"It Was Red"

Discussion of INLAND EMPIRE

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Kiddo
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Re: "It Was Red"

Postby Kiddo » Sat May 31, 2008 9:08 pm

I've never really questioned that it Smithy, and not Piotrek, at the shed. Here is my line of thought:

1) We know that Smithy, and not Piotrek, is the one who went to Poland with Gordy and the circus. So it only makes sense that the man speaking with Gordy in Poland is Smithy, and not Piotrek.

2) Piotrek is one of the most feared and powerful men in Hollywood. Why would he be getting driven around the backwoods of Poland just to get ranked on by a dorky circus dude in a shed in the middle of nowhere? Krol could have just flown his own personal jet to get wherever he wanted, and would have had lackeys deal with low-lifes like Gordy.

3) We know that soon after Smithy confronted Gordy about the Phantom, he and Janek went to the seance where they acquired the pistol. And...

4) We know that Smithy placed this pistol in his bedroom bureau's top drawer. Right on top of his green coat. Then...

5) We know that Nikki found the pistol in the drawer in Smithy's bedroom, and used the weapon to save the day.

6) Piotrek Krol is ominous and aloof. Powerful and vicious. Smithy is grouchy and goofy. Sterile and defeated. Aside from their obviously identical appearance, the two guys are nothing alike, imo.

Do you really think that Piotrek would have let Gordy talk to him like that? And what would Piotrek have been doing in Poland, anyways?
Carl
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Re: "It Was Red"

Postby Carl » Sat May 31, 2008 11:18 pm

Mostly these are indeed very clear reasons for thinking that this is Smithy. They represent my initial thinking.
A few points:
*Piotrek might be in Poland because he is Polish.We do not know when these Polish scenes occur; they may have transpired years earlier.
**It might be Piotrek ( and most likely, imo, is) who is 'the man in the green coat' and who Nikki flees, during her final transformation into Sue, following her entry through the axxonN door and flight from first Devon, then that green coated figure.
***On a certain level it makes sense for Piotrek to hide the gun, if a real gun is used by Nikki. Filming of OBIBT has concluded, after all.

My mind remains open upon these matters, as upon the entire movie.
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jina
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Re: "It Was Red"

Postby jina » Sun Jun 01, 2008 3:21 am

Kiddo wrote:

6) Piotrek Krol is ominous and aloof. Powerful and vicious. Smithy is grouchy and goofy. Sterile and defeated. Aside from their obviously identical appearance, the two guys are nothing alike, imo.



right, but i think it is the same person.
as Carl says, we don't know when these scenes occur.
Kiddo
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Re: "It Was Red"

Postby Kiddo » Sun Jun 01, 2008 6:31 am

If they are the same person, then how and why is one married to Nikki Grace and the other married to Susan Blue?
MichaelPW
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Re: "It Was Red"

Postby MichaelPW » Sun Jun 01, 2008 8:43 am

Kiddo wrote:Why would he be getting driven around the backwoods of Poland just to get ranked on by a dorky circus dude in a shed in the middle of nowhere? Krol could have just flown his own personal jet to get wherever he wanted, and would have had lackeys deal with low-lifes like Gordy.


Can`t see here neither logic nor validity.
applesnoranges
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Re: "It Was Red"

Postby applesnoranges » Sun Jun 01, 2008 12:02 pm

All the Lucas characters, whether they are given names or not, are played by the same actor for the same reason that Betty and Diane are played by the same actress in Mulholland Dr.: They are different versions of how a person could be (in a different life, in a different universe, etc.) The same person can be very different in the dream of one person compared to the dream of another person etc.
Carl
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Re: "It Was Red"

Postby Carl » Sun Jun 01, 2008 2:54 pm

I'm not convinced that Smithy (or whoever) works for Gordy, at all. If Gordy is the man being sought to shoot with the gun, then why go to the Inland Empire and plant the gun, ect? Just driving back to the shed might do the dirty deed, hunh? ( Assuming these scenes are in sequence.)
I take the points about 'it was red' and the cup, all right, but as to who is the 'he' in ' Where is he?', that would be the one that Smithy ( or whoever) is looking for and follows to the Inland Empire. We do not see Gordy before or after this scene. We do see the Phantom, at least the actor that plays him and that, presumably, lifted the watch after shooting the actor in 4 7, possibly with that same gun.
I concur with Kiddo that LG knew where the gun was.


EDIT: Sorry, missed some of the discussion by applesandoranges and Kiddo about this on the 'Where did the gun come from? ' Thread. I've been working under a deadline, thankfully met, and my eyes just spaced a couple of their relevant Posts.


