Gender in Twin Peaks: The Return

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Nighthawk
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Re: Part 10 - Laura is the one (SPOILERS)

Postby Nighthawk » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:20 pm

dustoff wrote:
Nighthawk wrote:
dustoff wrote:
Again, I'd like to see just one example of this "moral censorship and panic" which apparently "abounds," or of anyone trying to "stifle" Lynch's work. Seriously, just one.


It's there if you read through the thread. I won't bring up a specific example as it is best to just let the topic die.


You "won't" because you can't.


Here you go...

anonymous wrote:We can look at any one the scenes of violence against women in isolation and use the show's internal logic to justify it in narrative terms (which seems to constitute the bulk of the apologism). But this episode really reinforced the pattern that seemed to be emerging in the early episodes of what the role of women in this series was going to be (largely, window dressing and murder-fodder). The paternalistic flirting of older men with women who work for them (and the women's eager responsiveness to it) especially creeps me out (knowing what Lynch seems to be like in that respect), and it trivialises their characters to some extent. No matter how much of a visionary Lynch may be, there are still aspects of his work that are entirely what you what expect of a white male director in his 70s, with a penchant for 50s nostalgia that is clearly not just aesthetic. Of course, there's more time for characters to be developed, but I'm a lot less optimistic about it after E10. Sure, we've got a few good female characters (one of them is even allowed to tell jokes), and one or two Strong Female Characters™, but unless I missed a scene, in the first 10 hours of TP:TR it's only passed the Bechdel Test twice (Miriam and Heidi/Shelley at the Double R, and the zebra/penguin girls at the roadhouse). That's less than the amount of women murdered in the first episode. People are pointing out that the scenes of violence against women are reflecting reality, and sure, this stuff happens. But, you know, women actually talk to each other in reality too, and we get to see a lot less of that.
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Re: Part 10 - Laura is the one (SPOILERS)

Postby eyeboogers » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:26 pm

Any chance we might get back to discussing episode 10? I think starting a separate thread for this gender debate has been suggested many times now.
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Re: Part 10 - Laura is the one (SPOILERS)

Postby dustoff » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:32 pm

Nighthawk wrote:
dustoff wrote:
Nighthawk wrote:
It's there if you read through the thread. I won't bring up a specific example as it is best to just let the topic die.


You "won't" because you can't.


Here you go...

anonymous wrote:We can look at any one the scenes of violence against women in isolation and use the show's internal logic to justify it in narrative terms (which seems to constitute the bulk of the apologism). But this episode really reinforced the pattern that seemed to be emerging in the early episodes of what the role of women in this series was going to be (largely, window dressing and murder-fodder). The paternalistic flirting of older men with women who work for them (and the women's eager responsiveness to it) especially creeps me out (knowing what Lynch seems to be like in that respect), and it trivialises their characters to some extent. No matter how much of a visionary Lynch may be, there are still aspects of his work that are entirely what you what expect of a white male director in his 70s, with a penchant for 50s nostalgia that is clearly not just aesthetic. Of course, there's more time for characters to be developed, but I'm a lot less optimistic about it after E10. Sure, we've got a few good female characters (one of them is even allowed to tell jokes), and one or two Strong Female Characters™, but unless I missed a scene, in the first 10 hours of TP:TR it's only passed the Bechdel Test twice (Miriam and Heidi/Shelley at the Double R, and the zebra/penguin girls at the roadhouse). That's less than the amount of women murdered in the first episode. People are pointing out that the scenes of violence against women are reflecting reality, and sure, this stuff happens. But, you know, women actually talk to each other in reality too, and we get to see a lot less of that.


