Film Review: Song to Song (dir by Terrence Malick)


You’re watching a movie called Song to Song.  It’s about beautiful people in a beautiful city.

In this case, the city is Austin, Texas.  The people are all involved in the Austin music scene and they’re played by actors like Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara, Natalie Portman, Michael Fassbender, and Cate Blanchett.  A good deal of Song to Song was filmed at the Austin City Limits festival and several real-life musicians appear as themselves, though only Patti Smith is on screen long enough to make much of an impression.  To be honest, both the music and Austin are almost incidental to the film.  Though the movie was sold as an Austin film and it premiered at SXSW, it could have just as easily taken place in Ft. Worth.

The film is made up of short, deliberately obscure shots.  The camera never stops moving, floating over images of sunsets, sunrises, and oddly empty streets.  Because the film was shot with a wide-angle lens, you’re never not aware of the expanse around the characters.  At times, all of those beautiful film stars run the risk of become specks on the landscape, as if the film itself is taunting the characters for thinking that they are more important than nature.

Who are the characters?  It’s not always easy to say.  There are plenty of voice overs but it’s rare that anyone directly states what they’re thinking or who they are.  When the characters speak to each other, they mumble.  The dialogue is a mix of the banal and the portentous, a sure sign of a film that was largely shot without a script.  Eventually, you turn on the captioning so that you can at least understand what everyone’s muttering.

Michael Fassbender plays Cook.  Cook appears to be a music producer but he could just as easily be a businessman who enjoys hanging out with and manipulating aspiring stars.  People seem to know him but nobody seems to be particularly impressed by him.  Cook spends a lot of time standing in front of a pool.  Is it his pool?  Is it his house? It’s hard to say.  Cook is obsessed with control or maybe he isn’t.  Halfway through the film, Fassbender appears to turn into his character from Shame.

Ryan Gosling is BV.  BV appears to be a lyricist, though it’s never made clear what type of songs that he writes.  At one point, you think someone said that he had written a country song but you may have misheard.  BV appears to have an estranged relationship with his dying father.  BV may be a romantic or he may not.  He seems to fall in love easily but he spends just as much time staring at the sky soulfully and suggesting that he has a hard time with commitment.  BV appears to be Cook’s best friend but sometimes, he isn’t.  There’s a random scene where BV accuses Cook of cheating him.  It’s never brought up again.

Rooney Mara is Faye.  Faye contributes most of the voice overs and yet, oddly, you’re never sure who exactly she is.  She appears to be BV’s girlfriend and sometimes, she appears to be Cook’s girlfriend.  Sometimes, she’s in love and then, just as abruptly, she’s not.  She may be a singer or she may be a songwriter.  At one point, she appears to be interviewing Patty Smith so maybe she’s a music journalist.  The film is centered around her but it never makes clear who she is.

Natalie Portman is Rhonda.  Rhonda was a teacher but now she’s a waitress.  She might be religious or she might not.  She might be married to Cook or she might not.  Her mother (Holly Hunter) might be dying or she might not.

And there are other beautful people as well.  Cate Blanchett plays a character named Amanda.  Amanda has a relationship with one of the characters and then vanishes after four scenes.  There’s an intriguing sadness to Blanchett’s performance.  Since the first cut of Song to Song was 8 hours long, you can assume her backstory was left on the cutting room floor.  (And yet strangely, it works that we never know much about who Amanda is.)  Lykke Li shows up, presumably playing herself but maybe not.  Berenice Marlohe and Val Kilmer also have small roles, wandering in and out of the character’s lives.

There’s a lot of wandering in this movie.  The characters wander through their life, stopping only to kiss each other, caress each other, and occasionally stare soulfully into the distance.  The camera seems to wander from scene to scene, stopping to occasionally focus on random details.  Even the film’s timeline seems to wander, as you find yourself looking at Rooney Mara’s forever changing hair and using it as a roadmap in your attempt to understand the film’s story.

“I went through a period when I thought sex had to be violent,” Rooney Mara’s voice over breathlessly explains, “We thought we could just roll and tumble, live from song to song, kiss to kiss.”

As you watch Song to Song, you find yourself both intrigued and annoyed.  This is a Terrence Malick film, after all.  You love movies so, of course, you love Malick.  Even if his recent films have been flawed and self-indulgent, he is a true original.  You want to support him because he’s an artist but, as you watch Song to Song, the emphasis really does seem to be on self-indulgence.  The images are beautiful but the characters are so empty and the voice overs are so incredibly pretentious.  Should you be mad or should you be thankful that, in this time of cinematic blandness, there’s a director still willing to follow his own vision?

