Music Video of the Day: In Dreams by Roy Orbison (1987, dir. Leslie Libman)


Since I missed the day of the premiere of the Twin Peaks reboot, I’m doing my Twin Peaks tie-in video today. If Wikipedia and Songfacts are to be taken at face value, then there’s an interesting story behind this music video.

As hard as it is for someone like me who grew up on Orbison to hear, his career apparently stalled in the 1970s. Maybe people really didn’t like The Fastest Guitar Alive (1967), and held it against him.

The Fastest Guitar Alive (1967, dir. Michael D. Moore)

The Fastest Guitar Alive (1967, dir. Michael D. Moore)

I wonder how he ended up agreeing to be in that. Maybe he saw that Marty Robbins was starting to appear in movies such as that years Hell On Wheels, and decided he’d take a crack at it the same way Elvis did. His career probably stalled because it was eclipsed by the revolutions in music during the 60s and 70s.

Then Blue Velvet (1986) came along. Orbison didn’t authorize the use of the song in the movie or know how it was going to be used. Lynch went ahead and used it anyways. Since it was used so effectively and is one of the most important parts of the film, it stirred up renewed interest in Orbison. At the time, Orbison didn’t have access to the master recordings of many of his hit songs because of legal issues. Orbison changed his tune about its use in the movie at this point, and asked Lynch if he could use some footage from the movie in the music video for the song. To solve the legal problem, Orbison went back into the studio to re-record his hits for the 1987 album In Dreams: The Greatest Hits. Lynch not only was fine with him using scenes from the movie, but offered to help with the re-recording of the song for the greatest hits album, which he did.

The video is nice and simple. It captures the surreal feeling of the song, the film, and combines the two into a single music video. I love that it starts with Dean Stockwell lip-syncing the song before slowly fading to Orbison actually singing it. It uses Stockwell several more times during the video, but that initial part is like peeling back the curtain to see what is really behind it–a theme of Blue Velvet.

I am going to believe mvdbase when it says Leslie Libman directed this. It, and IMDb both say that she directed some videos for him. The only thing that throws me a bit is that Wikipedia says 1987, but mvdbase says 1989. I think that’s probably an error. Still, they did make videos after Orbison’s death in 1989. That’s why I’m making special mention of it.

You may or may not recognize one of the backup singers in the video. It’s Denise Vlasis, who is best-known as being a prominent Madonna lookalike.

Let’s put this all together here. You have David Lynch who used In Dreams by Roy Orbison in Blue Velvet. The video was directed by Leslie Libman. Leslie Libman would go on to direct Britney Ever After (2017). Britney Spears famously kissed Madonna onstage, and collaborated with her. Denise Vlasis is such a famous Madonna lookalike that she has worked with Madonna. Denise Vlasis is in the music video In Dreams, which brings us back to David Lynch.

You know, as bad as Britney Ever After was, this has me thinking it would have been appropriate for Libman to use She’s A Mystery To Me after the film’s attempt to explain away it not really having the rights to tell the story by saying that people only knew her through video clips–usually from TMZ.

Enjoy!

“The Normals” Are Anything But


Trash Film Guru

Well, whaddya know — sometimes those three-and four-page previews they run in the back of comics actually work.

Case in point : the new Aftershock Comics series The Normals is probably not something I would have picked up from my LCS shelves armed with little to no foreknowledge about it. Its writer and creator, Adam Glass, is not somebody I’m terribly familiar with beyond some vague awareness of the fact that he’s a “Hollywood guy” (specifically he’s currently employed as an executive producer on one of the numerous Criminal Minds shows) and that he’s the brains behind the Rough Riders series (and its recently-published sequel) which, rightly or wrongly, strikes me as being more or less a League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen rip-off featuring historical, rather than literary, personages; artist Dennis Calero is a name I vaguely recall seeing credited elsewhere from time to time but I couldn’t tell you specifically 

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4 Shots From 4 Films: Special Twin Peaks Edition


Look, I’m just going to admit the truth.

I am obsessed.

Right now, I am totally obsessed with Twin Peaks.  Even as I spent the last few days watching movies off the DVR and writing the reviews that I posted on this site today, I still found my thoughts continually returning to Twin Peaks.

So, in honor of that obsession, here’s a special edition of 4 Shots From 4 Films.

It is happening again.

