Introduction of an essential element in the new Twin Peaks : electricity

Cooper is with the Giant (or ????????), played by Carel Struycken, in a backwards space; similar but most likely not the Black Lodge. The giant has been seen previously in another form, as the Room Service Waiter of the Great Northern Hotel (played by Hank Worden, the great John Ford actor, the Shakespearean fool who only longed for "a roof over his head and a rocking chair by the fire."). 

Different from the Black Lodge which is red, this space is black & white. Initially when seeing the Black Lodge in the 90s, this viewer was struck by the method Lynch achieved the oddness of these scenes.... having the actors go through the lines backwards and then playing them backwards so they appear forwards (image and sound). The glitches and imperfections became quite striking from this technique. Here in the phonograph scene, the backwards technique is present. The backwards technique is truly one of the most unique and otherworldly techniques in film history.

In this scene one observes the phonograph crackling... it is more an electrical crackle rather than the sound of a a needle on a record. These electricity sounds continue through the series. Here the sound mimics crow caws.

Cooper listens to the electricity.....

The sounds are followed by the Giant saying "Agent Cooper. Listen to the sounds (electricity loop). It is in our house now. It all cannot be said aloud now. Remember … 430. Richard and Linda. Two birds with one stone.”

The electricity continues to crackle and Cooper crackles into disappearance.

More detail emerges on ????????'s environment especially in The Return: Part 8 (episode 8). It is a fascinating place, more on this space later.

"Richard" is Richard Horne? the sadistic trash offspring of Audrey Horne and Bad Cooper? Linda? Linda remains unclear.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

heavies and melon farmers

rest in peace these mesmerizing heavies
can't imagine a cinema without them
john heard (sopranos)
george romero (night of the living dead)
martin landau (crimes and misdemeanors)

the drawings of emily nelligan

the work of emily nelligan

Sunday, July 16, 2017

plato's cave thirty one (being a film journal) it is happening again

david lynch and mark frost - twin peaks - 2017*
opening credit sequence

the opening credit sequence for part one** varies slightly from later parts as it has the i'll see you again in 25 years intro (see images one through seven) which is accompanied by a drone undercurrent. the intro begins in the black lodge with a rather psychedelic filming of the floor's "chevron pattern" and the red velvet curtains. it then shows agent cooper and laura palmer with her message of i'll see you again in 25 years, a backwards finger snap, and the meanwhile hand gesture. there is some conjecture on the meaning of the meanwhile hand gesture. the intro then shows a montage of the saw mill, the twin peaks school, and a young female student running and crying in slow motion seen through school windows. there are some subtle yet hair-raising orchestral flair ups in the soundtrack during the running, not unlike something you would hear in the shining, then back to laura palmer's picture prominently featured in the school's trophies display window.

in addition, the opening credit sequence for the first part (or episode) does not have laura palmer's face multi-exposed over the waterfall as it does in later parts, as it would have been redundant to her face seen at the end of the intro.

the remainder of the title sequence is consistent with the rest of the series***. it begins with a dazzling aerial shot of the twin peaks waterfalls, or snoqualmie falls, then a very slow dissolve to the red curtains, followed by a very slow dissolve to the chevron floor. the floors and curtains dissolving and shifting is quite mesmerizing. the sequence ends with a dissolve to black.

to my ear****, the badalementi track twin peaks theme is a shortened version from the first and second season (and the ost) of twin peaks. it sounds to me to be a new recording which is very close to the original, but it might just be a goosed up version of the original.

variations from the original are the beautiful drone introduction,  reverberant cymbals which begin around the time the camera starts tracking the falls, distant water sounds which are heard as the falls descend, and lastly a doom-laden drone that fades up around the time the chevron pattern appears.

all these variations from the original have something of a dramatic effect on the viewer, and warn of what is to come in the next 18 hours.... less soap opera business that dominated much of the first two seasons (especially the second), and more abstractions and mysteries that will dominate this season.

the beauty that is this title sequence has much to do with, i assume, the editing brilliance of duwayne dunham. the slow dissolves are so unlike much of what one sees in narrative film or television, and are more commonplace in avant-garde and european film. dunham also edited blue velvet, wild at heart, and parts of season one and two of twin peaks. his work throughout this 18 hour work is groundbreaking and has much to do with the effect this work has.

*this series on twin peaks aims to mainly look at visual and sonic mysteries happening in the series.

**in an interview with dean hurley, music supervisor for lynch, he stated lynch saw the new twin peaks as a single movie with sections or "parts", rather than episodes: "the whole thing - remember - was one giant script shot as one long movie. that’s why he is calling these “parts” and not “episodes” - because they weren’t designed to have arcs between each bit like a normal television show. he (lynch) was interested in the giant story and slicing the pie up."

***up to part nine when i did this post

***if anyone has more information, or hears it differently, i would be interested in more info.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

plato's cave thirty (being a film journal) it is happening again, preliminary words on television

before devoting the art of memory for an indeterminate amount of time to twin peaks, here are some preliminary words on where the author stands in relation to telvision.

i watched twin peaks season 1&2 as it aired on television when i was in high school (1990-1991). i remember watching with my father, who was the first person to get me really excited about film (when i was around 10 we watched the exorcist together and my life was changed forever). viewing twin peaks had an extreme impact on me. the years after, i rented the vhs tapes and purchased the dvds and rewatched numerous numerous times. i had the laserdisc of the film and watched it many times and loved it (still do). of course the majority of season 2 is quite meaningless, the ones directed by lynch are worth watching more than once, and the last one is a masterpiece.