I don't know what this is supposed to prove; I certainly don't see evidence of "moral panic" or an attempt to "stifle." I see an attempt to contextualize the work within a broader oeuvre, and to establish a hypothesis based on a set of observable patterns. (Which, not incidentally, is not so different from the way in which scientists form arguments.)
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Re: Part 10 - Laura is the one (SPOILERS)

Postby anthoto1 » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:32 pm

As always, SJW trying to take over and polluting the debate. That's very sad.
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Part 10 - Laura is the one (SPOILERS)

Postby yaxomoxay » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:33 pm

Cipher wrote:
yaxomoxay wrote:On a very broad, general look I don't disagree with you. Academic discussion is yrev very important.
THE problem is when things are overcomplicated in the analysis process. More often than not, things are incredibly simple, especially when they're about humans; as TP shows, it's the supernatural that makes things more complex.
The obvious symptom is that when over-complication happens things are brought outside of their true realm of existence. Technically speaking I could write a paper titled:
"The lack of firemen in the world of Twin Peaks," in which I expose how Lynch despises firemen by not making them central of the world of Fire (walk with me), and in which the natural barrier is composed by firemen. Furthermore, Lynch's love for Law Enforcement (Truman, Cooper, Hawk etc.) clearly indicates his love for authority. So the central question is: is Lynch authoritarian?

Granted, how I wrote it sucks, but if I had better narrative capabilities I would certainly be able to construct such an argument in a way that would find enough followers. I don't deny the right of any individual/critic to write such paper. Be my guest. What I "deny" (for the lack of a better word) is taking this joyful experience and making it an over thought intellectual exercise trying to read stuff that more likely is not there.

You sort of addressed this on your own already, but while you would be more than welcome to make that argument, it would have to live and die on the strength of its analysis and how much other people find merit in what you're presenting. You could absolutely make that a serious post if you were so inclined. In fact, if you have a serious argument about how the show works that hasn't been brought up yet, I'd encourage you to go for it!

In the meantime, serious posts discussing gender portrayals (not to condemn, but to analyze and address) have gained traction among multiple posters; the flow of conversation here will sort out the merit of any given analysis on its own.

Certainly if you did try to seriously present that argument, my response wouldn't be "No one should talk about firemen or authoritarianism," but "I'm not sure that reading holds up," if I felt strongly enough about it to weigh in.

Sometimes writers just write something because they think it's a good story to tell.

As someone who does write seriously, and is often around other writers, I would challenge you a bit on that. There are certainly who people write, and read (or in this case view) solely for disposable thrill, but there are just as many, and certainly those who most inspire Lynch, who do so because storytelling is their means of communication. For that matter, this is a man who has said in interviews that he was most inspired by the work of non-narrative or narratively experimental filmmakers. Lynch himself regularly (or even solely) engages in narratively obtuse, deeply personal art.

Why tell a story? It's an important question. Why make art? Usually it's to inspire emotions and ideas in the audience too complex to be affected through other forms of communication; narrative is a powerful thing.

No one is diminishing a work by investigating its patterns and messages, successful or otherwise. I'd say it would be diminishing a piece more to pretend such elements don't exist.

SpookyDollhouse wrote:Can we all agree that Twin Peaks is fiction, and if there are aspects of it you don't like then it's not for you? David Lynch isn't sexist, Mark Frost isn't sexist, if you want to reach and say so then that's on you.

But it is for me, and they aren't sexist. That doesn't mean they can't misfire on gender portrayal in one project.

If that even holds true in this case; I'd much rather anyone who wants to enter the conversation actually debate the reading, rather than the conversation itself.

This conversation would have been contained to a handful of posts every few pages if people were comfortable just not engaging in discussions that don't interest them, by the way. Breadcrumbing for backwards shots or the plot-level significance of Andy's Rolex seem off the mark for me, so those posts just get scrolled over.


(Quick answer, I am on the run).
That's why I wrote "sometimes", and not always.
I do not disagree that writers often tell a story with conscious or subconscious desire to expose more complex issue. That's the beauty of creativity. And no, I don't want to diminish it by saying that things should not be analyzed.
I am worried of lack of analysis as I am worried of over-analyzing, which I think is the case after Episode 10. Violence against women has been a common thread since after S1E1 25 years ago. It's a part of real life, statistics don't lie that it's a serious problem. But we can't and we shouldn't attach more to a work of art just because things have to be overly analyzed. Yeah, Lynch is talking about violence against women. He's showing it to us. So? Do we really have to bring out much more? I think that some people are going to be paralyzed by analysis after this series is finished, and some will find deeper meanings that simply are not there.