At times, Song to Song is brilliant.  There are images in Song to Song that are as beautiful as any that Malick has ever captured.  Sometimes, both the images and the characters are almost too beautiful.  The music business is tough and dirty but all of the images in Song to Song are clean and vibrant.

At times, Song to Song is incredibly annoying.  It’s hard not to suspect that the film would have worked better if Natalie Portman and Rooney Mara had switched roles.  Mara can be an outstanding actress with the right director (just check out her performance in Carol) but, in Song to Song, her natural blandness makes it difficult to take her seriously as whoever she’s supposed to be.  Portman has much less screen time and yet creates an unforgettable character.  Mara is in 75% of the film and yet never seems like an active participant.

At times, the film is annoyingly brilliant.  Malick’s self-indulgence can drive you mad while still leaving you impressed by his commitment to his vision.

And then, other times, the film is brilliantly annoying.  Many directors have mixed overly pretty images with pretentious voice overs but few do so with the panache of Terrence Malick.

Even fans of Terrence Malick, of which I certainly am one, will probably find Song to Song to be his weakest film.  Even compared to films like To The Wonder and Knight of Cups, Song to Song is a slow movie and there are moments that come dangerously close to self-parody.  Unlike Tree of Life, where everything eventually came together in enigmatic poignance, Song to Song often feels like less than the sum of its parts.  And yet, I can’t totally dismiss anything made by Terrence Malick.  Song to Song may be empty but it’s oh so pretty.

 

TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 14 (dir by David Lynch)


 

Hi, everyone!

Obviously, I’m running behind this week.  Usually, I post my recap of the latest episode of Twin Peaks: The Return within a few hours of the episode’s premiere.  This week, I’m a day behind and I apologize.  I could give you all sorts of excuses as to why I’m running behind but I won’t waste your time with that.  Instead, I’ll simply quote Laura Dern from Blue Velvet: “It’s a strange world, isn’t it?”

Fortunately, the Trashfilm Guru is a lot more dependable than I am.  Check out his thoughts on Part 14 by clicking here!

Anyway, speaking of strange worlds…

Part 14 opens with Gordon Cole (David Lynch) in South Dakota, calling Sheriff Truman (Robert Forster) in Twin Peaks.  While I know some people are frustrated with any episode that doesn’t open with Kyle MacLachlan either staring blankly at Janey-E or killing someone, I have to say that I always feel somewhat comforted when Gordon shows up.  Some of that is because Gordon is a lot how I imagine David Lynch to be in real life, right down to the corny jokes and the earnest encouragement.  However, there’s also the fact that Lynch has grown tremendously as an actor.  If you watch the original Twin Peaks, Cole comes across as largely being a one-joke character.  Sometimes it’s funny and sometimes, it’s not.  However, in the revival, Gordon has emerged as one of the most compelling characters around.

Anyway, Truman lets Gordon know about the pages from Laura’s diary that were found earlier and mentions that the pages indicate that there are “two Coopers.”  Gordon thanks him for the information and wishes all the best to both of the Truman brothers.

Meanwhile, Albert (Miguel Ferrer) tells Tammy (Chrysta Bell) about the very first blue rose case.  It involved a murder in Washington, the death of a woman named Lois Duffy.  Lois’s murder was witnessed by Cole and Philip Jeffries.  As Albert tells it, Lois mentioned “blue roses” as she died.  Her body then vanished.  A woman, who looked exactly like Lois Duffy and who claimed to be Lois Duffy, was arrested for the murder but later hung herself in her cell.  Tammy figures out that blue roses are not natural, they do not occur in nature.  The dying woman was not a natural thing.

Cole steps into the room, announcing that he’s “got it.”  After Cole spends a while flinching at the sound of a particularly aggressive window washer doing his job, they are joined by Diane (Laura Dern).  Diane lights a cigarette and tells everyone to fuck off.  Typical Diane.

Cole asks Diane about the last time she saw Cooper and whether he mentioned Major Briggs.  Diane replies that she doesn’t want to talk about that night but she does eventually say that Cooper did mention Briggs.  Albert tells her about Briggs’s death in the fire and the subsequent discovery of her headless body in South Dakota.  He also mentions that a ring was found in Briggs stomach, a ring with an inscription that indicates that it was a gift to Dougie from Janey-E.  A shocked Diane says that Janey-E is her estranged half-sister.

