Part 3 of Journey Through Twin Peaks: The Whole Damned Town

General discussion on Twin Peaks not related to the series, film, books, music, photos, or collectors merchandise.

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Part 3 of Journey Through Twin Peaks: The Whole Damned Town

Postby LostInTheMovies » Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:52 pm

Image

The third entry in my video series is finally up in its entirety (originally this message just included some of the individual chapters):

http://thedancingimage.blogspot.com/201 ... whole.html

Part 4 will hopefully be up in a few weeks.

Image

*ORIGINAL MESSAGE*
First up, tonight's chapter, "Cooper's Story," covers the development of Agent Cooper, looks at how Lynch & Frost's approaches to Cooper differed, and traces the backstory through The Autobiography of Special FBI Agent Dale Cooper: My Life, My Tapes.

http://youtu.be/_QynGQTYyf4
Last edited by LostInTheMovies on Fri Dec 26, 2014 11:22 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Chapter 16 - Season of Love and Fear

Postby LostInTheMovies » Wed Dec 17, 2014 8:03 am

And here is the chapter on ep. 24 - 27:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icltvoFOhXY

Next up, the long-awaited Twin Peaks Mythology! Really looking forward to putting this one together. Obviously in 10 or so minutes it can only skim the surface but hopefully it will offer a cogent overview of Lynch's images and Frost's philosophy.
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Re: Part 3 of Journey Through Twin Peaks: The Whole Damned T

Postby StealThisCorn » Thu Dec 18, 2014 5:00 pm

Thank you!

Can't wait to give them a listen.
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Re: Part 3 of Journey Through Twin Peaks: The Whole Damned T

Postby Audrey Horne » Thu Dec 18, 2014 6:41 pm

Wow, I think that's the most I've ever seen of the back end of the second season in twenty years. And I've never seen it in such crisp quality, it was always from my videotaped recordings of their initial broadcast. I could never bring myself to watch the DVDs or the Blu Ray.

Still too painful, and afraid I was going to smash my computer.

Great editing, so much fun.
God, I love this music. Isn't it too dreamy?
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Re: Part 3 of Journey Through Twin Peaks: The Whole Damned T

Postby LostInTheMovies » Fri Dec 19, 2014 10:30 am

Yeah, after I finished the series (and film) the first time I went right back and re-watched the entire thing, writing up an episode guide as I went - except I skipped from episode 16 to 29! In a weird way, this has made me more interested in the back half this year because it's more unfamiliar for me. And doing these videos is actually the first time I've really dealt with them at all, since I never wrote them up the first time around. That novelty makes a nice bridge between not being that invested in them but being enthusiastic about discussing them. Although I did still find myself dragging my feet about getting started sometimes (once I start actually editing, the energy kicks in).

This year I've really begun to see Twin Peaks as a whole, warts and all, rather than just the parts I like entangled with the parts I don't. Doesn't mean I enjoy the weak stretches much more (although my 2014 obsession has admittedly softened me somewhat on tolerance/appreciation of the stuff that I had zero time for in 2008) but they fascinate me. The unevenness of Twin Peaks keeps me coming back. Anyway, that was kind of the genesis of this video project.
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Re: Part 3 of Journey Through Twin Peaks: The Whole Damned T

Postby StealThisCorn » Fri Dec 19, 2014 9:41 pm

Yeah it's funny I am now at that part in the series while showing a friend Twin Peaks and I, of course, warned them that show does drop off in quality and many of the B, C and D plots take center stage and are pretty ridiculous. But it's amazing how much of it I do actually enjoy in a weird way just for how campy and ridiculous it is. Like at least it's funny and I can laugh at it--the stuff with Nadine, Ben Horne's break down, the Andy, Dick and Lucy show, etc. If I was writing, that's not where I would have taken the story after such a tough act as the Laura Palmer murder mystery, but if I can laugh at it then, at least on some level, while it might have the same gravitas as what came before, I am still enjoying it on some level. Still, I get virtually no satisfaction from James and Evelyn Marsh though, other than pointing out her horrid teeth, cheesy noir set up and wondering why Malcolm keeps walking into James' room to deliver exposition for no reason and then leaving like that's a normal thing to do.

