Interview with Brad Dukes, author of Reflections

Discussion of Twin Peaks TV Series, Fire Walk With Me, and Books

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Re: Interview with Brad Dukes, author of Reflections

Postby LostInTheMovies » Tue Nov 18, 2014 4:10 pm

My feelings about taking-Twin-Peaks-as-a-whole can best be summed up by watching the Atmospherics (on the blu-ray). In fact, I think I'm going to watch them again tonight! Perfect encapsulation, in 12 minutes, of all the disaparate elements and how they coalesce into one unforgettable experience.
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Re: Interview with Brad Dukes, author of Reflections

Postby Brad D » Tue Nov 18, 2014 4:35 pm

I'd say at bare minimum there were three distinct phases of production: the pilot, shot on location, more like a movie than a series, with Lynch & Frost in sync; the series, shot in Van Nuys in a more conventional TV pattern, with Lynch & Frost in varying degrees of collaboration and separation (think of it like the Beatles recording the White Album at times); and the film, shot again on location without Frost's participation.


I would agree with three distinct phases of production, but the largest differences between these phases stem from the film. Mark Frost, Harley Peyton, Sherilyn Fenn, Richard Beymer, Lara Flynn Boyle, Warren Frost, the entire Sheriff's department - all huge absences in Fire Walk With Me. Lynch was leading the way, yes - but Fire Walk With Me (to me) is a little more like Band on the Run than The White Album, if you get my drift. The DNA is just so different between the series and the film - but, I respect how others can see it differently.

I think in some ways the pilot and feature have more in common with each other than the pilot does with the mid-late second season, the location being only the most obvious example. Certainly this is true in terms of cast and crew - not just Lee, Wise, and Zabriskie, but Ron Garcia behind the camera (along with other crew members who had been present in the pilot but not taken part in the series). There are many conscious callbacks in the film to the pilot, things that had been forgotten over the course of the series. And BOTH pilot and feature are emphatically and near-exclusively built around Laura Palmer's death in a way that no other episode is (even #14).


This, I can agree with. I do remember reading that Lynch and Engels heavily referenced the pilot while writing FWWM.

Certainly the Black Lodge sequence in the finale is almost entirely David Lynch's invention, and few would question its place as a part of the show.


That's a tricky statement. Lynch was given a script he largely ignored, but the framework of the episode is still in tact and ends at the same destination. It was a crooked path to the Black Lodge, no doubt, but the writers took it where they did and Lynch crushed the finale for sure. I am very glad BOB never appears as a dentist. I often say that the best moments in Twin Peaks are when Lynch directs and Frost has a big hand in the story. That's why I'm beyond thrilled about 2016!


One of the things that fascinates me about Twin Peaks is how fluid it is, how it evolved and transformed over time so that parts of it seem to have absolutely nothing to do with other parts and yet they all belong to the same bewildering entity. Of course I don't think everything is equal, but I have come to the conclusion that everything is equally and inescapably Twin Peaks, the good, the bad, and the ugly. In that sense, the pilot through Fire Walk With Me is all the same journey. Heck, I'd throw in the spin-off books too (despite their continuity hiccups) but I should probably save that argument for another day. ;)


I consider all of that "canon"... but the books/series/film are separate pieces that all merge into a bigger thing for me. Like Voltron in some way...
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Re: Interview with Brad Dukes, author of Reflections

Postby LostInTheMovies » Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:07 pm

Brad D wrote:I would agree with three distinct phases of production, but the largest differences between these phases stem from the film. Mark Frost, Harley Peyton, Sherilyn Fenn, Richard Beymer, Lara Flynn Boyle, Warren Frost, the entire Sheriff's department - all huge absences in Fire Walk With Me. Lynch was leading the way, yes - but Fire Walk With Me (to me) is a little more like Band on the Run than The White Album, if you get my drift. The DNA is just so different between the series and the film - but, I respect how others can see it differently.


Yes, it's a glass half-empty/half-full kind of thing. While there's a big dropoff from the series you also have Lynch back in action (after a long more-or-less absence), new music from Badalamenti, the restoration of the Palmers & the Laura mystery, Ron Garcia as DP, the Washington State locales...it feels like a lot has been regained as well as lost. To a certain extent, of course, I'm playing devil's advocate and as noted, until recently it was hard for me to reconcile series and film as well (albeit not to the film's detriment).

That said, if I were conceding your point, I would go with FWWM=Plastic Ono Band (the album, not the group)! Same raw, edgy, even angry vibe: "I don't believe in Beatles..." At least in an alternate universe where Yoko split up the band but was also the reason they got together...

That's a tricky statement. Lynch was given a script he largely ignored, but the framework of the episode is still in tact and ends at the same destination. It was a crooked path to the Black Lodge, no doubt, but the writers took it where they did and Lynch crushed the finale for sure. I am very glad BOB never appears as a dentist. I often say that the best moments in Twin Peaks are when Lynch directs and Frost has a big hand in the story. That's why I'm beyond thrilled about 2016!