OH MY GOD!!!!!

Gordon calls the Las Vegas FBI office and tells Special Agent Headley (Jay R. Ferguson) that he wants Douglas Jones and Janey-E to be picked up on suspicion of having been involved with a double murder.  Headley is quite enthusiastic about tracking Dougie down.  As he yells at a subordinate, “THIS IS WHAT WE DO IN THE FBI!”

Back in South Dakota, Diane leaves the room.  Cole tells Albert and Tammy about Sheriff Truman and the Two Coopers.

“And last night,” Cole continues, “I had another Monica Bellucci dream.”

In the dream, Gordon was in Paris on a case.  He met with Monica Bellucci (who plays herself) at a cafe.  Cole says that Cooper was at the cafe but he couldn’t see his face.  Monica, Cole, and Monica’s friends had coffee.  Monica said, “We’re like the dreamer who dreams and then lives inside the dream….but, who is the dreamer?”

In the dream, Monica told Cole to look over his shoulder.  Cole did so and he saw a younger version of himself.  Cole watched as the younger version of himself talked to Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) about a dream that Cooper had.  Suddenly, Phillip Jeffries (David Bowie, seen in archive footage from Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me) entered the office and pointed at Cooper.

“Who do you think that is!?” Jeffries said.

Back in the present, Cole says, “This has given me a lot to think about.”

(This entire sequence — from Cole calling Truman to Albert and Tammy talking to Cole’s dream — is absolutely brilliant and among the best work that Lynch has ever done as a director and an actor.)

Meanwhile, at the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Department, Andy (Harry Goaz), Hawk (Michael Horse), and Boddy (Dana Ashbrook) are getting ready to go hiking to the place where Major Briggs used to take Bobby as a boy.  But first, they arrest everyone’s least favorite corrupt asshole, Deputy Chad (John Pirruccello).

In the woods, while a faint electrical hum is heard in the background, Truman, Andy, Hawk, and Bobby make their way to the location that they were given in Briggs’s note.  They find Naido (Nae Yuuki), a naked woman with no eyes, lying at the base of a tree.  As Andy, the most kind-hearted of the group, rushes over to the help her, a vortex appears in the sky above him.

Suddenly, Andy’s siting in the same black-and-white room where this season began.  Across from him is the Giant (Carel Struycken).

“I am the Fireman,” the Giant says.

Andy has visions of … well, of the series so far.  He sees the dark figures at the gas station.  He sees the Woodsman demanding, “Gotta light?”  He sees Laura Palmer, with angels on either side of her.  He sees Cooper and the Doppelganger. He sees himself leading Lucy into the lobby of the sheriff’s department.  He sees electrical pole #6, the same pole in front of which Richard Horne ran over that little boy.

Suddenly, Andy is back in the woods.  He is carrying Naido and he seems very confident of what needs to be done.  “We have to get her off the mountain,” Andy says, “She is very important.  There are people who want her dead.  She’s fine physically.  If we put her in a cell, she’ll be safe.  Don’t tell anybody about this.”

(Of course, no one mentions that Naido doesn’t have any eyes.)

Back at the sheriff’s department, Lucy gives Naido some old pajamas and says she hopes they’re okay.  Naido remains silent as Andy locks her up in a cell.  After Andy and Lucy leave, a drunk in another cell starts to make monkey noises while the recently incarcerated Chad yells at him to shut up.  Suddenly, Naido starts to softly murmur in her cell.

“It’s a fucking nuthouse!” Chad says.

“Fucking nuthouse,” the drunk replies, repeating Chad’s words in a way that reminded me of the way Dougie communicates with people in Vegas.

As Chad lies down in his cell, we see that the drunk is bleeding and a pool of blood is forming at his feet.

At the Great Northern, security guard James Hurley (James Marshall) is talking to another guard, Freddie Sykes (Jake Wardle).  Freddie is originally from the UK and always wears a glove over his left hand.  It’s James birthday and all he wants is for Freddie to explain why he always wears the glove.

Freddie explains that he can’t take the glove off.  He tried once and his hand started bleeding.  Freddie explains that one night, in London, he was sucked up into a vortex.  A giant called The Fireman told him to go to a hardware store, find an open package of gloves, and put on only one glove.  The glove gives Freddie super strength, which he discovered when he broke the neck of a man trying to prevent him from taking the glove.  It was only after apparently killing this man that Freddie remembered that the Giant also told him to move to Twin Peaks, Washington.  “There,” Freddie says the Giant told him, “you’ll find your destiny.”