However, I strongly suggest to open a separate thread on the issue. At least it would keep things in order.

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Re: Part 10 - Laura is the one (SPOILERS)

Postby Cipher » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:36 pm

Nighthawk wrote:Here you go...

anonymous wrote:We can look at any one the scenes of violence against women in isolation and use the show's internal logic to justify it in narrative terms (which seems to constitute the bulk of the apologism). But this episode really reinforced the pattern that seemed to be emerging in the early episodes of what the role of women in this series was going to be (largely, window dressing and murder-fodder). The paternalistic flirting of older men with women who work for them (and the women's eager responsiveness to it) especially creeps me out (knowing what Lynch seems to be like in that respect), and it trivialises their characters to some extent. No matter how much of a visionary Lynch may be, there are still aspects of his work that are entirely what you what expect of a white male director in his 70s, with a penchant for 50s nostalgia that is clearly not just aesthetic. Of course, there's more time for characters to be developed, but I'm a lot less optimistic about it after E10. Sure, we've got a few good female characters (one of them is even allowed to tell jokes), and one or two Strong Female Characters™, but unless I missed a scene, in the first 10 hours of TP:TR it's only passed the Bechdel Test twice (Miriam and Heidi/Shelley at the Double R, and the zebra/penguin girls at the roadhouse). That's less than the amount of women murdered in the first episode. People are pointing out that the scenes of violence against women are reflecting reality, and sure, this stuff happens. But, you know, women actually talk to each other in reality too, and we get to see a lot less of that.

I mean ... that's further than I would take it, and more harshly worded, but that's all fair; it's all in the show. That last bit actually gets to the part of The Return sitting less well for me than Lynch's films in that area: the violence is affecting, and reflecting of reality, but if the goal is a mirror into reality, it's slightly remiss for not also reflecting that women have more in their internal and external lives than how they're confronted by violence. In continuing a fascination presented powerfully and personally in Lynch's movies, it may have accidentally moved into a pattern of portrayals that's a bit too narrow to feel completely honest (even as, and this is important, the goal behind them appears to be unflinching honesty). Will it all track by the end? Maybe!

I don't see any calls for moral panic or censure there; just observation of elements that aren't working for one viewer. And unless I've missed something, that's the most overtly negative post on the subject in the thread. Why does that ruffle your feathers so?

eyeboogers wrote:Any chance we might get back to discussing episode 10? I think starting a separate thread for this gender debate has been suggested many times now.

Why not just post whatever you'd like to address not related to the subject? As has also been suggested many times, the flow of conversation could naturally cover any number of topics (and did, for the bulk of the thread, gender included) if people would stop being so reflexive about the idea of broaching this one.

yaxomoxay wrote:But we can't and we shouldn't attach more to a work of art just because things have to be overly analyzed. Yeah, Lynch is talking about violence against women. He's showing it to us. So? Do we really have to bring out much more? I think that some people are going to be paralyzed by analysis after this series is finished, and some will find deeper meanings that simply are not there.

Why should conversation stop at identifying a pattern, rather than discussing how it works?

Can we be "paralyzed by analysis"? Isn't that why people are still discussing the impact of Lynch's films twenty to forty years after the fact?

Lynch is talking about violence against women; he's often talked about violence against women; I don't sense that it works quite as well in this entry as it does in his previous works, and that's interesting and I think wholly worth discussing as a foregrounded element.
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Re: Part 10 - Laura is the one (SPOILERS)

Postby Agent Earle » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:36 pm

anthoto1 wrote:As always, SJW trying to take over and polluting the debate. That's very sad.