The Phantom then sold the watch later.
So, the first appearances of the watch and the gun.
Look out! It's all starting to make sense, again. Time to watch IE, again. :roll:
Kiddo
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Re: "It Was Red"

Postby Kiddo » Sun Jun 01, 2008 3:50 pm

MichaelPW,
That's exactly my point: there is no validity or logic to the claim that Lucas's character during the shed scene is Piotrek. Absolutely nothing points to it. The man's name is Smithy.

carl: I'm not convinced that Smithy (or whoever) works for Gordy, at all

I'm not either, but I am sure that he and Smithy worked for the same circus. And according to Susan, so did The Phantom.

If Gordy is the man being sought to shoot with the gun

No one's trying to shoot Gordy; The Phantom is the man Smithy and Janek are looking for. But he just skipped town for Inland Empire.

We do not see Gordy before or after this scene.

We see Gordy in the barbeque scene at Smithy's, when the carnies arrive. He speaks briefly with Smithy and, as in the shed scene, appears surly and somewhat hostile towards Smithy.
applesnoranges
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Re: "It Was Red"

Postby applesnoranges » Sun Jun 01, 2008 6:49 pm

Kiddo wrote:MichaelPW,
That's exactly my point: there is no validity or logic to the claim that Lucas's character during the shed scene is Piotrek. Absolutely nothing points to it. The man's name is Smithy.

Kiddo: The rest of your last exchange with Carl and MichaelPW I agree with. Here's the problem I have with calling this guy Smithy:

The movie is specifically set up with this riddle: the niece is asking who is playing Smithy. No one in the movie is called Smithy and no one is credited with being Smithy either. Yet, the boy in the reunion is called Smithy's son in the credits. And we can assume that the house with the pink walls etc. is Smithy's house because it's the only house where all the OHIBT action takes place, as well, perhaps, as action outside OHIBT.

So I see that as a beautiful construction just as it is. So OK it's fair to try to guess a riddle. But as I see it, calling Susan's husband Smithy is the first thing one would want to avoid doing. It's as dumb as stepping on a burning paper sack someone set on your doorstep. It's like, "Duh ... uh ... I see a guy there and he's in Smithy's house. Hey! He must be Smithy!" Making that guess seems to assume that David Lynch wants to insult our intelligence. That's my problem with that answer. It's unlikely that Lynch would take the care to set all that up if the idea was that we were supposed to guess that on such a simple basis. I understand what you are saying when you say that Laura Dern answers the question in the next line; "Piotrek?". But to me that's like the knock on the door that you open to see the burning paper bag. Do we have to step on it? At the same time there is also something built into the story to suggest that it is not his name: That her name is Susan Blue, not Susan Smith. To me, it just ruins the beautiful thing David Lynch set up.

Now, if we say that is the guy's name, what does it add to the film? Nothing as far as I can see. He is one of a number of unnamed characters and we tell them apart by how they act, what they do and say, etc. That's part of the "fun" or whatever of learning to see what the movie is saying.
Kiddo
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Re: "It Was Red"

Postby Kiddo » Sun Jun 01, 2008 7:08 pm

calling Susan's husband Smithy is the first thing one would want to avoid doing. It's as dumb as stepping on a burning paper sack someone set on your doorstep. It's like, "Duh ... uh ... I see a guy there and he's in Smithy's house. Hey! He must be Smithy!"

Actually it's nothing like that at all. Let's recap what we know one more time...

1) The house in question is referred to as Smithy's house. I guess we agree here. So if it's Smithy's house, this means that someone named Smithy lives there. Otherwise, no one would refer to it as Smithy's house.

2) Susan Blue lives in this house with Peter Lucas's character. They are a married couple and they are the only two people who live at Smithy's house. You could argue that someone else lives there named Smithy, but that would be beyond ridiculous because there is no indication that anyone else lives there. There certainly isn't another man living there, and Smithy is in fact a man's name.

3) So we know that Smithy is a man's name, plus we know that Susan's name is Susan. Because these are the only two people who live at Smithy's house, and because we know that Susan isn't Smithy, the only intelligent deduction one can make is that Peter Lucas's character is Smithy.

How you can't see this is beyond me.

But why not simply agree to disagree? Instead of harping on this point every time I mention Smithy, just let it go. You call the character whatever you want to call him, and I'll keep calling him Smithy. No prob.

My only consistent objection would be to calling the character Piotrek Krol. I say this because we know that Piotrek lives in a posh home that one might even call a mansion. We know he's a powerful and feared Hollywood player. We know he's married to a veteran actress named Nikki Grace, played by Laura Dern. And we know that Nikki is having an affair with a film actor named Devon Berk, played by Justin Theroux. So, by the same token, we know that he cannot also be married to a spunky house-maid named Susan Blue, played by Laura Dern, who is having a raunchy affair with a man named Billy Side, played by Justin Theroux.