James thanks Freddie for the story and then goes to check on the hotel’s furnace.  As he does so, he hears an electrical hum, much like the one that was previously heard in Ben Horne’s office.

Meanwhile, Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie) walks up to a sleazy bar.  As she approaches, we hear the same electrical sound that we previously heard while Truman and the deputies were walking through the woods.  Inside the bar, Sarah is harassed by a drunk who just won’t take no for an answer.  So, Sarah opens her face, revealing the darkness underneath the human surface.

“Do you really want to fuck with this?” she asks, before closing her face and then biting the man’s neck and ripping out his throat…

OH MY GOD!!!!!

Sarah’s possessed!  Well, we already knew that Sarah had psychic powers but … but… but….

Seriously, oh my God!

That said, I don’t blame Sarah.  That guy was a jerk.  We’ve all been there.

At the Roadhouse, two women — Megan (Shane Lynch) and Sophie (Emily Stofle) — talk about getting high, stealing, avoiding the nut house, and a missing acquaintance named Billy.  Megan says that, when she last saw Billy, he was storming in and out of her kitchen, with blood coming from his nose.  It is also revealed that Megan’s mom is named Tina.  If all these names sound familiar, it’s because we already know that Audrey Horne has been 1) having an affair with Billy and 2) has a friend named Tina.

And so concludes a very intriguing episode of Twin Peaks: The Return.

To recap: Janey-E is Diane’s half-sister. The Fireman is sending people to Twin Peaks.  And Billy and Tina actually do exist and aren’t just figments of Audrey’s imagination.

With only 4 episodes left, who knows where all of this is going to lead…

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
  49. 12 Initial Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return Part 7 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  50. This Week’s Peaks: Part Seven by Ryan C. (trashfilm guru)
  51. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 7 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  52. Ten Initial Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return Part 8 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  53. This Week’s Peaks: Part Eight by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)
  54. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 8 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  55. 16 Initial Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return Part 9 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  56. This Week’s Peaks: Part Nine by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)
  57. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 9 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  58. 20 Initial Thoughts On Twin Peaks: The Return Part 10 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  59. This Week’s Peaks: Part 10 by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)
  60. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 10 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  61. 16 Initial Thoughts About Twin Peaks: The Return Part 11 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  62. This Week’s Peaks: Part 11 by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)
  63. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 11 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  64. 20 Initial Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return Part 12 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  65. This Weeks Peaks: Part 12 by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)
  66. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 12 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  67. 22 Initial Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return Part 13 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  68. This Week’s Peaks: Part 13 by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)
  69. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 13 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  70. 22 Initial Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return Part 14 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  71. This Week’s Peaks: Part 14 by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)

 

 

Music Video of the Day: Slow Acid by Calvin Harris (2014, dir by Emil Nava)


Hi, everyone!  Lisa here with today’s music video of the day!

I’ve heard a lot of different opinions as to what exactly is being portrayed in the video for Calvin Harris’s Slow Acid.  Some people think that the woman in the video has been passed out in an alley and this video is supposed to represent her dream (or nightmare, depending on how you feel about holding up convenience stores).  Some people think that the blueish tint of the woman’s skin is meant to indicate that she’s on drugs or she’s had too much to drink.  (Personally, I find the tint to be more silvery than blueish.)  There’s a lot of debate as to whether she’s dead or just asleep at the end of the video.  The first time I ever saw this video, I assumed she was supposed to be a robot.

Then again, “she was supposed to be a robot” is pretty much my automatic go-to interpretation for almost everything.  You’d be surprised how often I turn out to be right.

Anyway, I really don’t care what the exact meaning is. I just like Calvin Harris and this song.  You can dance to it.  People sometimes forget how important that is.

Anyway, this was directed by Emil Nava, who has worked on a lot of videos since 2009.

