This Week’s “Peaks” : Part Seven (Spoilers Abound)

Trash Film Guru

Right off the top of my head : what’s Andy doing wearing a Rolex?

Oh, sure, there are many larger and more important things to ponder after watching part seven of Daid Lynch and Mark Frost’s Twin Peaks 2017/Twin Peaks : The Return/Twin Peaks season three than Harry Goaz’ timepiece, but when you see a small-town deputy who probably earns 40 grand a year if he’s lucky riding around with $10,000 on his wrist, it sticks out.

Although, in fairness, so does the following : Laura Dern’s Diane telling everyone she comes into contact with “fuck you” at least once (and is it just me or does she have a special level of enmity for Chrysta Bell’s Tammy Preston?); Jerry Horne (David Patrick Kelly) getting so stoned he can’t find his car; Janey-E (Naomi Watts) dealing with the cops every bit as effectively as she dealt with…

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12 Initial Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return Part 7 (dir by David Lynch)

As always, a full recap will be posted either later tonight or tomorrow!

1. We’ve all known a stoner like Jerry.

2. I was wondering if we’d hear anything else about or from Annie in the revival, especially since Heather Graham was not listed as being in the cast.  Actually, I’m a little bit surprised that she’s not still working at the diner.  Apparently, nobody ever leaves that place.

3. I always enjoy Harry Goaz’s performance as Deputy Andy, in both the original series and the revival.  There’s an authenticity to Goaz that allows him to make even the strangest of dialogue convincing.

4. It was nice to see Warren Frost, getting in one last hurrah as Doc Hayward.  Frost passed away last year, after filming his scenes.  When I watched the original Twin Peaks, I was struck by how Warren Frost almost seemed like he had stepped out of a Capra film.  He was the epitome of small town decency and fortitude.  Frost was the also the father of Twin Peaks co-creator, Mark Frost.

5. Let’s take a moment to appreciate Laura Dern’s skill with profanity.  For all the talk about how important a collaborator Kyle MacLachlan has been to David Lynch, one could argue that Laura Dern has been just as important.  Along with appearing in Blue Velvet, Dern also starred in Wild at Heart and Inland Empire.  For whatever reason, she — along with Naomi Watts — seems to be the perfect Lynch actress.

6. Ever since the new cast was announced, I’ve been wondering who David Koechner would play.  It’s hard to think of any other actor who does quite as well with playing obnoxious characters as Koechner.

7.  OH MY GOD!  Suddenly, Dougie’s a badass!  I have to admit that I’m also getting a big kick of Dougie/Cooper’s childlike fascination with badges.

8. It took 6 episodes but, finally, Richard Beymer and Ashley Judd are back.

9. How many Renault brothers are there?  Has it occurred to anyone to just not hire them to work at the roadhouse?  It seems like that would be a way to avoid a lot of trouble.

10. I loved the shot of Doppelganger Cooper leaving his cell and walking down that dark hallway.

11. For the first time since the series began, we end somewhere other than the roadhouse.  Instead, we end at the much more wholesome diner.

12. So, Doppelganger Cooper is on the loose and it looks like Dougie/Cooper might be getting his face on the news as a result of beating up Ike the Spike.  I’m sure that won’t lead to any complications.

Twin Peaks on TSL:

  1. Twin Peaks: In the Beginning by Jedadiah Leland
  2. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.1 — The Pilot (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  3. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.2 — Traces To Nowhere (directed by Duwayne Dunham) by Jedadiah Leland
  4. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.3 — Zen, or the Skill To Catch A Killer (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  5. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.4 “Rest in Pain” (dir by Tina Rathbone) by Leonard Wilson
  6. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.5 “The One-Armed Man” (directed by Tim Hunter) by Jedadiah Leland
  7. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.6 “Cooper’s Dreams” (directed by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  8. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.7 “Realization Time” (directed by Caleb Deschanel) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  9. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.8 “The Last Evening” (directed by Mark Frost) by Leonard Wilson
  10. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.1 “May the Giant Be With You” (dir by David Lynch) by Leonard Wilson
  11. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.2 “Coma” (directed by David Lynch) by Jedadiah Leland
  12. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.3 “The Man Behind The Glass” (directed by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Jedadiah Leland
  13. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.4 “Laura’s Secret Diary” (dir by Todd Holland) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  14. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.5 “The Orchid’s Curse” (dir by Graeme Clifford) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  15. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.6 “Demons” (dir by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Leonard Wilson
  16. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.7 “Lonely Souls” (directed by David Lynch) by Jedadiah Leland
  17. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.8 “Drive With A Dead Girl” (dir by Caleb Deschanel) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  18. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.9 “Arbitrary Law” (dir by Tim Hunter) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  19. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.10 “Dispute Between Brothers” (directed by Tina Rathbone) by Jedadiah Leland
  20. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.11 “Masked Ball” (directed by Duwayne Dunham) by Leonard Wilson
  21. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.12 “The Black Widow” (directed by Caleb Deschanel) by Leonard Wilson
  22. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.13 “Checkmate” (directed by Todd Holland) by Jedadiah Leland
  23. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.14 “Double Play” (directed by Uli Edel) by Jedadiah Leland
  24. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.15 “Slaves and Masters” (directed by Diane Keaton) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  25. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.16 “The Condemned Woman” (directed by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Leonard Wilson
  26. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.17 “Wounds and Scars” (directed by James Foley) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  27. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.18 “On The Wings of Love” (directed by Duwayne Dunham) by Jedadiah Leland
  28. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.19 “Variations on Relations” (directed by Jonathan Sanger) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  29. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.20 “The Path to the Black Lodge” (directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  30. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.21 “Miss Twin Peaks” (directed by Tim Hunter) by Leonard Wilson
  31. TV Review: Twin Peaks 22.2 “Beyond Life and Death” (directed by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  32. Film Review: Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  33. Here’s The Latest Teaser for Showtime’s Twin Peaks by Lisa Marie Bowman
  34. Here’s The Newest Teaser for Showtime’s Twin Peaks by Lisa Marie Bowman
  35. 12 Initial Thoughts About Twin Peaks: The Return Parts One and Two by Lisa Marie Bowman
  36. This Week’s Peaks: Parts One and Two by Ryan C. (trashfilm guru)
  37. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Parts One and Two (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  38. 4 Shots From 4 Films: Special Twin Peaks Edition by Lisa Marie Bowman
  39. This Week’s Peaks: Parts Three and Four by Ryan C. (trashfilm guru)
  40. 14 Initial Thoughts About Twin Peaks: The Return Part Three by Lisa Marie Bowman (dir by David Lynch)
  41. 10 Initial Thoughts About Twin Peaks: The Return Part Four by Lisa Marie Bowman (dir by David Lynch)
  42. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Parts Three and Four (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman 
  43. 18 Initial Thoughts About Twin Peaks: The Return Part 5 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  44. This Week’s Peaks: Part Five by Ryan C. (trashfilm guru)
  45. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return: Part 5 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  46. 14 Initial Thoughts On Twin Peaks Part 6 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  47. This Week’s Peaks: Part Six by Ryan C. (trashfilm guru)
  48. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 6 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman

What Lisa Watched Last Night #167: The Killing Pact (dir by John Lyde)

Last night, I watched The Killing Pact on Lifetime!

Why Was I Watching It?

Because it was on Lifetime, of course!  Y’all know that I can’t resist a Lifetime movie, especially one that has the word “killing” in the title.  At the very least, I figured The Killing Pact would feature the over the top melodrama and tasteful interior design that we’ve all come to expect from Lifetime movies.

(That said, The Killing Pact was advertised as being a premiere but, actually, it aired on the Lifetime Movie Network last month.  I DVR’d it when it first aired but I hadn’t gotten around to watching it yet.  By watching it on Lifetime last night, I was able to clear a little more space on my DVR.  Yay!)

 What Was It About?

Strangers In An Uber!

Strangers In A Train Without The Train!

Take your pick, they’re both adequate descriptions of what was going on in The Killing Pact.  When Hayley (Emily Rose), a single mother and Uber driver, gives a ride to two weirdos (Melanie Stone and Brandon Ray Olive), she is drawn into an unexpected situation.  It turns out that all three of them have people in their lives that they wish were dead.  So, why not agree to a killing pact?  At first, Hayley thinks it’s all a joke but then her sleazy loser of an ex-husband is brutally murdered.  Hayley’s new friends have kept their end of the bargain.  Now, it’s time for Hayley to do her part…

What Worked?

I liked the look of the film.  Almost every scene was drenched in this moody, overcast atmosphere and, as a result, the film was almost always interesting to look at, even if the plot didn’t always work.  There was one scene — of Hayley pulling up in front of a cheap motel — that I thought was especially well put together.  The dark clouds, the wet pavement, the dilapidated motel — the whole scene was full of menace.

What Did Not Work?

For the most part, this film just didn’t work for me.  At first, I was a little confused as to why the movie was doing so little for me but, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the film just moved way too slowly, especially for a movie that was frequently interrupted by commercials.  The typical Lifetime film has 8 acts.  That means that, over the course of a typical Lifetime movie, there are at least 7 cliffhangers, all designed to make you stick around through the commercials so you can see what happens during the 8th act.  The Killing Pact, however, felt more like a three or four act movie.  There was no forward momentum to hold your interest even through the commercial breaks.  The film’s pacing was definitely off and Lifetime films are all about maintaining a steady pace.