Darn tootin'.
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Re: Part 10 - Laura is the one (SPOILERS)

Postby dustoff » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:37 pm

anthoto1 wrote:As always, SJW trying to take over and polluting the debate. That's very sad.


"Now you listen to me. While I will admit to a certain cynicism, the fact is that I am a naysayer and hatchetman in the fight against violence. I pride myself in taking a punch and I'll gladly take another because I choose to live my life in the company of Gandhi and King. My concerns are global. I reject absolutely revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method... is love. I love you Sheriff Truman."
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Re: Part 10 - Laura is the one (SPOILERS)

Postby Cipher » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:39 pm

Nighthawk wrote:Here you go...

anonymous wrote:We can look at any one the scenes of violence against women in isolation and use the show's internal logic to justify it in narrative terms (which seems to constitute the bulk of the apologism). But this episode really reinforced the pattern that seemed to be emerging in the early episodes of what the role of women in this series was going to be (largely, window dressing and murder-fodder). The paternalistic flirting of older men with women who work for them (and the women's eager responsiveness to it) especially creeps me out (knowing what Lynch seems to be like in that respect), and it trivialises their characters to some extent. No matter how much of a visionary Lynch may be, there are still aspects of his work that are entirely what you what expect of a white male director in his 70s, with a penchant for 50s nostalgia that is clearly not just aesthetic. Of course, there's more time for characters to be developed, but I'm a lot less optimistic about it after E10. Sure, we've got a few good female characters (one of them is even allowed to tell jokes), and one or two Strong Female Characters™, but unless I missed a scene, in the first 10 hours of TP:TR it's only passed the Bechdel Test twice (Miriam and Heidi/Shelley at the Double R, and the zebra/penguin girls at the roadhouse). That's less than the amount of women murdered in the first episode. People are pointing out that the scenes of violence against women are reflecting reality, and sure, this stuff happens. But, you know, women actually talk to each other in reality too, and we get to see a lot less of that.

I mean ... that's further than I would take it, and more harshly worded, but that's all fair; it's all in the show. That last bit actually gets to the part of The Return sitting less well for me than Lynch's films in that area: the violence is affecting, and reflecting of reality, but if the goal is a mirror into reality, it's slightly remiss for not also reflecting that women have more in their internal and external lives than how they're confronted by violence. In continuing a fascination presented powerfully and personally in Lynch's movies, it may have accidentally moved into a pattern of portrayals that's a bit too narrow to feel completely honest (even as, and this is important, the goal behind them appears to be unflinching honesty). Will it all track by the end? Maybe!

I don't see any calls for moral panic or censure there; just observation of elements that aren't working for one viewer. And unless I've missed something, that's the most overtly negative post on the subject in the thread. Why does that ruffle your feathers so?

eyeboogers wrote:Any chance we might get back to discussing episode 10? I think starting a separate thread for this gender debate has been suggested many times now.

Why not just post whatever you'd like to address not related to the subject? As has also been suggested many times, the flow of conversation could naturally cover any number of topics (and did, for the bulk of the thread, gender included) if people would stop being so reflexive about the idea of broaching this singular one.

yaxomoxay wrote:But we can't and we shouldn't attach more to a work of art just because things have to be overly analyzed. Yeah, Lynch is talking about violence against women. He's showing it to us. So? Do we really have to bring out much more? I think that some people are going to be paralyzed by analysis after this series is finished, and some will find deeper meanings that simply are not there.

Why should conversation stop at identifying a pattern, rather than discussing how it works?

Can we be "paralyzed by analysis"? Isn't that why people are still discussing the impact of Lynch's films twenty to forty years after the fact? Lynch is talking about violence against women; he's often talked about violence against women; I don't sense that it works quite as well in this entry as it does in his previous works, and that's interesting and I think wholly worth discussing as a foregrounded element. Agree or disagree; I'm fine (even here for that!) so long as a conversation multiple posters believe has merit isn't dismissed outright.