Because it's like, only on this show would these kind of antics happen. And this is also the stretch of the show here the directors all seem to be trying to emulate Lynch by throwing in weird little ominous shots and sounds for no real reason, but they do kind of make you wonder, what does this mean? Why is this here? Is there some connection between it all that I am not seeing? I suspect there is not because these directors are amateurs compared to the artiste, doing weird for weird's sake or trying to harken back to familiar images when TP was better to remind fans, but it is an interesting imaginative space for the show to occupy (sort of how, for me, the first season has a similar feel where everything could be connected and you can imagine all sorts of resolutions--the whole town could be some kind of wicker-man style cult with Laura Palmer being the approved sacrifice--you don't know yet so maybe). But also there's a bit of a let down with the mythology because so much of this stuff involving the Air Force investigating the woods, dugpas, people getting abducted and left with marks on their bodies, the hooded guardian etc. will be left as a weird little aside with no explanation because Lynch will come back and get TP back on track. Just not as cohesive as I would like.
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Re: Part 3 of Journey Through Twin Peaks: The Whole Damned T

Postby N. Needleman » Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:32 am

It's never not a whole. I just take the good with the bad, the so-so and even the ugly.
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Re: Part 3 of Journey Through Twin Peaks: The Whole Damned T

Postby LostInTheMovies » Sat Dec 20, 2014 9:07 am

StealThisCorn wrote:Yeah it's funny I am now at that part in the series while showing a friend Twin Peaks and I, of course, warned them that show does drop off in quality and many of the B, C and D plots take center stage and are pretty ridiculous. ... if I can laugh at it then, at least on some level, while it might have the same gravitas as what came before, I am still enjoying it on some level.


It's interesting how, especially if people have been warned ahead of time and/or are watching with friends, the mid-season doesn't seem to suck as badly. I've been noticing this on podcasts I've been listening to: episode 17, in particular, gets a way better response that I would expect. Newcomers seem to take to the shift in stride like, yeah we had our dark passage now we get to have some fun with the characters (episode 18, on the other hand, almost universally alienates viewers - though personally, I think it is somewhat redeemed by Ben's home movies, Denise's first appearance, and Hawk's Lodge speech). The first time I watched the series I was watching it alone, and I had NO idea how the series was structured (in fact I initially thought they hadn't actually solved the murder; only early in season 2 when I inadvertently discovered Bob would kill Maddy - but not who Bob actually was - did I realize the killer would most likely be revealed). In that state, ep. 17 was a punch in the gut. I particularly remember my heart sinking when the mayor fights his brother in the wake as I realized, Oh my god - the show wants to be a sitcom now that it's not a murder mystery. I had loved the comedy of Twin Peaks up to this point but this felt different.

wondering why Malcolm keeps walking into James' room to deliver exposition for no reason and then leaving like that's a normal thing to do.


On the first Twin Peaks podcast I listened to (called, appropriately enough, Twin Peaks Podcast) they dubbed this guy "Exposition Malcolm" which makes me laugh every time I hear it. I tried to include his ridiculous "that's the thing about...things" line in my video but sadly, it did not make the cut.

Because it's like, only on this show would these kind of antics happen.


Yeah, that's part of the fascination for me. The horror too, but as the shock ends, it mostly becomes just weird fascination. How the hell can the show that included Maddy's murder also have the Little Nicky thought bubble? How are these part of the same universe?! In some perverse sense it just adds to the show's diversity (although diversity of quality is not something creators generally strive for, haha).

the whole town could be some kind of wicker-man style cult with Laura Palmer being the approved sacrifice


During my perusal of the alt.tv.twin-peaks archive, I discovered this theory: it was even speculated that Cooper was a virgin (hence his dismissal of Audrey in ep. 6) and thus the community had lured him there as his next mark. In all seriousness, though, the "suspiciousness" of the townspeople is one of the pilot's most distinctive traits. It ebbs a bit during season 1, is pretty much gone early in season 2, and than mid-season 2 we a 180-degree reversal, where everyone in town is our trusted, lovable buddy. That's probably one of the most disorienting things about the show and this stretch.