22 Initial Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return Part 14 (dir by David Lynch)


Hi, everyone!  Obviously I’m getting a little bit of  late start on Twin Peaks tonight.  As always, these are just my initial thoughts.  A full recap will show up either tonight or tomorrow.  (Probably tomorrow because I’m getting a late start…)

  1. Apparently, Showtime is not planning on doing any further seasons of Twin Peaks.  They used Twin Peaks to meet their quota of new subscribers and now they can concentrate on stuff like I’m Dying Up Here.
  2. Yay!  Gordon’s on the phone!
  3. I love David Lynch’s performance as Gordon Cole.  I have to admit that, whenever I imagine what David Lynch is like in real life, I always imagine him telling corny jokes and adjusting a hearing aide.
  4. Oh my God!  Diane’s related to Janey-E!
  5. Diane, how can you hate your sister?  Sisters are the best!
  6. Monica Bellucci?
  7. Ha!  Fuck you, Chad!  Corrupt cops are the worst.
  8. So, just to make sure that I understand … Monica Bellucci is some sort of supernatural being?
  9. The blogger known as Jedadiah Leland just assured me that she is.
  10. Agck!  I find the lack of eyes to be disturbing.
  11. Oh my God!  Of all the people to take this trip, why Deputy Andy?
  12. “Got a light?”  No, you bastard!  Get outta here and leave Andy alone!
  13. Andy’s giving orders!  It’s about time.
  14. It’s sweet that Lucy is concerned about whether the eyeless woman likes the pajamas.
  15. James Hurley is a security guard now?  And his colleague know him as Jimmy?
  16. Okay, so where has the suddenly important Freddie Sykes been hiding all this time?
  17. This guy at the bar is bothering Sarah.  He says it’s a free country.  What a jerk,  I hope she tells him off…
  18. Oh my God, she just took off her face…
  19. OH MY GOD, SHE JUST RIPPED OUT HIS FUCKING THROAT!
  20. Go, Sarah!
  21. Hey, the guy was a jerk.
  22. “Sure is a mystery, huh?”

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
  49. 12 Initial Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return Part 7 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  50. This Week’s Peaks: Part Seven by Ryan C. (trashfilm guru)
  51. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 7 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  52. Ten Initial Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return Part 8 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  53. This Week’s Peaks: Part Eight by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)
  54. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 8 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  55. 16 Initial Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return Part 9 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  56. This Week’s Peaks: Part Nine by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)
  57. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 9 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  58. 20 Initial Thoughts On Twin Peaks: The Return Part 10 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  59. This Week’s Peaks: Part 10 by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)
  60. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 10 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  61. 16 Initial Thoughts About Twin Peaks: The Return Part 11 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  62. This Week’s Peaks: Part 11 by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)
  63. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 11 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  64. 20 Initial Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return Part 12 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  65. This Weeks Peaks: Part 12 by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)
  66. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 12 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  67. 22 Initial Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return Part 13 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  68. This Week’s Peaks: Part 13 by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)
  69. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 13 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman

It is happening again.

Film Review: The Last Word (dir by Mark Pellington)


So, I watched The Last Word tonight.

It’s a film that premiered, earlier this year, at Sundance and then it got a very brief theatrical run.  It was directed by Mark Pellington, who is one of those odd directors who, for some reason, I always assume is more talented than he is.  Seriously, when I saw this was directed by Mark Pellington, I actually got excited.  I was like, “Mark Pellington!?  He’s great!”  Then I realized that I wasn’t really sure who Mark Pellington was.  I looked him up on Wikipedia and I realized that I was mistaking him for actor Mark Pellegrino.  Mark Pellegrino played Jacob on Lost and is an outspoken Libertarian.  Mark Pellington is some guy who started out in music videos and then eventually moved up to directing pedestrian films.

Anyway, the film stars Shirley MacClaine as this annoying old busybody who demands that Amanda Seyfried write her obituary because MacClaine wants to know what people are going to say about her after she’s dead.  When Seyfried discovers that everyone hates MacClaine, she writes a boring and very short obit.  “Everyone hates you,” she helpfully explains.  So, MacClaine sets out to do some great things so that her obituary will have a little more spark.  She’s going to set a fire of quirkiness, she is!  Of course, this leads to MacClaine adopting a little black orphan, getting a job as a DJ at the local radio station (she plays boring adult contemporary music, of course.  No EDM), and helping Seyfriend get a boyfriend.

To be honest, this film would probably be a lot more bearable if it was a prequel to Bernie, because then you would at least know that you could look forward to Jack Black showing up with a hunting rifle and putting everyone out of their misery.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen.  Instead, this is another one of those movies where a cranky old tyrant teaches all of us young folks how to better appreciate life.

Y’see, Shirley MacClaine is playing an oldster so she has a sharp tongue and she’s always putting people in their place.  Because she had to struggle, we’re supposed to ignore the fact that she spends most of her time making everyone around her miserable.

