Recut of TPTR

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Mr. Reindeer
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Re: Recut of TPTR

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Mon Dec 17, 2018 4:12 pm

LateReg wrote:I was going to say this a couple days ago in response to Cappy's initial post, but the idea of Windom Earle strikes me as flawed on the directorial level. I think you could have still had most of that dialogue, or variations of it, along with a similar plot, and the character would have been a villain worthy of his diamond-mind buildup. My evidence of this is that he has a couple great moments scattered throughout (I actually love him dressed as the Log Lady, which is silly without being overly theatrical from a performance perspective), and especially that as soon as Lynch gets ahold of him in episode 29, he suddenly becomes truly frightening, whether during his ride/walk with Annie or his time in the Black Lodge. I'm not trying to take away from anyone who loves the character as is, but I think that if Lynch would have directed Kenneth Welsh (a good actor) throughout, the very same character would have come across far more effectively. Episode 29 is suddenly like watching an entirely new, very scary character, so much so that I think it would be really interesting to show the episode to a first timer just to see how they might imagine how the character got to that point. As I already said, I do like Windom in episode 28 as well, and bits and pieces of him throughout.


What Lynch does with the character in E29 is gloriously creepy, but it’s important to note that he cut a LOT of scripted dialogue that would have undercut the character’s menace (including two song-and-dance numbers!). There’s the famous anecdote of Lynch throwing out a solid page of scripted dialogue and saying, “Just hold a flashlight under your face and say, ‘I’m Windom Earle!’” Even the best of the other directors working on the show wouldn’t have had the freedom to essentially scrap much of the script as Lynch did, and that paring-down of the writerly excesses—in addition to his unparalleled skill at directing actors—was an important element in how much he elevated Earle in E29.

It would sure have been interesting to see Earle pop up in TP:TR and see 2017-era Lynch’s approach to the character. It could have been really chilling, and I love the theories about him as substitute for Jeffries.
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Re: Recut of TPTR

Postby bosguy1981 » Tue Dec 18, 2018 6:11 am

The only quote I can ever remember from Lynch about Windom is: "Windom Earle was all Mark Frost." LOL

I also remember somebody (maybe Harley Peyton?) revealing that when Lynch saw footage of Windom Earle in white long underwear (from Diane Keaton's episode) he got really annoyed or mad about it. Lynch wanted Windom always dressed in black, apparently.
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Re: Recut of TPTR

Postby Agent Earle » Tue Dec 18, 2018 8:01 am

bosguy1981 wrote:
I also remember somebody (maybe Harley Peyton?) revealing that when Lynch saw footage of Windom Earle in white long underwear (from Diane Keaton's episode) he got really annoyed or mad about it. Lynch wanted Windom always dressed in black, apparently.


Now THAT's a behind-the-screens special feature that I'd REALLY like to see! :D

But seriously, guys, all this (sometimes even positive) talk of Windom Earle is making me want to watch the later part of S 2 again and is really improving my pre-Christmas spirits!
Not having heard Lynch even once refer to WE, under any circumstances, annoys me like few other things - if I ever get the opportunity to drop him an audience question (fat chance), I know what I'm askin'... Also, the theory of Philip Jeffries standing in for WE in S 3 that somebody floated sounds pretty credible. Anyhow, I think the creators really missed an ideal opportunity to incorporate WE into the overall TP universe in S 3; even though Lynch proverbially detested the character, there's no denial he is one of the iconic aspects of the story and has much more resonance and impact in terms of Cooper's (and the town's) fate than the majority of other TP characters. To write him off like that, without even one measly mention, seems to me really weird and unfair to the character and to the integrity of the TP lore.
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Re: Recut of TPTR

Postby Agent Earle » Tue Dec 18, 2018 8:14 am

Btw, I absolutely don't agree with the interpretation of Jean Renault as a comic book villain - to me, he always seemed and felt believable as hell. His fixation on Cooper is, besides being a thing to be attributed to psychotic personalities as Renault clearly is, to me, easily understandable as the man has just lost two close family members because of Cooper (well, that's how he saw it, anyway) - and this aspect of personal vendetta brought in real personal stakes for our hero for the first time in the series! I mean, when Renault held Coop hostage at the Dead Dog Farm, I seriously fretted for his well-being (as I did during the rescue mission at One Eyed Jack's, which was also tied-in to Jean). To cap it all off, on the heels of this threat being eliminated (another disagreement with the post-Leland continuation and resolution of JR's subplot being superfluous, as that was one subplot of the original series that enjoyed a complete dramatic arc and was resolved satisfyingly, unlike practically all other character subplots that were cut short once they put the kibosh on the show), in comes the WE subplot they teased us with for some time to present another major danger for the protagonist - dramatically PERFECT!
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Re: Recut of TPTR

Postby Agent Earle » Tue Dec 18, 2018 8:25 am

LateReg wrote:I'm not trying to take away from anyone who loves the character as is, but I think that if Lynch would have directed Kenneth Welsh (a good actor) throughout, the very same character would have come across far more effectively. Episode 29 is suddenly like watching an entirely new, very scary character, so much so that I think it would be really interesting to show the episode to a first timer just to see how they might imagine how the character got to that point. As I already said, I do like Windom in episode 28 as well, and bits and pieces of him throughout.