--you don't know yet so maybe). But also there's a bit of a let down with the mythology because so much of this stuff involving the Air Force investigating the woods, dugpas, people getting abducted and left with marks on their bodies, the hooded guardian etc. will be left as a weird little aside with no explanation because Lynch will come back and get TP back on track. Just not as cohesive as I would like.


As I work on the chapter devoted to mythology and work toward Lynch's Lodge stuff in FWWM I'm realizing how much he actually follows up/delivers on Frost's (and, I suppose, Peyton's and Engel's) mythological groundwork. Not in the real-world specifics of Blue Book, dugpas, etc. as you note - Lynch just has never seemed to care for explicitly referencing ideas outside his own dreamscape (except, apparently, in the case of Tibet since Frost says Lynch prompted him to include something about the Dalai Lama in ep. 2). But the underlying ideas that coalesce late in the season, he actually puts to better use than was originally planned.

It's funny, for all the talk of Lynch hating completion and answers etc etc, I find he's actually more interested in wholeness than anybody. For example, Frost spoke of the end of the series being like The Sopranos, unfinished, ominious, etc. and was ok with that (even though he obviously wanted to return to that world). Lynch, it seems, was not. He wants the work to be internally holistic, even if it's hard to determine from outside. That's why, even aside from liking FWWM as a stand-alone film, I think it's an essential piece of Twin Peaks.

It's easy to forget how incomplete the series would feel without it. For one thing, the idea of the Lodge explicitly tying in to all the iconic characters and images of Twin Peaks - the giant, the Little Man, Bob, the Tremonds, the One-Armed Man, the Red Room, the creamed corn - wouldn't really exist without Lynch rewriting the finale and it is greatly extended in the film. Even Bob, whom the teleplay establishes as a "resident" of the Lodge, is only linked to it in the second-to-last episode! It took me several run-throughs of the series to realize this. Up until the very end of the season, the Black Lodge exists as an entirely separate piece of mythology from everything in the first part of the show; as if the show had hit reboot and started down an entirely new path after solving Laura's murder. Someone on alt.tv pointed this out and it never struck me till then but now I can't shake it. Initially, the Lodge mythology was NOT a continuation of the show's themes but a departure. It took Lynch to tie it back in.

That's one of the funny things about complaints that FWWM takes the story off-course (presumably because it takes place before the events of the show, doesn't resolve Cooper's fate, focuses mostly on Laura rather than the ensemble or atmosphere of the town): actually, it continues the trend of the finale by bringing it all back home. Note too how many seemingly forgotten characters return at Lynch's behest - even outside the Lodge, we have Sarah Palmer, Sylvia Horne, Ronette Pulaski, and even good ol' Heidi the waitress; not to mention the characters who had been around but weren't scheduled to appear one last time: Bobby, Shelly, Mrs. Briggs, Jacoby, the Log Lady. Lynch gets accused a lot of being a bad storyteller, going on too many wild flights of fancy, etc. yet really he may have been more focused on Twin Peaks' core than Frost. In that sense, he is a very grounded artist.
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The Twin Peaks Mythology

Postby LostInTheMovies » Sun Dec 21, 2014 10:52 am

Ok, the mythology chapters is finally up! This one is the longest of any chapter so far, took the most work, and was a hell of a lot of fun to put together.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdytwYk6EF8

Fair warning: as would be expected with the series' chronological approach, this only goes up until just before the season finale so no garmonbozia or doppelgangers (future chapters will explore how Lynch synthesized the ideas and images of the mythology in the finale & FWWM). This video is mostly about Lynch's and Frost's initial contributions to the TP mythology: Lynch through the random images, characters, and motifs he conjured for the European version of the pilot episode and Frost through incorporation of Theosophical ideas, primarily the dugpa, the Lodge, and the Dweller on the Threshold. I also have a bit of fun conjuring images of the scripted Lodge finale (complete with that infamous "Pittsburgh, stupid" sign), present the abandoned love-fear dialogue from episode 17, glance through the fire/wood/owls motifs in a brief montage, draw a connection to Frost's 1987 screenplay for The Believers, etc. Enjoy.