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

One of the murders involved an autocratic theater producer.  It reminded me of all the murders that nearly occurred during a community theater production of Little Shop of Horrors that I was once involved with.

Lessons Learned

Pacing is everything!

A Movie A Day #161: The Way of the Dragon (1972, directed by Bruce Lee)

Bruce Lee vs. Chuck Norris in a battle to the death!

That alone makes The Way of The Dragon worth seeing.  This was Bruce Lee’s only completed directorial effort and it was the last of his films to be released during his lifetime.  (Lee’s best known film, Enter the Dragon, was released 6 days after Lee’s death.  When Lee died, he was directing Game of Death.)  In Way of the Dragon, Lee plays Tang Lung, a martial artist who travels from Hong Kong to Rome to help protect the owners of a restaurant from the Mafia.  At first, everyone dismisses Tang Lung as being an unsophisticated bumpkin and he does little to convince them otherwise.  But when the Mafia tries to intimidate him, Tang reveals how dangerous it is to underestimate him.

The only version of Way of the Dragon that I have seen is the badly dubbed version that was released in the United States so it’s hard for me to judge either the script or the acting, through Bruce Lee was a natural-born movie star and, even when dubbed, as charismatic as ever.  During the first half of the film, there is so much humor that it almost seems like a comedy but, unless you find Bruce Lee begging someone to tell him where the bathroom is, a lot of that humor falls flat.  Far more interesting is the scene where Tang and a waiter debate the merits of Japanese vs Chinese martial arts.  This scene reveals that Lee was just as serious about the philosophy behind the martial arts as he was about the actual fighting.

Most people who watch The Way of the Dragon will do so for the fighting and the film does not disappoint.  The Way of the Dragon features some of the best martial arts action ever captured on film.  The Mafia hires three martial artists to take on Tang, which means that, along with the usual collection of Mafia thugs, Bruce Lee also fights Bob Wall, Hwang In-shik, and Chuck Norris.

Bruce Lee’s final battle with Chuck Norris is The Way of the Dragon’s most famous scene and perhaps one of the greatest scenes in the history of world cinema.  Both Norris and Lee are in top physical form and the two real-life friends held nothing back.  The fight was filmed in the Roman Colosseum, confirming that Norris and Lee are meant to be modern-day gladiators, battling to the death but never viewing each other with anything less than respect.  Neither Norris nor Lee say a word during their climatic face-off.  They let their fists and their feet do the talking.  It’s a brutal battle between not just two men but also two different philosophies of fighting.

The Way of the Dragon was Lee’s biggest hit during his lifetime.  A modest success when first released in the west, it was re-released following Lee’s death and was retitled The Return of the Dragon.  While the American co-production Enter The Dragon is a bigger and slicker production, The Way of the Dragon is the best of Lee’s Hong Kong films and his final battle with Chuck Norris remains the perfect showcase for his skill as a fighter.

Happy Father’s Day From The Shattered Lens!

As much as I hate to admit it, male cats are notoriously bad fathers.  9 out of 10 male cats will abandon both their mate and their kittens and many male cats end up fathering and abandoning multiple kittens with different females.  Male cats are often so resistant to taking on the demands of fatherhood that any attempt to force them to accept responsibility will lead to hissing, growling, and occasionally clawing.

Some humans, however, have done better.  In fact, there’s even a few good fathers who write for this site!  To them, we say Happy Father’s Day from the Shattered Lens!

Happy Godfather Day, too!


Music Video of the Day: Cloudbusting by Kate Bush (1985, dir. Julian Doyle)

Happy Father’s Day!

I had this video picked out as far back as last year to do for today. What I didn’t know is that Wikipedia already has a nice article about it that pretty much covers anything I would say. Here are the two relevant passages from the article:

The song is about the very close relationship between psychologist and philosopher Wilhelm Reich and his young son, Peter, told from the point of view of the mature Peter. It describes the boy’s memories of his life with Reich on their family farm, called Orgonon where the two spent time “cloudbusting”, a rain-making process which involved pointing at the sky a machine designed and built by Reich, called a cloudbuster. The lyric further describes Wilhelm Reich’s abrupt arrest and imprisonment, the pain of loss the young Peter felt, and his helplessness at being unable to protect his father. The song was inspired by Peter Reich’s 1973 memoir, A Book of Dreams, which Bush read and found deeply moving.