Re: Separate thread: I resist it on the basis that people are (were?) just responding to ideas and elements brought out by episode 10, until other posters decided that certain subjects related to the episode were okay to tackle, and, going out of their way to dismiss conversations via otherwise substanceless posts, one particular subject was not. The idea of having to filter thematic conversations out of a reaction thread on a David Lynch forum is ludicrous to me.

(dustoff beat me to the Albert response; but this was already getting overlong)
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Re: Part 10 - Laura is the one (SPOILERS)

Postby anthoto1 » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:43 pm

Analyzing is not a problem, obviously. Analyzing a work of art with a political agenda and seeing it through this lense only is. It's very sad as it prevents these people for appreciating these works for what they really are as they're trying to make them look as they want them to be.
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Re: Part 10 - Laura is the one (SPOILERS)

Postby Nighthawk » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:48 pm

dustoff wrote:
anthoto1 wrote:As always, SJW trying to take over and polluting the debate. That's very sad.


"Now you listen to me. While I will admit to a certain cynicism, the fact is that I am a naysayer and hatchetman in the fight against violence. I pride myself in taking a punch and I'll gladly take another because I choose to live my life in the company of Gandhi and King. My concerns are global. I reject absolutely revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method... is love. I love you Sheriff Truman."


I have proposed to let this inane topic drop and I was challenged not to. I don't think that this is the way Albert wanted to see things through. Second chance perhaps...
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Re: Part 10 - Laura is the one (SPOILERS)

Postby Cipher » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:51 pm

(accidental duplicate; dismiss)
Last edited by Cipher on Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Part 10 - Laura is the one (SPOILERS)

Postby Cipher » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:52 pm

anthoto1 wrote:Analyzing is not a problem, obviously. Analyzing a work art with a political agenda and seeing it through this lense only is. It's very sad as it prevents these people for appreciating these works for what they really are as they're trying to make them look as they want them to be.

Ah, but for that to be true, you'd have to make the argument that Lynch's work, or even season 3 or episode 10 alone, isn't largely interested in gender. (And boy, if that's an argument you think you can make, I'd love to see it.)

So here we are. It's on the table. If it isn't something you feel is relevant, skip over posts as I do during numerology/Rolex/reverse footage discussions. This thread lasted thirty-some pages with gender analysis mixed in right alongside other reactions until a group of posters decided that for some reason this subject alone must not be discussed. Let's cool our collective jets and do away with snippy, substanceless one-liners about "SJWs," or dismissing thematic analysis on a board about a director of art films.

I am all for someone bringing up a new topic they actually care about in lieu of the gender stuff; at this point it's a cycle of recursive responses. But I'll respond so long as people keep pressuring it.

EDIT -- And if it were ever in question, I'll clarify again that I very much like the show as a whole, and love Lynch as a director, though that does not prevent me from discussing a way in which a particular work may not quite meet (at this point) its own goals.
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Re: Part 10 - Laura is the one (SPOILERS)

Postby dustoff » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:52 pm

anthoto1 wrote:Analyzing is not a problem, obviously. Analyzing a work of art with a political agenda and seeing it through this lense only is. It's very sad as it prevents these people for appreciating these works for what they really are as they're trying to make them look as they want them to be.


You're right, I suppose. We should defer to your interpretation of these episodes without question, apparently unbound as it is by politics or ideology, and informed by your untarnished insight as to what they "really are."

Pity you feel "prevented" from appreciating the show. (I happen to love it.)
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Re: Part 10 - Laura is the one (SPOILERS)

Postby riesje » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:57 pm

dustoff wrote:
anthoto1 wrote:Analyzing is not a problem, obviously. Analyzing a work of art with a political agenda and seeing it through this lense only is. It's very sad as it prevents these people for appreciating these works for what they really are as they're trying to make them look as they want them to be.


You're right, I suppose. We should defer to your interpretation of these episodes without question, apparently unbound as it is by politics or ideology, and informed by your untarnished insight as to what they "really are."

Pity you feel "prevented" from appreciating the show. (I happen to love it.)


"interpretation"

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