in college and for many more years, i was only interested in the movies, and with the exception of lars von trier's the kingdom from 1994 (which i saw projected at the castro theatre in about 1997 in sf), i didn't watch any television with the exception of rewatching twin peaks which was always my favourite lynch work.

sometime around 2002-2004 i started watching david chase's the sopranos (1999-2007) and david simon's the wire (2002-2008). both shows had a huge impact on me and renewed my interest in television. over the years i have rewatched these two shows 3-4 times. the sopranos came about because goodfellas was a film i watched over and over and this somehow seemed to be a truly original extension of it. also i was bored in a way with film, couldn't related to what was happening at that moment, like wes anderson.

around the time of season 2 of vince gilligan's breaking bad (2008-2013) my good friend recommended i give it a go as it was beyond words and as good as the two previously mentioned, in his estimation. the program knocked my socks off (and still does). the four shows together remain a standard for the potential of tv (twin peaks, the sopranos, the wire, and breaking bad).

in addition to these fine programs, i have enjoyed the following shows or mini series over the years :
  • bbc's tinker tailor soldier spy (1979) and smiley's people (1982)
  • alastair reid's traffik (1989)
  • alastair reid's armistead maupin's tales of the city (1993)
  • allan cubitt's the fall (2013-2016)
  • chris carter's the x-files (1993 - 2016)
  • jane campion and gerard lee's top of the lake (2013-)
  • paul feig's freaks and geeks (1999-2000)
  • david milch and michael mann's luck (2011-2012)
  • ann biderman's southland (2009-2013)
  • ann biderman's ray donovan (first season only, 2013)
  • fargo (first season, 2014)
  • rod serling's the twilight zone (have only seen various, 1959–1964)
  • todd haynes' mildred pierce (2001)
  • alan clarke's work for tv. saw much of it when living in boston, beautiful work
  • frank darabont's the walking dead (2010-) not the best quality but a guilty pleasure
  • sean durkin's southcliffe (2013)
  • dennis potter's the singing detective (1986)
  • lynda la plante's prime suspect (1991-2006)
  • jimmy mcgovern 's cracker (1993–1996), have seen only part, but enjoyed
  • steven spielberg and tom hanks's band of brothers (2001) & the pacific (2010)
  • joshua brand and john falsey's northern exposure (1990-1995), one of my wife's favs, have only seen some
  • louis c.k.'s horace and pete (2016), this show is truly profound
  • louis c.k.'s louis (2010-2015), another profound one
  • nic pizzolatto's true detective (2014), season 1 is one hell of a show. i personally think both vince vaughn's acting and character ruined season 2.
  • ray mckinnon's rectify (2013-2016), first couple of seasons
  • paul attanasio (and david simon)'s - homicide: life on the street (1993-1999), have only seen some, enjoyed.
  • terence winter's boardwalk empire (2010-2014), only liked the first couple/few seasons
  • larry david's curb your enthusiasm (200-2009) and of course seinfeld
  • richard price and steven zaillian's the night of (2016), one hell of a show
  • todd a. kessler, glenn kessler, and daniel zelman's bloodline (2015-), first season is quite good

these shows i feel ambivalent about or downright don't like. listed here to gives some clues of the viewer's taste and preferences :
  • game of thrones (some good moments and actorshippe, overall though i don't know....)
  • girls (the agony)
  • veep
  • the leftovers
  • lost (my wife always complains at what a waste it was to be addicted to this show.... it starts good)
  • westworld (i don't get it)
  • treme (lost interest when john goodman leaves)
  • six feet under
  • hannibal (i love mads mikkelsen and the books but this show just doesn't work)
  • the young pope
  • homeland (first season is good)
  • house of cards (i like the british version, us version is not bad, has some great actors)
  • better call saul
  • orange is the new black
  • stranger things (overfuckingrated, just popular because of the synth resurgence)
  • the office (uk & us, i like parts of it)
  • sense8
  • dexter
  • daredevil, luke cage, jessica jones
  • black mirror (couple of the brit ones are good like the pigfucker one)
  • love
  • the oa (good until it got ruined with the "movements" business)
  • lilyhammer (started good)
  • the strain (interesting for navigating nyc)
  • fortitude
  • narcos
  • sherlock
  • bosch
  • goliath
  • i love dick (listened to kevin bacon interview and show seemed interesting because of the donald judd element but could not get through the first episode)
  • the night manager
  • mad men (many good parts and actors, but overall not sure about it)
  • sons of anarchy
  • luther
  • broadchurch
  • marcella
  • river
  • happy valley
  • californication
  • fear the walking dead (started good, lost interest)
  • portlandia (some funny bits but mostly not funny)
  • miami vice (loved as a kid but not sure if it holds up)
  • many more i cannot recall

plato's cave twenty nine (being a film journal) it is happening again

gearing up for many in depth entries on david lynch and mark frost's twin peaks. i present forthwith number one with a selection from lewis and clark's journals and an owl-image. in preparation; reading mark frost's wonderful book the secret history of twin peaks: a novel (image above) and i listened to the informative jeff jensen and darren franich's a twin peaks podcast: a podcast about twin peaks, and watching each episode numerous times. plan on concentrating on music, cinematography, mystery, subtleties, sound design, story, actors & characters, and whatever else strikes me.

 lost in the beauty and mystery of the show, frames still reverberating through my brains as i walk and as i sleep.

on a side note, i received an annoyingly negative comment on a previous post. i don't often get comments so it is nice to get one but please leave the negative nonsense to yourself as it is not helpful and makes me want to quit this business. to quote the lord of the rings "be silent! keep your forked tongue behind you teeth. i have not passed through fire and death to bandy crooked words with a witless worm!"