I'm hoping to wrap up Part 3 with a marathon endeavor today. One chapter will look at episodes 28 & 29 side by side and another will specifically focus on the Black Lodge sequence in the finale, before setting up Fire Walk With Me for Part 4.
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Re: Part 3 of Journey Through Twin Peaks: The Whole Damned T

Postby LostInTheMovies » Mon Dec 22, 2014 4:07 pm

Chapter 18, covering the final two episodes (up until the Lodge sequence, which gets its own chapter):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I73sONFoRIk

One to go (in Part 3)! Look like I'll make it just under the gun before Christmas, though Part 4 will probably not appear till after New Year's. Happy holidays to everyone.
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Re: Part 3 of Journey Through Twin Peaks: The Whole Damned T

Postby Audrey Horne » Mon Dec 22, 2014 5:18 pm

Happy holidays to you as well.

I have to say you have certainly done a fantastic job with these installments, a true labor of love. And they are just so much fun to watch. The amount of care in the outstanding edit is well, outstanding.

This one had me laughing out loud with Audrey's, "I hope it doesn't hurt this much in a week." And holy cow, I never, ever noticed Boyle and Amick horsing around during the rehearsal... And I clearly think it is Boyle and Amick here and not Donna and Shelly. And why not. Fenn wouldn't even show up, so naturally the other two star ingenues could get away with just not taking this seriously. And it's not surprising I wouldn't notice it, since, again, I've barely watched this episode in the past twenty plus years. I hate Windom as the Log Lady, but what you've shown me is interesting in that she seemingly disappears and reappears in another form from Bobby's point of view. And you've hit the nail on the head on everything that is wrong with this episode.

Your segment on the finale (so far) also had me riveted with Lynch's approach. He certainly had his work cut out for him. And despite the one problem with Annie and not Audrey in Windom's clutches, he does a brilliant job of salvaging so much... And not just because of his expertise as a director, but a love and understanding of what initially made these characters tick.

Another interesting thing is you are investigating this in a new era. Not one on what could have been but now with the news of its return, what will come.

Observation... I've let so many people's theories of what happened to characters cloud my judgment. Namely with Ben, and with the bank explosion. So many feel Ben has been killed, and Audrey and Pete are blown to smithereens. And if they weren't, production would have their work cut out for them to explain all of their survivals. I never felt this, even watching when I was sixteen, simply cliffhangers in a soap world. And again, watching it seems as mild as I thought... Nothing to me indicates Ben has been killed, just severely bumped... And most likely as a means to get a strong antagonist back to his old self. And the bank also just a strong cloud of dust and power bursting the windows. I imagine if this had continued into the fall of 1991 we see Pete, Audrey and even Dell rubbing their heads in the hospital, but with Andrew kicking the bucket.

Again, super, terrific, amazing job!
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Re: Part 3 of Journey Through Twin Peaks: The Whole Damned T

Postby LostInTheMovies » Mon Dec 22, 2014 5:54 pm

Great observations. One thing working on this video reminded me of is just how important it was for Lynch to reference the pilot and earlier stretches of the show - to keep this world rooting in certain ideas and concepts. I wonder if, in part this is the sensibility of a filmmaker vs. a TV-maker, and also a painter vs. a novelist. It seems like Frost was more in love with Twin Peaks as a template for endless exploration/expansion (hence bringing in Windom Earle, UFOs, the Pittsburgh backstory, and Theosophy). Some of his additions work better for me than others - Earle, even at his best, never quite feels at home in this world while the mythological/spiritual ethos give the preceding material an interesting new spin. But it is amazing to me how ready everyone but Lynch was to abandon most of the original ideas and essentially start from scratch. Even Bob is seen only once and mentioned only twice (!) between Leland's death and the finale. I think this is the biggest mistake Peaks made - not so much that it was ready to expand its scope and bring in new material, but that in doing so it tried to leave the other stuff behind (although that may be a function of bringing in new stuff).