Which is exactly why it infuriates me that we got the 18 frigging Lynch-directed hours of new Peaks (!!!) without a single Windom Earle scene! What Lynch did with the S 2 finale (the things Mr. Reindeer mentions in his previous post) is nothing short of TV, hell, of pop culture history and is the thing for which I'll remain in awe of him no matter how many Dougie Jones' he's yet to father during his career :D
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Re: Recut of TPTR

Postby Kilmoore » Wed Dec 19, 2018 12:30 am

Agent Earle wrote:Which is exactly why it infuriates me that we got the 18 frigging Lynch-directed hours of new Peaks (!!!) without a single Windom Earle scene! What Lynch did with the S 2 finale (the things Mr. Reindeer mentions in his previous post) is nothing short of TV, hell, of pop culture history and is the thing for which I'll remain in awe of him no matter how many Dougie Jones' he's yet to father during his career :D


Just popping in to say I don't have much to add into the conversation since you keep putting it perfectly into words. Lynch disregarded so many elements of Twin Peaks that I honestly believe he only used the name to get a budget for his project, without ever truly caring about TP or intending to do a true sequel.
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Re: Recut of TPTR

Postby ^◊^ » Wed Dec 19, 2018 3:15 am

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Cappy
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Re: Recut of TPTR

Postby Cappy » Wed Dec 19, 2018 7:58 am

bosguy1981 wrote:The only quote I can ever remember from Lynch about Windom is: "Windom Earle was all Mark Frost." LOL

I also remember somebody (maybe Harley Peyton?) revealing that when Lynch saw footage of Windom Earle in white long underwear (from Diane Keaton's episode) he got really annoyed or mad about it. Lynch wanted Windom always dressed in black, apparently.


I really don't know what was going on behind the scenes of Twin Peaks beyond what I've read on the internet, but I can't help but think that a lot of the problems with Earle circa the Diane Keaton episode were due to Frost not being around to properly shepherd the character. I know there is a common narrative out there that all the good things about Twin Peaks are due to Lynch, and all the rest is Frost's doing, but wasn't it the case that Frost was more hands on and involved during Season 1 (thought of by many fans as a perfect manifestation of Twin Peaks) than Lynch due to Wild at Heart filming/post-production? And I'm not saying this in any attempt to diminish Lynch or his artistic genius, it's just I think Mark Frost is too often under recognized. I think Earle was at his best as a character when directed by Lynch (someone else pointed out Lynch cutting a lengthy Earle monologue down to just "I am Windom Earle"). And even though Frost has a proclivity for loquacious characters, I just can't help but imagine that his original conception of Earle was somehow better than what we got on screen. Supposedly Windom Earle was conceived as being a kind of Professor Moriarty to Cooper's Sherlock Holmes. Perhaps if it were up to Frost, Earle would've been portrayed closer to Moriarty's appearance in "The Final Problem", a mysterious figure that is never seen up close (at least from the narrator's perspective).

I've read that Frost was absent for a while after Episode 16 or so with his Storyville project, but I also remember a sort of cryptic comment he made in an interview (on the Entire Mystery box set, I think) where in response to Season 2 woes, he says something to the effect of "there was more going on behind the scenes than people really know, maybe more than they will ever know." And I just can't help but wonder what sort of behind the scenes happenings he is referring to, and how they tie into the creative direction and presentation of Season 2.

And yes, Lynch is dead on about Windom Earle's long johns (or... whatever). Earle is best in his black suit.
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Re: Recut of TPTR

Postby Agent Earle » Wed Dec 19, 2018 9:26 am

Which all goes to show that Windom Earle may well be the most enigmatic and problematic of characters inhabiting TP universe. So much about his genesis and evolution remains unknown to this day that I'd be all for it if someone finally saw fit to organize a panel discussion devoted solely to WE. Necessary participants: Lynch, Frost, and anyone else who had a say during the show's initial run and partook in the decisions regarding the character (Peyton, Engels, Kenneth Welsh, Scott Frost who wrote the most excellent tie-in book that features Earle as a prominent character, etc.). Let's DO it! :D
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Re: Recut of TPTR

Postby mtwentz » Wed Dec 19, 2018 10:22 am

The only enigmatic thing about Earle that I can think of is whether he is possessed or not and what entity is possessing him.
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Re: Recut of TPTR

Postby Agent Earle » Wed Dec 19, 2018 10:37 am

I meant enigmatic in terms of who exactly was it that thought him up, or created him, if you will, and why, who attributed certain traits to him and why, how did he wind up chucked out of S 3 (I know he's supposed to be annihilated by Bob, but still - not one mention?!), what are Lynch's (and Frost's, for that matter) feelings about him, and so on, and so on, and so on. You catch my drift. If you have the answers to these questions, do not hesitate to share them, please.
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Re: Recut of TPTR

Postby mtwentz » Wed Dec 19, 2018 11:58 am

I just assume Lynch wanted as little from the second half of Season 2 mentioned as possible. Annie got a bare minimum mention.