4 Shots From 4 Films

Twin Peaks 1.1 — The Pilot (dir by David Lynch)

Twin Peaks 2.22 “Beyond Life and Death” (dir by David Lynch)

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (dir by David Lynch)

Twin Peaks: The Return Part 3 (dir by David Lynch)

International Weirdness : “Kedi”


Trash Film Guru

I’ve never been there, so I had no idea, but apparently Istanbul is a city of cats. I mean lots and lots of cats.

Which means two things : my wife would probably love it there, and there’s a heck of a documentary just waiting to be made about this whole situation.

Okay, fair enough, I probably wouldn’t have guessed the latter to be the case, either, but Turkish director Ceyda Torun knows better than I, and late in 2016 he proved it by releasing his new film Kedi, which has gotten some pretty strong (and frankly well-deserved) notices from around the world, and recently made its way to the eclectic discount house (that would be the Riverview Theater in Minneapolis) just up the street from our house, so any excuses I may have once had for giving it a pass are, obviously, long gone.

I freely admit to…

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Here’s The Trailer for Wind River!


Here’s the trailer for Wind River, a crime thriller that has gotten good reviews at both Sundance and Cannes.

Here are a few things to know about Wind River:

First off, a lot of people are pointing out that it stars two members of the MCU, Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen.  At this point, however, the MCU is so big — with the movies and Netflix and the tv shows — that it’s hard to think of a recent or upcomng film that doesn’t feature at least one actor from the MCU.  At this point, MCU actors running into each other in non-MCU movies is no longer as big a surprise as it may have once been.  It’s kind of unavoidable.

For me, the most intriguing thing about Wind River is that it is the directorial debut of Taylor Sheridan, who previously wrote the amazing screenplays for both Sicario and Hell or High Water.  I’ll be curious to see if Sheridan is as good and unpredictable a director as he is a writer.

Here’s the trailer!

Lisa Cleans Out Her DVR: The Rachels (dir by Michael Civille)


(Hi, everyone!  I’ve been cleaning out my DVR and reviewing the films that I’ve recorded.  Here’s my final review of the day.  I recorded The Rachels off of Lifetime on January 29th!)

I want to tell you about The Rachels but it’s not going to be easy because, at the same time, I don’t want to tell you too much.  The Rachels is a whip-smart and wonderfully snarky little satire and, because of the non-linear narrative style that the first half of the film employs, there’s very little I can tell you about the plot without spoiling the movie.

Don’t be put off by its origins as a Lifetime film.  Don’t judge the film just because the title was obviously inspired by Heathers.  How good is The Rachels?  It’s so good that I’m tempted to call it nifty.  That’s how good it is.

It tells the story of two teenage girls named Rachel.  They’ve been best friends forever.  They do the morning announcements together, always ending things by reminding the school, “We’re the Rachels.”  Rachel Nelson (Madison Iseman) is blonde and popular, a track star who is loved by everyone.  Rachel Richards (Caitlin Carver) is brunette and she’s slightly less popular than Rachel Nelson.  Rachel Richards is almost always in the shadow of Rachel Nelson.  While Rachel Nelson is praised by her track coach, Rachel Richards is consistently told that she could do better.  And then there’s Roxie (Daniela Bobadilla), a photographer who seems to be slightly obsessed with Rachel Nelson but is disliked by Rachel Richards.  Roxie claims that she was once one of the Rachels but she is continually told, by one of the Rachels (I can’t reveal which one), that she was never really a Rachel.

At a late night party, one of these three girls will fall off of the roof and plunge to her death, the result of an apparent suicide.  The film, in its non-linear fashion, holds off an immediately revealing which one of them fell from the roof and I will do the same.  What I can tell you is that the entire school soon becomes a shrine to the dead girl and the two survivors both use her death to their own advantage.  Both of them, by linking themselves to the now sainted dead girl, become very different types of celebrities.

It makes for a very sharp satire, one that perfectly skewers today’s culture of instant fame and internet grieving.  All three of the main actresses — Maidson Iseman, Caitlin Carver, and Daniela Bobadilla — are perfectly cast and give pitch perfect performances.  This is one of those films where no one turns out to be exactly who you thought they would be.  Well-written, well-directed, and wonderfully acted, The Rachels keeps you thinking and guessing.

That’s really all I can say about the movie without giving away too much.  Keep an eye out for it.