Considering the mid-season episodes were being directed (and some, maybe all, of them written) when the show's reputation and ratings were going south I wonder if this was at all conscious; that maybe there was a feeling Twin Peaks needed to turn away from what was making it unpopular. A lot of columns I've come across from the second season say things to the effect of "Bob is killing/has killed Twin Peaks." Then again, maybe the plan was always to bring him and some of the other elements back. Said it before but I would just LOVE to be a fly on the wall as everyone was planning season 2 - not writing the individual episodes but actually laying out a general arc which they supposedly did in the early summer of '90. How present was Lynch (since he later disclaimed much of a role in the season, and even misremembers directing Wild at Heart during this period)? What was the original game plan for Cooper-Audrey during those mid-season episodes? How did the discussion/decision surrounding the killer's reveal unfold? How much of late season 2 was added later, when Lynch and Frost got more involved again, and how much was planned a year earlier? Was there a big picture in view (Peyton mentions bringing the idea of Bob-in-the-mirror to Frost but was this early in season 2 or was it at the last minute while they were actually writing #29's teleplay - there seems to be a lot of foreshadowing of Coop's fate)? Or was it more a matter of hey, this is TV, we'll make it up as we go but this show will allow us to do anything?

Even with great books like Brad's, so much remains vague and I wonder how much the participants themselves really remember.
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Re: Part 3 of Journey Through Twin Peaks: The Whole Damned T

Postby LostInTheMovies » Mon Dec 22, 2014 6:06 pm

Audrey Horne wrote:And I clearly think it is Boyle and Amick here and not Donna and Shelly. And why not. Fenn wouldn't even show up, so naturally the other two star ingenues could get away with just not taking this seriously.


I love this idea and hope it's true! It definitely feels that way (although obviously Tim Hunter was into it since he let them continue on in multiple takes: I just used the wide shots, but they're doing it in the background of closer takes too!). One of the things I like about late season 2 is it starts to bring disparate characters together again and give the community a more cohesive feel (without excessively on-the-nose gestures like the Bobby-Audrey flirtation of the mid-season). I could see Shelly & Donna having this humorous egg-each-other-on type of relationship and it would be fun to explore further. It's also too bad there aren't more Donna-Audrey scenes. They have this weird tension/chemistry in their two scenes of season 1 though given the actress' relationship I guess it's not surprising we didn't get more of it.
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Re: Part 3 of Journey Through Twin Peaks: The Whole Damned T

Postby LostInTheMovies » Mon Dec 22, 2014 6:07 pm

Audrey Horne wrote:I imagine if this had continued into the fall of 1991 we see Pete, Audrey and even Dell rubbing their heads in the hospital, but with Andrew kicking the bucket.


And one last thing - if there had been a season 3 I imagine it opening with a very, very long take of Dell emerging from the rubble and spending half an hour looking for his glasses.
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Re: Part 3 of Journey Through Twin Peaks: The Whole Damned T

Postby Audrey Horne » Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:11 pm

It is interesting how much does become vague in their memories. And I understand. Look at your jobs, can you remember what you did specifically last Wednesday let alone twenty some years ago. And even in the acting stuff I've done, it begins to blur and you can't remember all the stuff, especially specifics when you're doing it day in day out. And I'm sure Brad will confirm this with all the hours of interviews he was able to obtain,that aside from the watershed moments, things remain vague to both the actors and creators.

I think when Peyton talks about the stroke of genius in having Cooper look in the mirror it is late in the process of lining up those last episode arcs.

Brad and I, and others basically accosted Engels one year and picked his brain for at least an hour. That was fun, but again he couldn't recall specifics. No end game was planned for the second season, just that they knew they had to reveal the killer, and were trying to set up the Windom, Audrey, Cooper plot to follow it up. He thought it was fun to scare some of the members with the second season cliffhangers, but that they would probably all come back... And they were seriously playing around with the time jump in the third season after the first commercial break. ... Come back from a commercial and it would say Ten Years Later. Also stories of the origin of the other world inhabitants coming from the earth, beneath all the bugs and dirt, like right under a normal suburban home. See, I'm vague because it becomes fuzzy.

I initially loved Audrey with Bobby because it was so well constructed in that original setup. You had the Cooper farewell scene, and then Audrey being her mischievous former self with Bobby, so below her equal in playing the game. Spending a few weeks worrying that Audrey couldn't pass up Cooper for friggin' Bobby Briggs! And then the great fake out that she was basically using him, and back to the glory days of her spying and sleuthing from the peephole, which was all a means to save Cooper. As soon as she showed up with the Manila envelope it was a huge payoff. ...of course that all went to shit the following episode. So confusing.
God, I love this music. Isn't it too dreamy?

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