Personally, I think it was a mistake. Just like I think it's a mistake to view Season 2 as a failure.
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Re: Recut of TPTR

Postby Cappy » Wed Dec 19, 2018 12:00 pm

Agent Earle wrote:Which all goes to show that Windom Earle may well be the most enigmatic and problematic of characters inhabiting TP universe. So much about his genesis and evolution remains unknown to this day that I'd be all for it if someone finally saw fit to organize a panel discussion devoted solely to WE. Necessary participants: Lynch, Frost, and anyone else who had a say during the show's initial run and partook in the decisions regarding the character (Peyton, Engels, Kenneth Welsh, Scott Frost who wrote the most excellent tie-in book that features Earle as a prominent character, etc.). Let's DO it! :D


That sounds like a great crowdfunded documentary. And I don't mean 'crowdfunded' in any sort of derogatory sense, I mean I would actually put down (a small amount of) money to see Window Earle: An Oral History.

But yeah, Earle's evolution of a character does seem to suggest some sort of behind the scenes turbulence or uncertainty. He's first mentioned in I think episode 9, not mentioned again until episode 13 (I think), then mentioned again in 17... We first hear his voice in 18, then we don't even see him until 21. It could be argued that maybe the writers always planned this slow, suspenseful roll out for his character, but we could just as easily assume that behind the scenes forces delayed his appearance on screen. It could be likely that the network pressure to resolve the Laura Palmer mystery forced a lot of planned storylines to be canceled or delayed. You can clearly see that with the Jean Renault arc, which is essentially paused for several episodes during the killer's reveal and Leland's death. Perhaps the same thing happened with Windom Earle?

Perhaps Kenneth Welsh had other projects that conflicted with Peaks, maybe that delayed things too (he was in a tv movie with Sheryl Lee around the time he did Peaks, among other things).
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Re: Recut of TPTR

Postby mtwentz » Wed Dec 19, 2018 1:59 pm

Cappy wrote:
Agent Earle wrote:Which all goes to show that Windom Earle may well be the most enigmatic and problematic of characters inhabiting TP universe. So much about his genesis and evolution remains unknown to this day that I'd be all for it if someone finally saw fit to organize a panel discussion devoted solely to WE. Necessary participants: Lynch, Frost, and anyone else who had a say during the show's initial run and partook in the decisions regarding the character (Peyton, Engels, Kenneth Welsh, Scott Frost who wrote the most excellent tie-in book that features Earle as a prominent character, etc.). Let's DO it! :D


He's first mentioned in I think episode 9, not mentioned again until episode 13 (I think), then mentioned again in 17... We first hear his voice in 18, then we don't even see him until 21. It could be argued that maybe the writers always planned this slow, suspenseful roll out for his character, but we could just as easily assume that behind the scenes forces delayed his appearance on screen. It could be likely that the network pressure to resolve the Laura Palmer mystery forced a lot of planned storylines to be canceled or delayed. You can clearly see that with the Jean Renault arc, which is essentially paused for several episodes during the killer's reveal and Leland's death. Perhaps the same thing happened with Windom Earle?

Perhaps Kenneth Welsh had other projects that conflicted with Peaks, maybe that delayed things too (he was in a tv movie with Sheryl Lee around the time he did Peaks, among other things).


Curiously though, the rolling out of the Judy plot in Season 3 was about as slow as the rollout of the Windom Earle storyline. We see a figure in the glass box in part 1, the 'mother' coming after Cooper in part 3, the Experiment birthing BOB in part 8, Bad Coop asking about Judy in the convenience store in part 15 and then Gordon finally dropping the bombshell in part 17 that the whole of Season 3 has been about defeating Judy!

I think the slow roll out of Windom Earle was just an artistic choice, but in retrospect, it confused the audience.
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Re: Recut of TPTR

Postby Cappy » Thu Dec 20, 2018 7:22 am

Good point. I think the Judy stuff in Season 3 in successful (for me, anyway) because it maintains an air of mystery. I don't think it builds towards any sort of overt narrative conclusion as much as it sustains a sense of lurking terror that permeates The Return.

In hindsight, I wish Windom Earle had been treated a similar way during the original run. Referenced sparsely, and no long monologues in pajamas... It's interesting to think how effective Earle as a character might've been had we only seen him once or twice before the final episode. Maybe we'd see him when Leo stumbles in to his cabin, then on the Blue Book archival tape, then again when he presents Leo with the bag of spiders.

But instead what we got was about 10 episodes of mysterious build up, then all of a sudden he's onscreen for 12 minutes every episode talking non-stop.

If his arrival in Twin Peaks was delayed by the network pressure to resolve the Laura Palmer mystery, I can't help but wonder what the show might have been like had Earle showed up while Cooper was still knee-deep in the search for Laura's killer. Perhaps instead of being consumed with beating Coop at chess, maybe Windom would be out to prove he's a better detective than his former protege, and he'd start his own, less than ethical investigation into the townspeople. What a different show that would've been...

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