So even if we can legitimately debate whether or not the character's name is Smithy, it seems blindingly obvious that the character in question is anyone but Piotrek Krol.
Carl
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Re: "It Was Red"

Postby Carl » Sun Jun 01, 2008 7:34 pm

Now, thanx for pointing out Gordy was at the BBQ. I'll check this next time I watch it. It doen't really change my mind as to who is being sought with the gun, though.
Some of those ultra-attractive, imaginary friends of Sue are there as well, right? The two that speak and two others?
**
'... So, by the same token, we know that he cannot also be married to a spunky house-maid named Susan Blue...'

'...it seems blindingly obvious that the character in question is anyone but Piotrek Krol....'

We ( okay, I) do not know, however, that Piotrek is not also an actor playing Smithy. Nikki has been eaten by her character by the time Smithy's scenes began, I think. ( applesandoranges, I do not take your point about there being no Smithy. I am open to persuasion, of course.)

***A thing that just occurred to me: we don't really know how long the time gap is between 4 7 and OHIBT , do we? I mean, 4 7 might have been a period piece.
The one clue, a meager one, is that in MTTH Sue says something like, 'I was 40 years old in 1960' ( sorry, I forget the exact year.)
Kiddo
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Re: "It Was Red"

Postby Kiddo » Sun Jun 01, 2008 8:14 pm

It doen't really change my mind as to who is being sought with the gun, though.

What is your theory about why Gordy is being sought with the gun?

We ( okay, I) do not know, however, that Piotrek is not also an actor playing Smithy.

After the Starlight Celebrity Show, Devon's people warn him to not try to start up a romance with Nikkii because her husband is "the most powerful guy around" who "sees everything." This conversation would make absolutely no sense if Piotrek was also an actor in the film because of course Devon couldn't start up a romance with Piotrek right there on the set with them! Plus, why wouldn't Kingsley have welcomed Piotrek on board at the same time he gave his speech to Nikki? Why wasn't Piotrek invited onto the Starlight Celebrity Show? Why wasn't it ever mentioned or even insinuated that Piotrek was an actor, and so on...
Carl
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Re: "It Was Red"

Postby Carl » Mon Jun 02, 2008 12:10 am

I have no theory about Gordy being sought; I do not think he is. This is my point, that the man being sought is the man Smithy works for , who is The Phantom, not Gordy.
**
I don't assert that Piotrek is the actor playing Smithy, only that it is a possibility. After all, as applesandoranges has repeatedly emphasized, both are played , as is the mustachioed lead in 4 7, by the same guy. Maybe this is the connection. Why does he want OHIBT made in the first place?
It seems far-fetched, but then there is a lot of stuff in this movie that seems so, especially at first.
The reason he's not on the TV show might be that it's a secret ( remember, who is to play that role is a source of interest and is not answered either in the movie, IE , or in it's credits.)
As I Posted, all Smithy's scenes we are shown are, I think, after Nikki's possession, her total immersion in the role of Sue. Maybe that's why she does not recognize him, consciously at least. Of course, the order in which they are filmed is unknown to me.
If Kingsley were in on this secret, this conspiracy, ( and he's the one who has suggsted the 'curse' in the first place) he would not tell Nikki or probably anyone about it, right? I have no idea as to why he would want to play such a role, but then much is a mystery, here.
BTW, I'm not married to any theory or interpretation regarding this movie. I like to entertain them all.
MichaelPW
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Re: "It Was Red"

Postby MichaelPW » Mon Jun 02, 2008 12:58 am

Kiddo wrote:MichaelPW,
That's exactly my point: there is no validity or logic to the claim that Lucas's character during the shed scene is Piotrek. Absolutely nothing points to it. The man's name is Smithy.


But I don`t see reasons for that in your point 2.
Kiddo
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Re: "It Was Red"

Postby Kiddo » Mon Jun 02, 2008 7:19 am

carl: I have no theory about Gordy being sought; I do not think he is. This is my point, that the man being sought is the man Smithy works for , who is The Phantom, not Gordy.

OK, now I get it. We basically agree.

I still don't see any indication that Piotrek Krol is co-starring with Nikki and Devon, but I'll give it more thought.

MPW: But I don`t see reasons for that in your point 2.

What is it you don't see? In point 2, I observe that Susan lives at Smithy's house with her husband, played by Peter Lucas. This seems inarguable. I also note that Smithy is a man's name. Also seemingly inarguable. Thirdly, I mention that no one else seems to live in their little house with them. Unless you see something I don't, this point also strikes me as inarguable. Where do we disagree?

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