The music video, directed by Julian Doyle, was conceived by Terry Gilliam and Kate Bush as a short film. The video features Canadian actor Donald Sutherland playing the role of Wilhelm Reich, and Bush in the role of his young son, Peter. The video shows the two on the top of a hill trying to make the cloudbuster work. Reich leaves Peter on the machine and returns to his lab. In flashback, he remembers several times he and Peter enjoyed together as Reich worked on various scientific projects, until he is interrupted by government officials who arrest him and ransack the lab. Peter senses his father’s danger and tries to reach him, but is forced to watch helplessly as his father is driven away. Peter finally runs back to the cloudbuster and activates it successfully, to the delight of his father who sees it starting to rain.

Filming took place at The Vale of White Horse in Oxfordshire, England. The hill on which the machine is positioned is Dragon Hill, immediately below the Uffington White Horse, a prehistoric hill carving which can be seen briefly in a couple of the shots. Bush found out in which hotel Sutherland was staying from actress Julie Christie’s hairdresser and went to his room to personally ask him to participate in the project. In the UK, the music video was shown at some cinemas as an accompaniment to the main feature. Due to difficulties on obtaining a work visa for Sutherland at short notice, the actor offered to work on the video for free. Although the events depicted in the story took place in Maine, the newspaper clipping in the music video reads “The Oregon Times,” likely a reference to Reich’s home and laboratory “Orgonon”.

The Cloudbusting machine in the video was designed and constructed by people who worked on the Alien creature and bears only a superficial resemblance to the real cloudbusters, which were smaller and with multiple narrow, straight tubes and pipes, and were operated while standing on the ground. In a reference to the source material of the song, Bush pulls a copy of Peter Reich’s “A Book of Dreams” out of Sutherland’s coat.

The full length video features a longer version of the song which is different from the Organon Mix released on 12 Inch.

If you go to the article and follow the cited sources, then it’s like taking a trip back to the 1990’s Internet. The most interesting thing I noticed in one of those sources is from an interview on SuicideGirls with Donald Sutherland:

DRE: How was it being in the video for Kate Bushs video for Cloudbursting?

DS: Shes such a stoner. She was great. She came out of this camper at eight in the morning smoking a joint and I said What are you doing? and she said, I havent been straight for eight years. I got into the video because Kate found out from Julie Christies hairdresser that I was staying at The Savoy. She came and knocked on my door. She was so small that when I opened the door I didnt see anybody. I looked down and there she was. She told me she wanted me to play Wilhelm Reich. I wanted to be able to create a character that could hold a child by his feet and hit him against the side of a building and turn his head into a squashed pumpkin, which is what we did. So it so profoundly impressed me that she wanted to do that. I adored her. I thought she was great.

There are two things I can add since they aren’t mentioned in the article.

The government agents going down the steps remind the audience of the Odessa Steps scene from Battleship Potemkin (1925).

Battleship Potemkin (1925, dir. Sergei M. Eisenstein)

Battleship Potemkin (1925, dir. Sergei M. Eisenstein)

The other thing is that Wilhelm Reich did a lot of work in the area of sex, which included a 1936 book called The Sexual Revolution–the original title is Die Sexualität im Kulturkampf (“sexuality in the culture war”). Here is a comparison between an actual cloudbuster and the one in the video as it is shown at the emotional climax.

Reich also did work specifically on the orgasm, such as his book Die Funktion des Orgasmus (“The Function of the Orgasm”). The way the cloudbuster was supposed to work involved what Reich called “orgone energy”, that is from the word “orgasm.”

Here are a couple of interviews with Kate Bush from back when the video was released:

Assuming they are still up, note that J.J. Jackson slips up in the interview. That’s early MTV for you.

A fun fact about J.J. Jackson is that he was hired by mistake. Here’s the story from the book I Want My MTV:

John Sykes: The J.J. Jackson we hired wasn’t the J.J. we meant to hire.

Robert Morton: That’s true. Pittman’s one direction to us was “Find a black VJ.” He told us about a guy named J.J. Johnson, and said, “He’s really good. Track him down.” So I looked all over for J.J. Johnson. Subsequently, I found out who he was; a very good-looking black guy who had a great voice. But I couldn’t find him. I called every radio station in the country. Finally I called KMEL in San Francisco and said, “Do you have a guy named J.J. Johnson working for you?” They said, “No, but we have J.J. Jackson.” I said, “Well, let me talk to him.” We auditioned him and I said to Pittman, “Here’s your J.J.”

The video was directed by Julian Doyle who has worked on several Monty Python related films such as Life of Brian (1979), Time Bandits (1975), and Brazil (1985). He’s done other work as well. As for music videos, I can find six credits. He also played the police sergeant who puts his hand over the camera at the end of Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975).

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975, dir. Terry Gilliam & Terry Jones)