To a certain extent, yes, but that's why I wrote "the Black Lodge" rather than "episode 29." Before and after Cooper goes in the Lodge, Lynch sticks to the general outline (while changing a number of details and adding some stuff). But inside the Lodge (for over half the episode, in what is essentially the climax of the series), we are almost entirely in Lynch's world. The only things he really kept in were a few references to the Pittsburgh/Caroline backstory and Bob punishing Windom Earle. Otherwise, it bears almost no relation, thematically or visually, to what was intended. Storywise, you could even say he stuck closer to the original framework with FWWM than with the Lodge sequence in #29!

But as to your larger point, I too am really fascinated by the Lynch/Frost dynamic, maybe especially when they weren't really on the same page. Cooper's a good example of this - increasingly I get the sense that Lynch wanted him to remain an ideal while Frost wanted him humanized, a great but flawed man. And while I have some issues with the way they did it (his backstory & conflict with Windom feels somewhat forced, and the flannel thing took it too far!), I think ultimately it makes for really compelling storytelling.

Just think Cooper in the Road House in ep. 14, realizing with that pained expression that he has failed to catch the killer, or the end of ep. 29 which is one of the most powerful images of the whole series. Lynch may not have agreed with the ideas but he always found a way to own it (usually by making Coop's failure a lack of trust in his own intuition or the spirit world).

2016 will be different, of course, because there won't be the struggle/fallout borne of an ongoing TV series. It will be their closest head-to-head collaboration since the pilot (or at least ep. 1-2). Which will be great and a hell of a lot less stressful for them...though I have to admit my favorite bits of Twin Peaks are probably results of clashes between their visions, which always results in an interesting mutation.

I honestly think everything Lynch has done since Twin Peaks has been hugely shaped (at times indirectly or reactively) by his collaboration with Frost, which really sent him in new directions. It's only after Twin Peaks that you see him lose faith in conventional heroes, mix narratives, cross over into otherworldly realms/phenomena, and highlight female consciousness, all qualities that emerged in the hothouse of creating Twin Peaks.

I consider all of that "canon"... but the books/series/film are separate pieces that all merge into a bigger thing for me. Like Voltron in some way...


Ha, yeah agreed. We're sort of saying the same thing in different ways.
Last edited by LostInTheMovies on Tue Nov 18, 2014 8:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Interview with Brad Dukes, author of Reflections

Postby 4815162342 » Tue Nov 18, 2014 8:14 pm

Brad D wrote:I think it is totally absurd to judge anyone's appreciation of the show. The coffee and pie/black lodge fan thing is nonsense. I can guarantee you that from the most casual fan to the most hardcore fan, one enjoys some things about Twin Peaks more than others. In my eyes, the tv series and the film are two separate entities made by different groups of people.

Also, I am definitely not "anti-FWWM." There are some great moments and performances that I love. Aesthetically, there are some things I downright detest. So what if I have bipolar feelings about the movie. I never intended to, nor have I ever said this book was at all about the film.

I'd also like to point out that (IMO) FWWM really didnt get a respectable home video release until this summer in regards to color timing and sound design, which I feel are quite significant to the world of TP. Even seeing The Missing Pieces changed my feelings a bit about the movie. My opinions are not static.

Sorry, did not mean to offend. Heard you on the red room podcast and you literally said you didn't like FWWM because there wasn't enough coffee-and-pie/light moments, and that's why you portrayed FWWM in a negative light in the book. I didn't think I was saying anything controversial. I just think it's too bad that the person who put together this huge, unique, and cool TP project, has an (at least partially) negative opinion of a pillar of the TP world.
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Re: Interview with Brad Dukes, author of Reflections

Postby Brad D » Wed Nov 19, 2014 7:46 am

4815162342 wrote:Sorry, did not mean to offend. Heard you on the red room podcast and you literally said you didn't like FWWM because there wasn't enough coffee-and-pie/light moments, and that's why you portrayed FWWM in a negative light in the book. I didn't think I was saying anything controversial. I just think it's too bad that the person who put together this huge, unique, and cool TP project, has an (at least partially) negative opinion of a pillar of the TP world.


Why does my opinion on the film (which I never state in the book) have any bearing on my documentation of the series?There are certain things I don't like about FWWM, yes. There are things I love. Same thing with the series, to a differing extent. Art is subjective.