Amanda Seyfried, on the other hand, is a millennial so she puts her feet on her boss’s desk and has no direction in her life.  Why, she just needs some annoying, elderly busybody to come into her life and make her listen to smooth jazz.  She might even get a hipster boyfriend out of the deal!  (Of course, her potential hipster boyfriend is a 2008-style hipster as opposed to a 2017-style hipster.)

Meanwhile, AnnJewel Lee Dixon (as the little girl that MacClaine adopts) is a plot device so she doesn’t do anything unless the script specifically needs her to humanize the other characters.  She gets to dance towards the end of the film.

Oh, and then there’s Anne Heche.  She plays MacClaine’s estranged daughter.  The reunion between her and MacClaine is so overwritten and overperformed that some viewers will probably be inspired to rip out their hair while watching it.

Hey, did I mention that there’s a scene where MacClaine does something quirky and all of the supporting characters break out into applause?  I think we’re supposed to clap to but I think most members of the audience will be too busy ripping out their hair by the handful.

Fortunately, I really love my hair so I resisted the temptation to start plucking strands out of my head while watching the film.  It wasn’t easy, though.  To be honest, the pain of plucking a strand of hair is nothing compared to the pain of watching the first fifteen minutes of this film and realizing that you already know every thing that’s going to happen.  By the time that the priest showed up and started to cry while talking about a time that MacClaine’s character had been rude to him, I imagine that viewers with less self-control were halfway bald.  But, as I said, I love my hair too much to take my frustration out on it.  Instead, I just kicked the coffee table a few times.  Now, my foot hurts.  Ow.

Seeing as how Shirley MacClaine is one of the last of the truly great actresses from Hollywood’s Golden Age and she actually does give a pretty good performance (when the script allows her), it’s a shame that the rest of the movie is such a let down.  Then again, this film is full of talented people who are let down by an overwritten script and Mark Pellington’s painfully obvious direction.  This is one of those films that tries to hard to be profound that it forgets the importance of being entertaining.

As I watched this movie, I took a glance at Mark Pellington’s filmography.  Did you know that he directed The Mothman Prophecies?  The Last Word really could have used a visit from the Mothman.  Seriously, this film was crying out for a scene of MacClaine putting Mothman in his place.  The fact that Mothman did not appear leads me to wonder what exactly this film was hiding.

Seriously, why are the people behind The Last Word protecting the Mothman?

Music Video Of The Day: Atomic by Blondie (1980, directed by David Mallett)


Hi!  Lisa here, filling in for Val, with today’s music video of the day!

Before anyone asks, my selection of this music video has absolutely nothing to do with the current situation between the U.S. and North Korea.  To be honest, when I picked this video, I didn’t even know that was going on.  The fact that I picked Atomic at a time when everyone is freaking out about nuclear war is just one of those coincidences that helps to keep life interesting!

No, the reason I picked this video was because I’m getting ready to finally watch T2 Trainspotting but, before I watch T2, I have to rewatch the original Trainspotting.  Sleeper’s cover of Atomic is prominently featured in Trainspotting and I have to admit that I’ve always liked that chorus of “Your hair is beautiful.”  I’ve always loved my hair.

(My boyfriend got excited when I told him I would be featuring this song because apparently, he used to listen to it while running down pedestrians in Grand Theft Auto.  And, actually, I can imagine this would be a pretty good driving music.)

Anyway, I did some research to see if I could explain just what exactly this song is actually about.  It turns out that the song is actually about nothing.  Courtesy of Songfacts, here is Blondie’s lead singer, Debbie Harry, on how Atomic came to be:

“He (Blondie Keyboardist Jimmy Destri) was trying to do something like ‘Heart Of Glass,’ and then somehow or another we gave it the spaghetti western treatment. Before that it was just lying there like a lox. The lyrics, well, a lot of the time I would write while the band were just playing the song and trying to figure it out. I would just be scatting along with them and I would just start going, ‘Ooooooh, your hair is beautiful.'”

While the video takes place in a post-apocalyptic world (and features artist Jean-Michel Basquiat as the man who takes away the horse at the beginning), the song actually has nothing to do with nuclear war.  It’s actually not about anything.  It’s just a good song!

Enjoy!

Oh my God! Here’s the Trailer for Mother!


Oh my God!

Okay, forget anything that I may have said about being reluctant to see Mother!, the latest film from Darren Aronofsky.  Forget anything that I may have said about suspecting that Jennifer Lawrence is no longer as interesting an actress as she was at the start of her career.

Seriously, this looks fucking brilliant!

Mother! opens on September 15th and I can’t wait to see it!