I don't feel that I portrayed FWWM in a negative light, but it WAS divisive at the time - before the script had even been finished may I add - and that is an indisputable fact. The cast and crew of Twin Peaks did not skip merrily hand-in-hand off to make FWWM. It was my aim for that particular chapter to portray the overall anger, sadness, and divisiveness at the end of the series and I didnt want to ignore the role FWWM had in that regard. The book is about the life of the tv series, not the film. I'm not sure how else to state that fact.
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Re: Interview with Brad Dukes, author of Reflections

Postby Audrey Horne » Wed Nov 19, 2014 10:15 am

hear, hear! perfectly put.
God, I love this music. Isn't it too dreamy?
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Re: Interview with Brad Dukes, author of Reflections

Postby TwinPeaksFanatic » Wed Nov 19, 2014 5:54 pm

it really is a terrific book!
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Re: Interview with Brad Dukes, author of Reflections

Postby Smiling Bag » Wed Nov 19, 2014 10:01 pm

Yeah, I have to say that I read Brad's book on a plane in the middle of having a reaction to my thyroid medicine. It grounded me so to speak and kept me from losing my marbles on a 6 hour flight. Without question the most comprehensive and intimate literature on TP to date. What a great thing to read to find out literally days after finishing that the new series was coming. Thanks Brad for getting me through that awful awful flight.
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Re: Interview with Brad Dukes, author of Reflections

Postby LostInTheMovies » Thu Nov 20, 2014 8:01 pm

By the way, that (great) Bush/Gorbachev anecdote from Reflections is really making the rounds! Saw it retweeted a lot on Twitter and it's popping up on random news sites & the like.
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Re: Interview with Brad Dukes, author of Reflections

Postby hopesfall » Fri Nov 21, 2014 12:41 am

LostInTheMovies wrote:By the way, that (great) Bush/Gorbachev anecdote from Reflections is really making the rounds! Saw it retweeted a lot on Twitter and it's popping up on random news sites & the like.


Yeah, i saw that the other day and thought "wasn't that in Reflections"? :)
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Re: Interview with Brad Dukes, author of Reflections

Postby missoulamt » Fri Nov 21, 2014 1:23 am

Hi Brad, do you know if Reflections will be available in Sweden again?
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Re: Interview with Brad Dukes, author of Reflections

Postby Brad D » Fri Nov 21, 2014 7:50 am

missoulamt wrote:Hi Brad, do you know if Reflections will be available in Sweden again?

it was on bokus... and now I don't see it! I'm not sure why it dropped off. I did submit another interior for a couple of formatting things, but it should at least be saying 'out of stock' instead of not available at all. So, I'm not sure. sorry!

May want to email them and ask. I'll do the same.
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Re: Interview with Brad Dukes, author of Reflections

Postby 4815162342 » Fri Nov 21, 2014 10:05 am

Brad D wrote:
4815162342 wrote:Sorry, did not mean to offend. Heard you on the red room podcast and you literally said you didn't like FWWM because there wasn't enough coffee-and-pie/light moments, and that's why you portrayed FWWM in a negative light in the book. I didn't think I was saying anything controversial. I just think it's too bad that the person who put together this huge, unique, and cool TP project, has an (at least partially) negative opinion of a pillar of the TP world.


Why does my opinion on the film (which I never state in the book) have any bearing on my documentation of the series?There are certain things I don't like about FWWM, yes. There are things I love. Same thing with the series, to a differing extent. Art is subjective.

I don't feel that I portrayed FWWM in a negative light, but it WAS divisive at the time - before the script had even been finished may I add - and that is an indisputable fact. The cast and crew of Twin Peaks did not skip merrily hand-in-hand off to make FWWM. It was my aim for that particular chapter to portray the overall anger, sadness, and divisiveness at the end of the series and I didnt want to ignore the role FWWM had in that regard. The book is about the life of the tv series, not the film. I'm not sure how else to state that fact.

Fair enough.

Look, I understand you worked hard on the book, and you did a great job, but when you put something out there, people are allowed to criticize it, no? This is what I don't like about it, simple as that.
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Re: Interview with Brad Dukes, author of Reflections

Postby missoulamt » Fri Nov 21, 2014 10:11 am

Brad D wrote:
missoulamt wrote:Hi Brad, do you know if Reflections will be available in Sweden again?

it was on bokus... and now I don't see it! I'm not sure why it dropped off. I did submit another interior for a couple of formatting things, but it should at least be saying 'out of stock' instead of not available at all. So, I'm not sure. sorry!

May want to email them and ask. I'll do the same.


Thanks for the reply. I mailed another store and they said that they may have it by early next week but they couldn't tell for sure. What is an interior?
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Re: Interview with Brad Dukes, author of Reflections

Postby Brad D » Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:04 am

missoulamt wrote:
Brad D wrote:
missoulamt wrote:Hi Brad, do you know if Reflections will be available in Sweden again?

it was on bokus... and now I don't see it! I'm not sure why it dropped off. I did submit another interior for a couple of formatting things, but it should at least be saying 'out of stock' instead of not available at all. So, I'm not sure. sorry!

May want to email them and ask. I'll do the same.


Thanks for the reply. I mailed another store and they said that they may have it by early next week but they couldn't tell for sure. What is an interior?


What is printed on the pages, that's all.

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